The year comes and it goes. We are here. Year after year, we tell ourselves not to do bad things. We see the good things. We believe in good things. We give ourselves the chance to believe we are going to be good the following year. The fact that we always make a resolution to be good means perfection takes time. It might take forever. You might never be perfect. Yet, we can’t give up the dream to seek perfection.
So today I say sorry to the people I hurt. The missed calls I didn’t return, sorry. All love unrequited from my end, sorry too. I don’t promise not to do it again. I promise this: I will be better.
To be better, I will look out for these mistakes…
#1. Judging people who are not me
When you judge people, you wonder why they are not like you. People can’t be like you. Everybody can’t be me. The beauty of life flourishes when everybody stays the way they are. With their flaws and their beauties. With their charm and their weakness. Life is beautiful this way.
People make mistakes. When you judge them, you measure their weakness against your own strength. That’s not a fair measure. They too have their strength. Their strength might be the weakest point in your chain. Instead of judging, I’ll rather empathize with their struggle. Then give a hand if I could and if I should.
So someday when I’m limping on my weakest leg, I can hope someone will offer band-aids. Not judgment.
#2. Burning bridges
Sometimes we come back. For good or worse, we get to come back to where it all began. I started this journey with people. People that loved me enough to say good things to me. To tell me where to climb and how to reach the fruits of the coconut. They are the bridges to my current situation. The least I can be is to be thankful to them.
The brides I burned can’t take me back home when I ought to. This is the cliche: The people you meet on your way up are there on your way down. So whiles shaking hands to the top remember, when life brings you down, you’ll get to meet these same people. As I walk going forward, I’m not going to forget each hand that pushed me up—that gave me an inch elevation.
When I’m up there at the top, I should be able to accord them with same grace and favor. To keep this bridge healthy and stable. So I can run to and fro without having fears of it breaking down.
#3. Forgetting to live in the ‘now’
The day I read Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” I realized I haven’t lived at all. I’ve lived passively and treated life as only yesterday and tomorrow. ‘Now’ was lost to me. But Eckhart said: “nothing has happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.”
Then I knew all I have is Now. This very moment. Not the next and not tomorrow. Time is just an illusion.
So today, I learned to live consciously. Listened to the rhythm of my heart beat. How the air feels on my skin and watched life as it happens around me. Worries go away when you live in the Now. Like Eckhart asked: “At this moment, what is lacking?” Nothing at all Eckhart. All is well and life is perfect. Now!
#4. Building happiness on another’s unhappiness
In a village early this year, I saw a man haggling over the price of a bundle of banana with this young village girl. What he wanted to pay for the whole banana was way too low from what the lady expected. She’s been carrying this banana all day. I presumed no one has even called to ask about it. She looked tired. Beaten by the scorching sun.
Now here’s a man who wants to buy her burden. If she could sell to the man, she wouldn’t have to bear this load again. She would only have to go home with the money. The money wasn’t good. She was not happy about the man’s offer. She thought of the pain of having to carry the whole load again—for a while. She wasn’t sure she was going to get a buyer. She was ready to let the banana go, though the money breaks her heart.
That’s how the world goes now. Everyone wants to be happy. Even if their happiness comes through the death of another, they care less. I’ve done it several times. I’ve only thought of myself and what makes me happy. Happiness shouldn’t come with victims. It’s possible to split the light. Your candle can lit my candle too.
What is happiness if it doesn’t make another smile?
#5. Taking my health for granted
This sack that holds my pieces together will someday give up on me. I hope it doesn’t come too soon. But that depends on me. It’s been with me throughout the journey. Farther away it will go with me. If anything deserves all the love I have in my heart, it’s this sack—my body.
I’ve taken it for granted a lot of times. Even when it has given me a sign of weariness, all I say is; “just this once and we’ll see the doctor later.” Later never comes. Pain is bored till it dies off. The risk I take with this skin.
So no more will I let this skin grind on without having to seek maintenance. Tomorrow I will see the doctor—yes I will. This body is the mansion my spirit resides. I might not be able to decorate it with gold and rubies. If I keep it in good shape, my soul will be glad.
Many things will leave me. People I love will leave my life. But this—this bag of bones and flesh will carry me all the way till my last breath. Love to you, dear body.
#6. Seeing walls as the end point
Walls are built to keep good things within and bad things without. It’s meant to keep some people out—not all people. Some people. Randy Pausch saw a brick wall and said: “The brick walls are there to show us how badly we want things.”
If you want something so badly, no wall should stand your way. It is not about the wall. It’s about what the wall is keeping away from you. If you push the walls of your nose together. No matter how tight, the breath will find a way through finally. You want breath more than anything.
You see, there are no walls. There is only lack of motivation.
I’m going to live like there are no walls. Actually, there are no walls. Just obstacles meant to be overcome by the willing heart. I am a willing heart.
#7. Allowing myself to be distracted
I was distracted just a moment ago. I had to check on my phone. A friend said hello on Facebook and I was notified. Distraction. I have to get things done. But my friends want to talk with me on WhatsApp. All night we’ll be exchanging messages—unnecessary messages. Then I forget. I forget I have a book to work on. I forget there’s a blog post to be completed.
I’ve been distracted.
So many things creep into our lives and steal our focus away. It’s subtle. Hardly can you notice. But they are able to take a chunk of our time away. When you feel pressed for time, ask what you’ve done with what you were given. Then you’ll realize you’ve allowed yourself to be distracted by things that have nothing to do with it.
I’m going to stay focus until I complete what I set off to do. Eyes on the prize. Hands on the steering. No time to waste.
I have to stand and write this one. Sitting is the death of us. Sitting all day increases cardiovascular diseases and death, research has shown. But we virtually sit all day? Little do we do that requires us to stand. We sit all day in the office. We close and drive to our homes while sitting. We get home and sit in front of our TVs till we retire to bed. Did I forget to say we sit and poo?
Slowly we are sitting to our graves.
That’s why I’m going to make conscious effort to stand more. If it doesn’t call for sitting, I will stand. If I can sit or stand to do it, I’ll choose to stand.
Sitting has killed our dreams because we preferred to sit in our comfort zones. We didn’t go out to face our fears. We sat and watched our fears terrorize us. Whiles our dreams are dying because we are sitting, our bodies are dying too.
Sitting kills your dreams and then kills you eventually. I’m no more sitting still. I’m up. Whistling and walking around.
#9. Being Grateful
I’m grateful. I’m even grateful for these little things. Being grateful itself is not a mistake per se. It’s like keeping the grace all to yourself. Whatever you are grateful about, someone is lacking. You are grateful for the light in your life but someone still dwells in the shadows.
This moment, right now. Instead of being grateful for the light, I have a friend who lives in a box. I might not be able to take him out of the box. But I can lift the lid of the box and allow some light in. So he too can be grateful for the light. Instead of say I’m grateful for life, I would rather make others benefit from my existence. So they can appreciate the essence of life.
Being grateful is not enough. It shouldn’t end there. It should be an invitation to others to also experience what is it that you’re grateful for.
Welcome others to your light—the light of gratefulness
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