I met some lady from church the day before yesterday who thought that I’ve not been writing much of late. And in truth I miss writing. Like writing what’s in my mind. But I rarely write when I’m in a bad phase. Because then, what’s in my mind? Do I tell you about the discouraging thoughts I’m fighting not to think or about the thoughts I hope to think? What do you tell people when you can’t precisely describe what’s wrong with you?
Anyway, I attended Stories of Courage September edition, and the conversations we had there spoke to my situation. So I’ll share some points.
You know sadness and happiness have an equal stake in your life, right? That pain and joy have the exact claim towards you. So why do we live half of our lives only expecting the best? Only hoping for the better? When someone is feeling low, we tell them to hold on there, better times are ahead. We live half of our lives ignoring it and disregarding it and wishing it away. Instead, why not embrace it? Pain, discouragement, betrayal, hurt and tears are here to stay, so why not find ways of coping when they knock our door?
And to start us off, how do you know you are going through a bad phase? For some its obvious. For some of us, we have to identify our triggers. Those things that if you feel or see or hear will take you back to parts of yourself haven’t healed. Use them to know the onset of a bad phase. One of the signs for me is if I start feeling lazy of reading. I love reading. I follow at least 20 consistent bloggers. Which means my mail everyday has something for me. But there are days when I just don’t feel like reading anything. But should that persist for let’s say a month, it shows me I’ve been postponing dealing with some issues. So what are your triggers or signs of deeper internal issues that need to be paid attention to?
And secondly, how do you cope? Like what do you do when you get angry? How do you let out the steam in you? What takes you through those days when you are hurting? When you feel worthless, desperate and frustrated, what brings your groove back? Some suggestions given during Stories of Courage include, find something you enjoy doing, and do it. Find also something you are good at and do it. Even if its a small thing in comparison to the problems you are facing.
And most importantly, don’t focus on the things you don’t have or what is wrong with your life. Look at yourself, what do you have? What can you do now? As a person, how can you better yourself as of now? Live in the moment. Not in the past in terms of what went wrong, or in the future, in terms of what could be.
I’ll be the first to admit that the above is easier said than done. I’m going through a phase where not even words of encouragement get through to me. Either from myself or anyone else. I love writing. But its become a burden of late. But in the middle of all this, I’ve encountered something that has brought me pure joy. Something that has pierced all that darkness surrounding my heart and made me genuinely happy. Guess what it is? I’ve mentioned here before that as a kid I wanted to be an astronomer. The stars and all that information about light years used to dazzle the 9 year old me. I could stay for an hour watching the stars as a kid.
But adulting happened. And the last time I read anything on the stars was over a decade ago. As a kid. Then I got into a lopha that was showing videos on random things among them adverts. And one of those videos was of space. I noted down the name of that science website and came to look for it. And from then my heart has shit its pants(yes Wamzi, I just had to use your words here;), from the images and information that’s out there about the universe. Seems my 9yr old self was more versed on what poisons to take to heal herself(no pun intended).
Another thing that has been riding me through this phase is Jazz music. I cringed with shame when I heard Shamsi’s music yesterday for the first time. Like those are Kenyans producing music I’ve been looking for for years. Yet I didn’t know them. Nairobi Horns also isn’t that bad. Dave Koz tags my heart. But best of all for me has been Two Steps from Hell. I can stay all day listening to them.
Astronomy and classical music will not definitely solve my problems, but they make the stay bearable. Its like having a jumper during a very cold day. You’ll still feel cold, but at least it will be bearable.
As I smile in the middle of this storm, these are the words running through my mind: the stars always shine.
Ooh..and in case you want to enjoy some things not concerned with Earth, check out the last post at here