Sunday, August 7, 2011

Head full of promise, road full of doubt

There is a place inside of me that whenever I become aware of it, it mostly seems to rest uneasily. I can feel that place at the oddest of times, like when I am sitting quietly, or even talking to someone who seems to have it 'all-together'. Sometimes it sneaks up on me when I am just waking up from sleep, in that beautiful somnambulistic state.

I know this feeling. As uncomfortable as it may be, it is still an old and familiar friend. It is the feeling that keeps me looking within and not running away. I have had to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable because I realise that when you are feeling like you are King of the world, without any discomfort, you start to become complacent and then you stop seeing the truth.

The risk with complacency is that although it is comfortable it allows you to stop trying to achieve more goals or different goals. And that is stagnation.

We can never still be alive and finished with the journey. We will never be finished with the striving and life really was not meant to be easy. Successful people become comfortable with that knowledge. They realise that there will always be a 'next challenge' and that you are only as good as your last result, and then they stop worrying about it all and focus on the challenge.

As long as there is breath in your body and a heart that is beating in your chest, you are not done with the journey. You are still on the road, a spiritual hitch hiker with your towel and a toothbrush as your companion.

It is a road that we all travel down. Our heads are mostly full of doubt, but somewhere inside that carefully crafted state of neurons firing there is also faith.

Faith cannot imply a state lacking doubt. It cannot imply a life of ease. And affirmations will not create the happy place that we all deserve. But it will allow us to forgive ourselves if we do not achieve what we thought we were going to achieve and then it beautifully creates the drive, the yearning, the impetus to get up from where you have fallen so that you can strive again. You achieve what you believe.

Eddison created 100 light-bulbs that did not work before he got a bulb that did. Mother Theresa doubted the existence of God. Nelson Mandela languished in prison a very long time before he became President of South Africa. Each of them had a road full of doubt in front of them. Yet each of them kept walking.

So what was it that kept them walking that road to the place where they were meant to be? What key essential ingredient did they have that so many other people find hard to resource? Was it a guiding light? Or Angels? Unlikely. Angels don't really like to make themselves as obvious as we want them to be. Angels and faith both speak in whispers. Whispers thT are more often found in the everyday, not in the books that you are told you should read. After all, wouldn't that be too easy?

I also think that each of these people had a faith in themselves. An understanding that everything, from our bodies to our thoughts to our dreams are all made of the same stuff.

I also think that each of them had the ability to look within and see the truth of who they are and who they know they can be, without blaming themselves for an overly long time for what they - or others - may see as failure.

Everybody comes and goes from our lives. The only person who will stay with you forever is you.

Believe in you. Have faith in you. Be gentle with you. And allow yourself to achieve whatever you can achieve.

Even on a long hard road road of doubt you can have a head full of promise.

Carmel Bell

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