There is an Indian proverb that vividly captures everyone as a ‘house with four rooms: a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual room’. While a majority of us tend to live in one room, you will often find that unless we go into every room, every day, even if it’s just to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.
I have lived my life like most people, only going into one room, at a time, at different odd moments, and neglecting the rest of my ‘rooms’. In the last couple of months, I have been feeling a bit lost. I feel like I am in the middle of who I want to be and who I am. Between who I am trying to love and who I am running away from. Between my past and my future. Between the life I dream about and the life I know I will have.
I guess, like we all are, I’m trying to figure out where I belong – trying to come to terms with my place in the world. You see, sometimes we know exactly what we’re here to do. Sometimes we find ourselves waking up in the morning, our eyes fierce and full of the light that we wish to spread to the lives of other people, but at other times we experience long dreary days, when the sky is grey and the sunlight dim, and we lose track of what we are doing! In those dips, we (choose to) forget our purpose and goals, and just want to forget everything and everyone for a while and crawl away into the tenderness of our hearts.
I choose to look at it this way – I am on a journey trying to unravel the meaning of life, while seeking to stay open to new possibilities each new day. I am consciously making more small attempts to welcome growth and learning experience, but sometimes I find that I am still lost. Do you feel that way? Have you ever felt that way? Sometimes worrying whether you will ever know what you are ‘here’ to do?
While you may sometimes search frantically in the eyes of others for a sense of meaning that you can’t within the folds of your own soul, you will come to learn that life is a gentle but an also often raw journey, where the struggle is real. There are moment where it will all make sense and you will realise that you will get to where you are supposed to be eventually – because that is the only way you can truly heal and grow.
Learn to get lost – to get so lost and find yourself over and over again. The apex, or the valley, that will be the beginning of self discovery. It is at this point that you will start to learn who you are on a foundational level, what it is that you deeply value, what ignites your soul and make you want to get up in the morning, especially in this coronavirus lock down period.
I am slowly learning what it means exactly to make mistakes and learn from them, despite my perfectionist nature. What it means to be both happy and sad at the same time. I am slowly learning how to do the damn work. How to stop running and welcome what’s uncomfortable in my life. How to grow myself, how to be a better person. But most of all, I am learning how to just be in the moment, how to exist, how to understand that I cannot control life, that I can only experience it in both its light and dark stages.
We need to all learn that we don’t have to be perfect and have it all figured out. You may stay a little broken, a little incomplete and a little imperfect, but this only means that there is also so much more room for growth, room for people to pour their love, their lessons and their warmth into you and make you feel whole again, even if it’s for just a little while.
You may not have healed completely from things that broke you in the past, but just like a river, a small ripple of pain or happiness in your life is supposed to keep you going a long way. I know that you may want everything figured out; hating the uncertainty of the path ahead. I get uncomfortable when I think about how blurred my future is, but if you think about it, some if not most of, the best experiences in life are had outside of our comfort zone.
Maybe that is what I have gotten wrong all this time. I shouldn’t look at life as a journey for betterment, but more simply, or in a complex manner, a journey for growth – whatever that looks like.
- This article is written by Kevin Mwangi, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a YALI Alumni and a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow. The views here do not represent those of Nate’s Crest Almanac, and are solely those of the writer.