Everyone wants somebody to ask them how they’re doing and actually wait to hear the answer to that one or the other time in their lives. But even if one finds enough courage to tell somebody, most of the people start coming up with solutions to fix whatever is wrong, instead of just being there with you while you’re sad, instead, they keep coming up with ways to suppress sadness.
It’s this constant aggressive suppression of anything that’s sad. It’s like only being happy should be the default for living normally. For some people, it’s not that difficult, but for those who have to try hard to find silver linings, trying to be happy is just another pressure put on them to be “normal”.
Yes, being “happy” is the equivalent of being “normal”. So, people try their hardest to be happy, to “smile” no matter what happens, to be normal. They don’t watch sad movies/TV shows, they stop listening to solemn music.
I’m not trying to glorify sadness here; most people get lost trying to outrun their sadness. They’re afraid if they let themselves be sad for a second, they’ll lose their way to being happy or they’ll go “weak”. No. Crying doesn’t make you weak, not crying when you have all the reasons to let it all out, eats you away inside. When a river floods, sooner or later, the dam breaks and the damage is way worse.
Sadness, disappointments, farewells, failures or unfairness of things are all a part of your existence on this beautiful planet. Being scared of them or avoiding them or not admitting the pull they have on you or the damage they can do to you, is only going to make you weaker from the inside, even if it makes you stronger on the outside. Sooner or later the dam will start breaking. Remember that.
People also have the habit of equating sadness, grief, failures and disappointments as a sign of weakness. What is weak about battling the emotions that are capable of destroying someone completely? Hiding that you don’t fight with your demons or have no demons to fight is being a coward. You’re a human being. You’re NOT supposed to be happy all the time. You can be sad. You won’t be wasting your life if you are giving yourself time to grieve.
Lincoln said, “The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him your friend.” Once you accept all the things you’re afraid of, they lose their power to overwhelm you, NEVER LET ANYTHING OVERWHELM YOU.
Don’t hold your breath when the storm hits, it’s going to be here for a while. You might as well start building your own defense and start preparing yourself for the wreckage. Make the things you’re most afraid of your strengths. When the storm is over, you will be defined by how you handled it, not by how strong it was.
Don’t be scared of being incomplete, insufficient, and incapable or not being ready.
We all feel incapable for the dreams we have. It’s easy and ordinary to quit something because there isn’t a highway laid out to reach that place where you have the thing you wanted to achieve.
Climb the mountains, climb it until your lungs run out of air, rest and start walking again. There will be tons of landslides, broken paths, fallen trees, or other bypasses crowding the narrow road or temptations to easier things or quitting halfway. Keep walking until you reach the top of the mountain where you can see the world and the world can see you too.
Keep finding new mountains to climb. And don’t forget to enjoy the sceneries on the way, the raging river and the cicadas echoing in the valley, the riveted rocks and gravel sounds under your feet. Don’t forget the ache in your bones, the happiness in your lungs, the exciting pumping of your heart, and the awareness of your senses. Your life isn’t supposed to be “happy”, it’s supposed to be meaningful for you and you ALONE.
Oshin Ahlawat is a young poet and writer based in New Delhi, India. “I believe people who write are like tornados and cyclones. We wreck a lot of lives; for better or worse. It all depends on the people who read our work. They decide where the damage is going to be; the heart or the mind and whether it’s going to be for the good or for worse. I wish to give them the choice to decide that. I’m just going to focus on doing what I want”, she says.