Liquids flow through me in perfect symmetry. For so long I tried to analyze each emotion without looking at the bigger picture and realizing that despite the fluidity and imperfection of the lines, once I stepped back and saw it from afar, it was a beautiful and perfect web, a Flower of Life. We all have squiggly lines, but just as it takes disruption of a straight guitar string to create music, life needs its lines, its emotions, to vibrate just as much. Stillness can be a curse, a source for suffering. Emotions should roam freely in the mind, and life should be allowed to cause vibrations through them from time to time.
Emotional freedom was a term I was unfamiliar with prior to last year’s deeply spiritual revelations. I’m not talking about some divine awakening or touch from the beyond – to be frank I’m not sure I even believe in those things. What I’m talking about is a moment when I stopped and paid attention to my inner workings, and just as abruptly as I’d found myself in a pool of despair and guilt, I found peace and tranquility, even in moments of disruption and noise.
Emotional freedom is letting life play on those heartstrings, experiencing every tune that might arise from a moment of emotional chaos. Imagine life as a child with thousands of colors to paint with, and you the canvas. Life won’t always stay inside the lines, and sometimes it might paint you with colors you didn't want or never thought of using.
If you’re like me, these events might bring discomfort, and – as a perfectionist – they might cause you grief, frustration, anger. Life won’t always bring forth beautiful fruits, but rotten apples and sour lemons, and going back to the guitar metaphor, it will sometimes break your strings completely off.
My guitar had been still most of 2015. I’d found myself in an emotional limbo, where everything was still, too comfortable for me to change and evolve. I was – to put it simply – stuck. Then I broke free as I closed one door behind me – an old life that I had settled into with a constant sense of doubt and confusion – and opened a new one as I set foot in an unfamiliar place that, for some reason, had called to me the past few years. It turned out to be a place of liberation and self-discovery, and I felt more at home there than anywhere else I’d been. I went back to my old life with a aching heart, but also a sense of great relief – I had finally found myself, after over a decade of looking. I was stronger than I had ever been, and I could feel life pulsating through me with every breath.
At that moment, I thought nothing could break my spirit, my motivation, my passion and devotion to myself and my life. Then old routines came back to haunt me, and I found it harder to find room for the massive personality I had nurtured and let grow all of July. Slowly I felt my personality failing to expand in such tight spaces, and instead of fighting, I slowly succumbed to my surroundings - something I think we all do from time to time.
There was still some fight in me, and I tried adapting to the parts of my old life that were still present, without losing myself completely. For a while, it worked. I managed to get by, closing myself in for most of the day, only to let myself blossom at night. I knew I would have to adapt, knew I had to suppress parts of my personality during work hours and whilst interacting with certain people. I was prepared for it, as much as anyone can.
For a while, that was okay. Yet it was exhausting.
I could still hear life playing on my strings however, in the depths of my spirit, beautiful tunes that kept me reassured that the life I wanted was still there, waiting for the right moment to raise the volume and let it all out. Part of me was afraid of the restraints leading to an explosion, leading to all my strings being pulled apart in the name of passion, fear or exhaustion. I was afraid that I wouldn’t recognize the tunes I got used to whilst liberated, that they would scare me, and that the constant restraints I’d put on myself would start feeling so common that I’d oppress anything that wasn't a tight frame. Although deep inside I knew that wouldn’t happen. I thought I was ready.
Then I lost a friend. His death came as swiftly and unexpectedly as the autumn winds, and I succumbed to the restraints, to the small space and to life. My strings became lose and unraveled. Everything turned quiet. Everything fell apart. And I was left alone in the silence, with no idea how to get life back.
I got back up on my feet, but my guitar was out of tune. Every tune life played, every emotion that came through, was painful and weak. My strings kept on breaking, and for a while I wanted nothing but for life to stop trying to playing them. It seemed pointless. Why try playing a guitar that was already broken?
The final stages of accepting loss were different than they were last time I went through them. The shoes I had walked in back then were too big, so there was room for solitude, room for expansion in the shape of frustration and grief. Now, the shoes I tried walking in every day, the life I tried adapting too, was all too small. So when this disruption came I exploded out of them. I was a shattered soul, my strings being pulled at from each direction, making it even harder to put myself back together again. I felt lost, and for a moment I gave up on ever trying to fix my strings, my emotions that were in a constant state of turmoil. I thought life would eventually do that for me naturally. And whilst it did, it was never right, and the moment I realized that I’d rip it all apart again.
Then, one day, I woke up. It was a day like any other, but when I woke up that morning something had changed. I suddenly felt at peace in pieces. I saw hope in myself and my broken puzzle.
I saw an opportunity to put myself back together again the right way.
And so I started doing that.
Slowly, I managed to tie myself back together again, and whilst I did I let life play on the strings that I’d got back together first. One tune at a time. I began feeling life again. I began seeing the sun rise in the horizon. And self-pity became an adjective instead of a verb.
There was still pain, grief and confusion, but now instead of trying to cover my ears from its music, I paid attention to it.
Whenever an emotion would come up, I would let it happen. Unlike before, when I would try and oppress feelings of guilt, anger, jealousy and despair , I let them happen, felt them with my entire spirit. They flowed through me like rivers, and I swam in them. Then, I’d forgive myself for them. I’d forgive those moments of weakness because I knew that in order for a flower to grow you need both rain and sunshine. The darkest of nights only make you more grateful for the brightest of days. I’d seen a darkness intensified after the months of pure bliss I had experienced that summer, but now I felt even more grateful for those moments – and I was ready to get them back again.
Art, love and passion started a fire inside of me, and I arose from the ashes. I was still in a bad place, but I let myself be there, without analysis or guilt, without fear of succumbing because I knew that I wouldn’t. Not this time.
The shoes I had to fill were still too small, but I knew my chance of expansion would soon come. New shoes, new opportunities. A moment of childish naivety and spontaneity made me go back to that place where I found myself – and, as last time, I found what I was looking for in the city, in the flashing lights and contradictions, the ambition painted on people's faces. I let the world color me with every single color in the palette, and the bright and strong colors covered the darker ones. Joy, bliss and enthusiasm were no longer concepts I went searching for, but the particles that created my entire being, my actions, my emotions. I lived, loved, laughed and let go fearlessly. I let the world play me, play every tune, and I let the people around me feed from it.
I wasn’t trying to find the perfect words to finish the poetry I so longed for in my life. Instead, I was the poem, and let the words come to me.
Now, weeks later, I am back trying to fit into the small shoes. But this time I do not fear falling to the bottom of the well of self-pity and guilt. I do not fear the darkest of emotions, nor do I fear the brightest. And I know that if I am ever to find myself at the bottom of the well again, the drum inside my heart that keeps me going will continue to beat, continue to create, and if I close my eyes I can let my dreams carry me back up to the surface again.
Constantly swimming through life will leave you exhausted. Sometimes you gotta float.
I am patient now, caring, observant. I see all the flaws, the damaging rituals and actions I indulge in that only hurt my further development. Instead of finding myself drowning in guilt however, I now forgive and remind myself that these bad habits will naturally pass once I exchange them for healthier, better habits.
Once I let myself grow, those bad habits won't be strong enough to keep a hold on me. I've done it before, and I will do it again.
We all face challenges in life that might leave us questioning our purpose, our spirituality, our strength and even ourselves. We all have moments when we wake up and notice that something isn't quite right, and it is easy to linger in that moment, over-analyzing the situation and trying to find ways to get out of feeling uncomfortable instead of letting life figure that out for you.
In order to have a breakthrough, you must first have a breakdown. Your life, the stack of cards that your being consists of, might have been meticulously built into the most beautiful house of cards, only for life to blow it down. Instead of looking at the mess with tired eyes however, look upon it as an opportunity to start over, to build it even stronger this time around, to stack your cards differently and make a new pattern out of it.
Now, as previously mentioned, this revelation that emotional freedom, the love for feeling every feeling on the emotional spectrum, is the key to an inspired life is no spiritual awakening. I do not feel a Divine force in me, nor am I certain anybody ever will. This is about you, and looking upon yourself as God of your life. Because you are.
Regardless in whether or not you believe in a God, in the Universe, the Law of Attraction or simply nothing, you are in charge of your own life, your body and your spirit. Whether you choose to live it based on the moral compass given to you through faith or through a sense of connection to the higher consciousness that connects all humans, or if you have no faith in anything but yourself and a fool's luck, the coincidences that might make you question your control over your surroundings - believing in yourself should always be what matters the most. The way you want to live your life won't happen unless you listen to your own mind without judging what you might hear.
And people will respond to you if you're your truest self. You might break hearts and cause pain in some, but you'll attract so much beauty if you yourself feel beautiful.
To live a good life means to be true to You. You are God over your own body and spirit because you are the one who creates it. Even if you do believe in a Divine force, you carry the gift of free will, and that will is what can give you the ultimate human experience, which is uncensored and pure, filled with opposites and contradictions, darkness and light.
I want you who are reading this to experience life. To experience every emotion possible, because that's what makes us human. I want you to destroy yourself and build yourself back up again, like a child playing with his Legos, because with every failure you'll get better at building yourself back up again. You'll get to know yourself and discover what a beautiful human being you are. You might destroy the structures of others, and others might destroy yours, but that's part of it all - the connection you'll have with your fellow human beings. And whilst building and rebuilding, chances are you'll realize that not everybody knows how to rebuild their castles, their dreamscapes. Not everyone knows how to rebuild their own wreckages, and sometimes they seek help in the wrong places.
I want you to be strong enough to build yourself up and inspire them - you know just as well as I do that it's possible. You already have the idea of who you are and what you want to do in life lingering in your subconscious.
You are a spectacular creature and you have the entire world behind you. Just don't lose your creativity. Don't lose the love of life painting over your lines, that love we all had when we were children. Let yourself make mistakes, let yourself win, let yourself explore, and feel every emotion that comes from those milestones, be it pride or disgrace.
2015 was a year of victory and defeat, and in retrospect the defeats taught me more than the battles I won. This year however will be my year of winning - and I hope it will be yours as well.
Let go of fear of yourself. Let go.
Pay attention to the small things in life that might pass you by, for they create the beauty of the bigger picture. Relax into yourself and into life. Be patient and let opportunity reveal itself to you. Take the hands of those who support you and guide them when they need it, and let them guide you.
Love with every fiber in your body. Fall in love every day with life, with yourself and with others.
You are a beautiful creature, a being made of the stars we have all looked up at in astonishment and awe. Your spirit consists of the same particles as they are, which means there is no reason for you not to shine as brightly as they do.
We are the Universe's reflection of itself. Look up to the midnight sky and find yourself in the void, in the endlessness. Turn your breakdowns into supernovas, and light your own darkness up with the idea of resurrection.
2016 is here. Let us all draw flowers of life with squiggly lines and watch as we all together create beautiful kaleidoscopes of human emotions.
I for one am ready to shine. Are you?