The Balancing Key:
It’s been an unforgiving long time that I’ve posted anything on my blog. I really don’t have any excuse for it. I just couldn’t write. I read all the advises given about writing and I realised that sometimes, just sometimes, it is okay to take a long break. You never know you might come back feeling better and write lots more or you might just come back feeling better. Either way, it is a win of sorts.
You see, I’m on a mission. A mission to change myself. All my life (I’m 35 now) I have lived for OTHERS. No matter whom that ‘other’ was. To make THEM happy, to ensure that THEY aren’t hurt, to make THEM the priority no matter what time it was or what state I was in, to take every possible crap from THEM and forgive THEM for it and say that it’s all okay, to let THEM run over me, to let THEM treat me like a pushover etc. I could go on, but you get the gist. I never once lived for myself; never once thought of doing something because I liked it and because it made ME happy.
I was never passionate about anything because I was too busy making everyone other me my priority. I kept my limits of tolerance stupidly high. Yes, stupidly high. My friends who have known me all of my life would admonish me to a great extent at the way I let myself be treated. My sister was scared that I’d be swallowed by the sinkhole that I ended up creating for myself. I couldn’t even blame the so called OTHERS. It wasn’t their fault. I let them. I could very easily have stopped them and not let myself be a punching, slamming, s*** throwing bag for them… but I did.
Why? Because I was afraid. Afraid to end up alone. Afraid of loneliness. Even though BEING ALONE and BEING LONELY are two completely different things, I was afraid of both. I mean, rather take the crap and be surrounded by people than have no one, right? WRONG.
I’m a soft-hearted, sensitive person. So anything and everything would get to me and I was an easy target. Sticks and stones may or may not have broken my bones but words definitely DID hurt me. I hated that. I hated being that sensitive. In this day and age, I don’t think it was good to be so sensitive. Funnily enough, I’m also a strong person. Go figure!
The sad part was that I could see what they were saying, understand it too and in a strange way even realise that I indeed was indirectly ‘hating’ myself. Hate might be a strong word but really…what else would you call it?
In this whole rigmarole, the problem was me. It was who I was. I was born that way and I had lived that way and I found it difficult to change myself. Changing a habit is difficult, imagine trying to change yourself! I felt that if I started making myself a priority, I would be selfish. I felt that I would be mean in ignoring others. I felt that if I couldn’t be there for them or help them, I’d be rude. I felt that if I gave it back (especially when someone’s being an ass!), I would be just like them and so on. And so, I lived or rather existed almost all my life in this miserable fashion without actually LIVING.
But there eventually comes a point in life where you can’t take it anymore, where the limits have been long crossed over, where you’re tired of it all, where you say ‘enough is enough’ or ‘I’ve had it’. You can’t take the pain, you can’t take the hatred, you can’t take those stabbing words, you can’t tolerate s*** from people, you can’t just say ‘it’s okay’ when you’ve been treated like crap, you can’t let your life just exist… when that point arrives, that is when you truly start loving yourself, when your life truly begins.
That point arrived for me a few years back. I wish I could narrate that incident but it is too painful and personal a stage in my life to share. Maybe… someday… but not just yet. But yes, it took THAT long for me to BEGIN, not even change, but begin the process of loving myself, of changing myself and making myself honorable in my own eyes (forget anyone else’s), of bringing that BALANCE between making others a priority and myself a priority. I haven’t looked back since.
I let myself be alone, spent years without talking much to people to let myself feel it and not be afraid of it, not be afraid of losing people, of losing things, doing things by myself whether I had company or not, let myself experience loneliness for years together and it was tough. ‘Loneliness can kill’ is not a lie. It was a damn struggle and that wasn’t even the hardest part of my life. The months I spent crying my soul out, the nights I spent sleepless, the days that went without a word spoken, the toll it took on my health coupled with all the nonsense that I had to endure from people whilst trying to build myself… it was excruciating.
But I let myself go through all of it because I knew that nothing is permanent. I felt that if I let myself feel and experience the worst… well, it can’t get worst-er, right? I let myself experience the most important thing in my life – MY LIFE, the good and the bad. Would I advise people to do the same that I did? Hell no! This was a personal choice and honestly, I was lucky to survive.
Now, as I do things for myself, I’m enjoying my life. I still feel like it’s not enough. I want to do so much more and I’m on that path. I only hope that I have enough years in balance to fulfill some if not all of my wishes. I mean, if I live till the age of 60, that’s not even half of my life that I’ve lived for myself, is it?
I definitely have a new found respect for myself and most importantly, I love myself.
But I do say this: “never ever just exist. Live your life. Do the things you love to do. Be it something small, be it something big, be it something silly or something important. It doesn’t matter. You love to paint, go paint. You love climbing trees, go climb a tree (be sensible about safety, of course). You love travelling, go travel. As long as it makes you happy. Experience your life on your own. With others too, but definitely on your own. Make your mistakes and learn from them. Repeated a mistake? Big deal. Learn from it. Was rude to someone? Apologize. Someone was rude to you? Tell them. Don’t just shut up. Let them know (nicely). But let them know. Don’t let them take you for granted. Don’t take them for granted either. Don’t take LIFE for granted. Never not make yourself a priority. I’m not saying don’t be there for others or never make others a priority, I’m saying strike a balance. That balance is what will keep you happy. That balance is what will help you survive and keep you strong. That balance is THE KEY. At the end of the day, it is YOU who will make you the happiest.”
Deep inside me a tiny voice speaks
Never let go of the love that you keep
Use that love to grow stronger and better
Share it with others and make your life better
You let the hurt in and it shattered your heart
But you also let it out to heal it from the past
Throughout this ordeal you never did once lose
That inner trait of yours to choose others before you
Now life has hit back with a blow to your soul
Telling you what it means to not think of you at all
So focus that growing love towards your own heart
For that deserves the most instead of keeping it apart.
P.S. I posted this a week ago but I couldn’t think of anything better to fit the prompt.