Lessons come and go. Some wash over us, obscure, we naively continue anyway.
But have you ever received a lesson where it’s whacked you straight on the nose and made you sit up and listen?
If it did, perhaps decisions in life would be simpler, the course ahead more clearly way-marked. Just follow that route! The one with the glaring neon-flashing lightbulb-covered capital letters.
Although, perhaps it is fortunate that our life lessons are less revealing, more obscure and softly, softly, presented for us to rack our head and hearts around. We may not all have blushing school reports acknowledging our superhero talent as a quick learner, after all life isn’t meant to be lived out in a flash, so giving ourselves time to upgrade our knowledge, experience, understanding, appreciation and love for what we have—our minds, our bodies, our organs, the people around us, the world around us, our ability to read this, and our freedom to hold expression of it—can only be described as love itself.
I recently met with a number of epiphanies. These ones came when the lights had come back on, the depressive episode finally fading away, and I could sense the bright colours starting to exude their tantalising beauty once more. Let me share a few with you, not because they are yours to learn, but because sharing what we learn is the best way for it to be engraved on our hearts.
- We learn better what we share with others. The more I tell someone about what I’ve learned, the more profound a memory that lesson will hold.
- Every step is a bridge: leave no gaps. Basically, shortcutting your learning is shortchanging yourself. Your bridge between where you are now and where you want to be, requires each step.
- You wear your soul on your skin. This one came at me through feeling so the wording may not be quite accurate yet. Coming to terms with who I am, my diagnosis, accepting psychiatry as a reasonable and valid process for describing what/who I am about, this takes a lot of guts and faith in people, who cannot live in my head, that they have my interests at heart. But at the same time I see my soul as a combination of my thoughts, my smile, my motivation, my fears, my dreams, it’s the inner workings that make up who I am, including all the characteristics of what are considered in the medical world as my fundamental flaws of nature. My soul is who I am. What’s more, it is not buried somewhere deep inside, it is all around me, it is what I share when we greet. It is laid bare, open.
- When you are true to your real self, your soul shines at its brightest. Deluding yourself never feels great, it smudges your essence.
- Starting again, now that takes courage. Having another go after shame, self-pity, doubt and fear of failure have crippled your confidence.
I’m starting again. I have a helping hand this time, in the form of beautifully-crafted colourful Daily Greatness journals to guide me with questions and reminders. Frankly, I’ll take any help I can get.
I’d love to hear what your getting back into. I watched Eddie the Eagle’s film this weekend, my heart soared. The struggle he endured and the tenacity he graced the world with made the story more captivating. What is life without struggle?
My plans are to bring back my fitness levels for five challenges in 2017. As ever, my quest will be to raise funds and share the story of striving, thriving, learning, coping, battling, whatever the descriptor, with bipolar disorder and endurance. With family and a budget. With not knowing, and having faith. Having hope.
At the end of this tunnel, the one that pretty much felt like a rerun of that epic scene from the Shawshank Redemption, I am accepting, and loving being in this skin.