As promised, I will be giving you more insight to my little busy thoughts once in a while in place of taking stock. I hope you enjoy the read. This Good Friday afternoon, wind down to a good read :))- Lessons and Musings III
I have in the most recent weeks learnt that I become great by allowing others to become even greater. By supporting others and uplifting them, I uplift myself. I am a very competitive person and I thrive on overcoming challenges and being the best, but it is even more satisfactory when I win alongside people who deserve it just as much as I do. We have been conditioned to want all the glory to ourselves. To want to learn from others, but not give what we know in return. It is such selfishness that blocks your own growth. As a creative especially, it is near impossible to survive alone. You may for a while, but stagnation is imminent if you do not open yourself up to support and give support. Do not be mean with information or opportunities that will let others in your niche grow. You are both contributing to the same field, so their win is yours too. There is no competition.
From the moment we can comprehend our surroundings, the world tells us what we should become. We are pumped with all the things we should aspire to. Become a lawyer. Become a [insert religion]. Become a good wife. Become the best. Become rich. Become. Become. Become. We have decided becoming is the only way we can decide growth is happening. While there is nothing wrong with becoming, is it the only way we measure growth? What if growth is also about unbecoming? What if real growth, i.e intellectual and mental growth, can also be achieved after unbecoming certain things we have been pumped with?
I feel after a certain age, we begin to really decide how we want to live. For most, they stick to what is decided for them for society. But for others, they question everything. They look for they ‘why’s’ of every circumstance and start embracing the ‘why not’s”. In many instances, this leads to the unbecoming and unlearning. Here are some of the things I am slowly unbecoming:
- I am beginning to unbecome ‘beautiful’. By that I mean, I am not bothered to fit in the narrow definition of beauty someone decided should fit all. I talked about that here. I am unbecoming beautiful to western society standards and to some Kenyan standards and embracing who I am, as I am. I am unbecoming perfect, and becoming a whole happy soul. It is an everyday struggle, but very liberating with each passing day.
- I am unlearning that being a good person does not need to have opinions and boldly express them. This is something that was ingrained to us while in boarding school. It was frowned upon to express strong opinions, to be a feisty person, to have a spicy personality. We were made to believe being meek and timid is the only way to go through life. I am unlearning that so hard and embracing me.
- I am unlearning to feel ashamed of struggle. It is ok to be starting from somewhere. It ok to be still working on your dreams. It is ok to be still saving up to acquire those assets at a future date. It is ok to struggle towards who you want to be. There is nothing wrong with working hard and breaking sweat while earning an honest living.
- Unlearning that “when you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life”. While there is some truth to that, I am discovering when you actually do what you love, you push yourself even harder than when working for anyone. You will have countless sleepless nights and fatigue, but because you love what you do. You love it so much you push yourself to the brink of insanity. You love it so much, that you work so hard. But the resulting exhaustion feels so good!!!
- I am unlearning hate which is meant to be channeled towards people of different race/tribe/religion etc. Why are we as humans so hateful towards that which is different from ourselves? Who made you the standard everyone should aspire to? Hate is too big a burden to bear. I am unlearning seeing people through societal clusters but just as amazing human beings. SITAKI! When I hear people say “I was raised to hate tribe xx or race xx?” But now you are old enough to see some things are not worth taking on. It is time to UNLEARN THAT. It is time for some growing up! Choose love always!
- I am unlearning how not to buy new clothes every other time and be satisfied with what I have. Yes Kaluhi, you do have something to wear. Ok who am I kidding?! Unbecoming a clothes addict is a tall order. Ladies, you feel me :D?
What are you or have you unlearnt or unbecome?
I feel it is a human inclination to think about the yourself before another. It is an innate human flaw that wants ourselves to gain over others and we feel bad if it goes the other way round. We want everything to be accorded to us. Even as children, you feel bad when your sibling gets that new toy or dress and you did not. I remember during my mid-teen years when a friend of mine got the guy I had a ginormous crush on. Jealousy is an understatement for what I felt LOL. I mean, ‘why not me?’ I thought.
As we grow older and the pressures of life set in, these issues seem to multiply. You see Mueni rising in her career at speeds that are so fast yet you started out together. Kiprono is making so much money yet you are age mates. Kimani is has the perfect family and globe trotting yet he was way behind you a couple of years back. You see Kageha is getting awards and global recognition and you are putting in just as much effort, if not more, yet nothing. You over-analyse and begin to feel a little seething feeling in your throat. And you begin to question just like I did when my teen crush got away “Why not me?” You may even add “Am I not better?” or become bitter “He/She does not even deserve it.”
Here is the truth: what is meant for you, will be yours no matter what. And what is not, will never be yours no matter what. What ever happens in the lives of people is God’s perfect will. He may give to someone else what you are dying to have but still has something else more suited for you which will come to light later. You may feel you are more deserving when God blesses someone else over you. We all have times we throw little tantrums and have those jealousy fits, but that won’t change the fact that God gave them what they have for a reason. I deal with my jealousy with one simple sentence. I say ” As you bless [name], bless my hard work too” Just that. It snuffs out all that otherwise negative energy and opens me up to receive whats coming my way. It has also made me learn to celebrate the victories of other people even when I am undergoing a tough season. When ever you feel jealousy creeping in, don’t allow it take root. Acknowledge the other persons blessing as their own, and pray to receive yours too. That little sentence does work :)).
How do you overcome/deal with negative energy?
I was in a matatu one morning and a lady was seated in front of me with one talkative toddler. As she razed through all possible topics and asked all questions she could think of she decided she wanted to pray, out of no where. ‘Mum, naweza omba sahi?” Her mother laughed and said its ok. Her impromptu prayer was simple. She thanked God for the flowers outside, for the sun that makes her see everything and the nice sandals her mum bought her. She then ran out of energy and fell asleep. Aren’t kids adorable?!
This got me thinking of all the things around us that we believe are just there for the sake of being there. But in the eyes of a child, they are worth giving thanks for and really make everyday special. We overlook so much as adults! I have since slowed down and deliberately appreciate as much as I can. I am thankful for the softness of the moonlight that makes our nights beautiful. I am thankful for the laughter of my parents since it makes me know they are happy and healthy. I am thankful for our bus stage that is far away since it gives my lazy self a work out. I am thankful for living in a continent that has both warm weather and warm people. I am thankful for cold fresh juice on a hot March afternoon. I am thankful for struggles that allow us to grow and learn. I am thankful for friendship. I am thankful for warm dusk sunlight. I am thankful for flowers too :))
Love and Light