Friday, May 23, 2014

Beliefs

Light headed. Here I am sitting in front of my computer, yet the world feels like it is spinning around me.

My heart is beating way faster than it should. My breaths are short, rapid. I have no idea why. I am wondering if I am suffering from an anxiety attack. 

I feel a sense of dread hanging over me. Nervous of what would happen next. Powerless over the events that are unfolding in front of my eyes. Uncertain over my future, worried sick over the path that lies ahead. Helpless to decide what I want. Lost.

I know I should take a step forward, and that I need to do something. Anything. To keep this uncertainty from spiralling out of control. To gain at least a certain amount of normalcy back. Because I have no idea what I am doing now, or what kind of situation that I am in. All of my actions seemed meaningless, insignificant. It’s almost as if my life has progressed to a stage beyond my control. 

So here I am standing here, as the darkness closes unto me. I ask myself to move, but I paralyzed by the fear. My body refuses to budge. The darkness threatens to swallow me whole, engulfing me, snuffing out every good thing that has happen so far. What if it does succeed in taking me? To force me to start everything anew? Life has me by it’s grips.
Dizzy. I feel faint. I see the darkness ahead, but yet I have no idea of what to do. Others around me have plans. Some prepared tons of torches to last them all the way, some brought flashlights. They planned so far ahead, so sure that they would beat the darkness and reach their destination.

How can they be so sure that they will reach where they want? How are they not afraid of what lies waiting for them in the darkness? And yet I see some blindly dashing ahead, perhaps not wanting to worry about the future. I could only stand there and admire the both of them. One for being so meticulous in planning, having absolute faith in the plans, and the second for being able to just rush forward without any plans at all, letting the darkness envelop them.

I still felt uncomfortable, struggling to decide whether I should move. 

A voice whispers to me from the dark, urging for me to not panic. I recognize it as the sound of the voice that I usually hear in my brain, the voice that talks back to me whenever I converse with myself. The darkness was my own creation, it said. The more I worry, the darker my path will become, the voice said. It was something that was fueled by my fears and worries. The more worried I am, the darker everything will become.

"So the darkness will disappear once I stop worrying? Which is why those people are able to rush blindly forward?" I try to ask.

"No," the voice replies. The darkness will always be there, like it or not. 

"But you do have the ability to control it," it tries to assure me. 

Control? I really have no idea. There is no fast-forward button in life, one that I could press to see for myself what lies in front. To quell all this anxiety and suspense that I’m facing. At least that way I could worry less, and just follow the path that has always been intended for me. 

Sadly life is not like that. As much as I would want to skip this phase of uncertainty, I can’t. And there’s little that I can do except to take life one step at a time, and not be overwhelmed by the sheer uncertainty of the future. Things may seem pretty confusing right now, what I want does not fit with what I am good at, and life just seems so unpredictable right now.

What should I do, I ask myself. Life didn't used to be like this. What changed? As I left work, I have no idea. A part of me just wanted to give in to the current of life, and just let it take me wherever it wanted. Surprisingly, the answer came in the form of text, written by someone else.

*****

On my journey home I took out the book that was lying inside of my bag. It has been weeks since I last bought the book, and yet I seemed not able to finish it. I used to love the book though, I practically worshiped it as my doctrine of truth when I was young. But somehow growing up, coupled with a university education, has dulled the effect of the book somewhat. It does not feel as magical anymore, as beautiful, compared to the first time that I read it.

But still I persevered, as I hated the thought of an unfinished book. To think that it was today where the message of the book finally hit me with one simple word: belief. Something which I think I have lost in the process of growing up.

What separates the successful people from the non-successful ones? All successful people subscribe to a certain belief, and they invest in their belief with passion. Whether they believe that they are destined to be a singer, or that their government is corrupt, or that the world is broken, successful people act upon their belief. To use the example from the book, Gandhi believed that independence could be achieved through peace, which is why he pushed so hardly for it, and changed the world in the process. Mother Theresa believed that everyone should be loved, and she changed the world for her belief. Martin Luther King believed in equality for all, and he changed the world. Even Hitler believed in something, which is why he also changed the world in the process.

Every world changer has a set of beliefs that they vehemently pursue, and in that process they end up changing the world.

I remember that I used to have beliefs. Strong ones. I believed that I could change the world with words, which was why I started this blog. I believed that psychologists are a noble profession, and that I could help make the world a better place, which was why I chose to study psychology. But along the way, those beliefs gave way to something else. They changed, warped, to something that is no longer recognizable.

Instead of the original beliefs, I now believe that it is hard to succeed in life, that I can never compare to others, and therefore I stopped believing in anything.

Is it a wonder that the darkness is beginning to envelop me?

*****

Big or small, everyone needs a belief to push them forward. A positive one, for that matter. Without it, life will crumble around you, as you allow yourself to be carried away by the unforgiving currents of life.

I need to find my belief back. No matter how tough it seems and no matter how much cynicism is thrown at me, I need to believe in something back. Perhaps it's time to stop standing here, and just to be afraid of the darkness. Perhaps it's time to take up a torch, and head bravely forward.

It's time to believe.


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