“Try not to become a man or woman of success, rather to become a man or woman of value.” – Albert Einstein
Who’s to say when we have fully matured to that place where things of the past no longer bother us like they use to. Where our sins of the past no longer sting us at our core. Where the fears of yesterday no longer haunt us, or captivate us like a deer in the headlights. Where the doubts we had about ourselves no longer predict how we respond or react to pressure or bad news.
I don’t know how this is defined or measured, and most often those with this vast knowledge are far from the ones that truly need it, especially when we’re deep in dire straights. So I believe it’s important for us to understand and determine our own progress, even if it requires a check in with a trusted friend or counselor, just to be absolutely sure we’re moving in the right direction.
However to be clear, there is a prerequisite for this, and that is you have been doing some of the work already. The work of learning self, the work of becoming more in tuned with your own desires, the work of taking ownership and responsibility for what belongs to you, and the work of accepting yourself as you are, even if you’re not completely satisfied with where you are just yet.
Not a simple task, or one that you can easily assemble overnight. That is why it’s called “the work”. Shortcuts and quick fixes don’t get us there. It must become a commitment to the time required to evolve, to grow, to accept, to forgive and to become whole. And the hard part is no one truly knows the amount of time it takes, because it’s dependent on what we choose to take on, or not.
It’s the place where empty words, self-induced, only create illusions of growth, which are short-lived and only produce disappointment. It’s the place where our fury thrived in teams of two or three, only to categorically tear down another person, so that we might simply feel better for the moment. It brought nothing but more emptiness, and placed us further from our true destination and purpose.
I can share, because I have been there. The dark place, where I thought I knew it all, but didn’t. The place where I failed to take responsibility for my own actions, however easily blamed others. The place where I avoided truth and deliberately masked it with denial, because I was afraid to lose my image. The place where I believed things would magically get better over time.
Strange thing is they never do. Another marriage won’t fix it, and a better job won’t shield us from the pain deep within our hearts. It’s the work. It’s the coming full circle. It’s the decision to press through despite our emotional conditions, because tears and a fake smile cannot be our cured remedy.
So if you find yourself here now. Start the work today. First admit that you need help and then go get it. Reach out and don’t allow pride to corrupt your vision for getting support. We have all been there and some of us continue to go through. One day at a time. We press, we pause, we continue to look to the hills for our help. Choose today to become whole.