Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A Little More Faith, a Little Less Fear

Human beings are beautiful, remarkable creations, with infinite strength and an uncanny ability to adapt to whatever life throws at them. We are incredible, and capable of so much. Yet, every day we see stories of a new war, new atrocities, and new "quests" in the name of advancement or religion. People use labels to give purpose to what they're fighting against, filled with such hatred and anger. One of the reasons I avoid the news (as much as I can) is because it depresses me. I constantly see a world of bad decisions, by one person, by many. I see pain and suffering and it makes me angry. I promise this won't be a rant, and I promise it won't be me woe-betiding the entire world. But I need to say this. Even by ignoring the world news, I still see the damage we are capable of. It is everywhere: in our families and friends. We can do so much good, but are so excellent at bringing about devastation: relationships break down, hearts are shattered by strings of poor decisions. We tear down instead of encourage, we offer judgement instead of support and instead of helping each other or reaching out, we learn to pick up the pieces of our poor bruised hearts and shut them away. We build walls, put up defences which seem almost impossible to breach. Yet, in spite of all of this, still it happens: we yearn endlessly for love in our lives.

But we are terrified. not of the love itself: since we've seen its beauty. We have seen it's power to transform and to overcome, its capacity to bring peace and the virtually palpable magic it awakens in us. No, what we fear, is what happens when that love brings down those walls. When it reveals our flaws, our mistakes, our insecurities, we panic. What if we aren't enough? What if love isn't enough? What if we aren't loveable anymore? Or, worst of all, what if we are loveable? What then?

We are suddenly back in those moments when what felt safe, right and good for so long, started collapsing around our ears. We are back in those times when the person who loved us most damaged us the most. We are back in those moments when those defences came down and though initially, perhaps we were met with love and compassion, it backfired when the relationship fell apart. We find ourselves reliving all those mistakes and all the pain, and there it is: the desire to flee, to run as fast and as far as possible.

When it comes down to it we are all just lost and afraid of what love can do to us when it falls apart. Perhaps if we were a little kinder, a little more gentle with one another, the desire to flee will be replaced by a desire to stay and build something. And the best part? We aren't alone. We can create something amazing. Together. Isn't that the best part of being human? Being able to surround yourself with people you love and value, who love and value you equally?

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Clear Vision

Looking at the world map from my bed... I think about my dream to see the world, about all of those rare and beautiful animals I wanted to see in the wild before I died. I think about all the people I want to meet and all the things I want to own. I dream of the day when I can trade my (fairly regular) shopping trips in H&M, Warehouse, Topshop and Newlook for the big brands, first Whistles and Reiss, and then into the big leagues: Armani, Burberry, Prada... I think of all those first class flights and the days when buying a £38 eye shadow set won't count as splashing out. I think of the fleeting dreams of novel writing in my chateau in the south of France, being a best selling author and living with an entire menagerie of animals. I dream about finally being able to get the horse I have wanted since forever. I dream about being able to change lives with my writing, and impacting people in profound ways. I wish for better assuming that having money means all of this will be accomplished, and not until then.

What I forget is, that I will still be, fundamentally me, and thus fundamentally flawed. I forget that you can't outrun your problems, much less out dream them. These days my dreams are smaller, more realistic: I feel relief getting to the end of the day and crawling into bed is my reward. I am proud of writing a few hundred words, let alone thousands. I think of the people I have around me, and the family I treasure, and begin to ask myself why this isn't enough.

The honest answer? I don't know. In some ways, it is more than enough, it is more than I ever would have thought possible to have. At the age of 12/13 I wouldn't have believed anyone if they told me I would go from being almost totally alone and isolated, belittled even by those who should have helped me, to having friends who love and value me. It is still a novelty, even today. As much as the memory of that girl hurts, I am learning to make peace with her. I hope I never forget, because she deserves this. She deserves the love she has now and treasures it. To change one life is enough, but to have a voice that people listen to? That is an incredible gift.