What if the tools that we relied on stopped working and could not serve us anymore?
| When we were young and still a little unsure of ourselves, like a young tree needing the support of a rope and stick to stand upright, we turned to emulation. We emulated people who seem to know more than us, who were more comfortable in their own shoes, and hoped that we too would be able to channel that persona one day.|
My mother was one of those sources, and other than being the only source, she became the branch to greater inspiration. The books she bought for me were of great people- Helen Keller, Florence Nightingale, and Marie Curie, just to name a few—and of great writers, including Charles Dickens, Dale Carnegie, and Napoleon Hill. In the absence of video games and toys, I indulged in the vibrant worlds of classics painted of the slums of Victorian England to the weird and dangerous living in the centre of the Earth. My young mind was awed—thoroughly awed! -by the spirit of real-life great men and women whose stories were immortalised through their legacy. Legacies that they created, fought for and protected with all their might and faith despite the treacherous journeys they had to undertake.
These inspirations served as the backbone of my teenage years. There was always an answer in someone, some book, website, or formula that could be used to pull me through my problems. I knew I could always turn to an inspirational quote or role model—historical or present—to give me the drive to keep going.
Until they stopped working.
My first real depression was ugly and turbulent like a stormy sea, set against the backdrop of grieving for a dead mentor and a toxic relationship destined to dismantle my life piece by piece until nothing was left but wreckage. Amidst my deep dark grief, we found each other in its murky waters and started our clandestine relationship, consuming the both of us in dancing flames. He had the ability to draw out the worst in me which I hurled back at him and those who loved me enough to stay. No book nor role model could save me when I was engulfed in these intense emotions. I wanted to kill myself.
They say healing takes time, but the truth is that it takes a lifetime of even more mistakes made and endless self-examination with no manual to follow. But what I realised was when I was being broken down and stripped bare of everything, that I had everything to live for. When your beliefs, support systems, and everything you knew and relied on stopped working, it was a call to turn inward and reforge your inner kingdom, not with materials from the external but to summon strength from within that no one could give nor take away from you. I have found faith in my higher self.
The truth is that nothing tangible in this world is immune to breaking down; knowledge, systems, beliefs, conditions, and people that once served the world so well in a time before us have turned to dust or been rendered obsolete. They exist as a support and reference system for us to emulate and build ourselves in our formative stages, not as an end-all solution to last for lifetimes. When I relied entirely on the external to uphold my happiness, I took power away from my higher self in the universe and handed it over to the mercy of merciless, ever-changing rogue forces beyond my control.
I still find inspiration in various books, people, experiences, and material comforts, but while I used to regard them as mentors and essentials, they now walk on an equal path with me as companions. They were a bridge for me to reach a higher understanding, but they were never the destination, for my relationship with myself and my higher mind is an incredibly intimate and personal one. It was a journey which only I could undertake and experience for myself through brutal nakedness and faith, and that the answers had been waiting within me all along.