Be curious, not judgemental.
– Walt Whitman
November has been a month of avoidance for me. Hiding behind my business trips and busy schedule during the week, shielding myself at home with a blanket and a glass of wine on the weekends, conveniently blaming the bipolar weather for my exhaustion and recent anti-social mood.
Although the intention behind this self-inflicted disconnect was to gather my thoughts and rest my mind, the opposite was the case. I grew even more restless. I felt like something was poking me from the outside trying to get in. Or was some thing, some feeling, poking me from deep within, trying to get out?
Struggling to pin down the source of my unease, I lost my ability to sleep as the peripheral thoughts of mine aimlessly turned round and round like clothes in a tumble-dry. I wanted to shut myself down, close everything around me so I could be preserved in that comforting dark stillness that seemed, above all, undemanding of me. But I couldn’t shake this ambiguous feeling of something approaching towards me. I could almost hear it… like horses running or… a waterfall. It scared me.
On one particularly bad night, I simply stared out my window. I watched the leaves swooshing around. It looked cold. Finally, hesitantly still, I opened the window and as the breeze entered in, I felt the breath of my spirit blow through me.
I dream of Mexico.
A thought. A sentiment. A line. Like a zombie’s hand punching the earth out of a grave, it reached out to me. Then a second line. Then a third. This urge to write rushing forward. Before I knew it, the unconscious flow harmonised with the conscious effort and it felt beautiful. At the dawn of that sleepless night, what I had in front of me was a poem. That belonged to me. With rhymes and everything.
Is it a good poem? Does it read like a high-school student’s? Is it a naive attempt at philosophy? I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I felt connected. What matters is that it held a mirror and showed a part of me that I didn’t know existed, that was alive… A side of me that was breathing all this time, underneath all I believed myself to be.
Anais Nin writes, “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”
I now realise that the cause of my anxiety was my resistance to let go of a state that was determined by my own harsh judgements of who I am. You know, it’s not always him or her or them. Sometimes we are the ones rejecting our own diverse capabilities and dreams. We close ourselves down to avoid the contradictions within us, each lovely and purposeful in their essence. Instead, we close all the doors and windows to shut out the light. We sleep. Because sometimes, what we fear the most, is our own true strength.
But no matter how scary, inconvenient and challenging that may be, as H.G. Wells says, “Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been and remember the person you were meant to be. The person you want to be. The person you are.”
So in this merry season of carols, twinkle lights and roasted chestnuts, open yourself up for self-discovery. No matter what age you are, be curious about who you are. Open the door to possibilities. To experiences. And be kind to yourself if you don’t know all the answers yet. The beauty of it all is that you don’t have to. Be open to life’s surprises… Your true self will be the biggest surprise of all.
by Başak Miller
Open season – It’s time to hunt
for that shadow that is your soul.
Open fire – with all your might.
Don’t let them anchor your soles.
Open mind – It’s a possibility
that you, yourself, has been the enemy
who restricts and limits with habits and doubts,
in the name of reason, logic and predictable routes.
Open air – Breathe it in.
“The enemy of love is never outside.”
Open ears – Only then you’ll hear
your instincts whisper ‘warning’ inside.
Open eyes – See for yourself.
How the ego drowns the spirit.
Open sea – it’s trying to swim
amongst the waves of self-broken dreams.
Open doors – That’s what they are,
broken dreams you called hell.
Open roads – That’s where you go
when you rise from the ashes.
Open hands – They will greet you
on your journey to self.
Compassion, that’s what they will beg of you.
It is up to you to decide.
Open wounds – They speak the truth,
waiting for you to listen.
Whether they’re yours or someone else’s,
it doesn’t make a difference.
Open heart – It’s risky business
in this day and age I’m told.
Open lights – That’s love’s goal.
Only the fearless knows.
Open arms – They make a bridge
between giving and receiving.
So when you do, stretch till the end,
you’ll cross over, and ascend.
Open gates – On the top you’ll see
when you’re thirsty, ready to give up.
If you come closer, you’ll be shocked
to see who opened the locks.
Open mouth – Share your story,
that it was you before, begging for a kind savior.
Open flower – You bloom like one
when you find you’re your own guardian angel.
Open presents – Your found soul,
it has so much to give.
Open yourself – to who you are,
now that you are at home.