“It’s all messy. The hair. The bed. The words. The heart. Life.” - William Leal
I have always carried an innate desire to control people, time and of events unfolding around me. I’m pretty good at it too. This, of course, doesn’t always work and it has been in this failure to control that I often faced great pain, feelings of rejection and impotence. In attempting to control things, I often perceived my inability to succeed as a negative thing and took it personally. This made me impatient. This made me suffer. This made me think too much. This meant headaches, drama and emotional fidgeting.
The first time I gave myself permission to be messy was in regards to my hair. This was my friend Pili’s doing. She was the first person who introduced any kind of ‘mess’ into my life. More than that, she invited me to welcome ‘mess’ without guilt or judgement. I stared at my lion’s mane that afternoon, and asked, “Like that?” And she said, “Just like that. Let it be.”
It didn’t take long before I fell in love with my hair. It didn’t take long before I began to love my lady locks the way she had this whole time.
You see, I had always seen my hair as a problem. It had lacked discipline, order and sophistication. I’d stare at girls with long, behaved hair and think, “What a mess I am! If I had their hair…” This thought was so toxic and I cringe when I say it now because at the very root of it, I was focused on what I felt I was lacking. When I’d look at my hair, all I would think about was all the things that it wasn’t. It had never occurred to me to think of all the things it was.
I’m just using my hair as an example, but this self-criticism habit was one that I exercised through all pillars of my life. I was always lacking. Always labeling things as a mess. Frustrated by my inability to not be a ‘non-mess.’
Since then, it’s been mess–lesson after lesson. Some I have let happen and some I have resisted.
The big take from all this? Regardless of how I dealt with each situation, things worked their way out. Each issue took the time it needed to take, unfolding how it was meant to. Everything figured itself out at its own pace with or without my consent.
After reading Oprah Winfrey’s What I Know For Sure, I made my list of things that I could claim as my own truths. The list was short, to say the least.
What I Know For Sure
1. It all looks messy. It takes most of us a lot of time to figure out that this is the way things are: things move around us and may look messy because we don’t understand them, but they are actually perfectly choreographed.
What I know for sure is that sometimes some of us get lucky. Sometimes, things take a long time. Sometimes, the most basic of things go really wrong and hearts get broken or dreams get shattered.The bubbles bursts. And this is usually when you realize that you don’t run the show. And yeah, this hurts. By all means eat a bag of cookies or drink yourself a beer to soften the blow. No ‘adulting’ is required that day. Brat away.
But once you’ve done your sulking, get on your knees and ask for patience and faith, get back up and use that faith. It’s all a mess. It’s all confusing and it cannot be controlled. You’ll be relieved to know that no one is excluded. But the universe can give you the patience and faith you need to brave it out. And the cool thing is that someone will definitely always be there to hug you.
2. Timing is perfect. As I’ve moved away from focusing on what I felt I was lacking and began gravitating towards embracing myself, I started to notice all the opportunities awaiting me. I began to exercise the freedom to move around and to explore. This has allowed me to catch up with so many people who I’ve loved over the years. To sit with them wholeheartedly and talk for hours about yesterday, today and tomorrow. Each catch up has been enchanting and sobering, proving that time is good to us, even when it doesn’t seem so.
So why crave another time, another stage, another life? Why even crave another kind of hair? If these obstacles, this timing, this life all lead to bliss - why wish for anything other than what is? The more embracing you do, the more flow you let flow.
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