To you who might have forgotten

This is what we may have forgotten—

We may have forgotten our ability to shine. We have been stuck in the darkest corners of our lives that we have forgotten we are light. It happens. One day, we wake up and we know nothing. We are only surrounded by darkness—pitch black, nothingness. We try to grasp things; we try to find reasons for every little thing that we do not know. But often, we are left with the crippling fear of the unknown.

We ask ourselves repeatedly if this is it. If this is the worst thing we could have experienced. If this is the tunnel and we’ll be reaching for the end where we see no light. And in the process of wanting to find light, we have forgotten that it has been inside us all along. We have forgotten how to shine because we have invalidated the idea that within us, light illuminates.

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We may have forgotten our ability to crawl. Often, when we talk about rising above the ashes of sadness—of avoiding it, of wanting the assurance that we do not become it, we immediately think of the verb – stand. We stand up; we rise. But most people struggle to find the strength to stand up, and that doesn’t make them any less strong. It makes them human. And to become vulnerable, despite the world constantly trying to steal your softness, is such a beautiful and brave thing. When we become human, we open ourselves up to every pain. We fall back many times, and we may have understood the notion that in the end, we will be incapable of rising above because we can no longer stand up. The truth, however, is that we do not need to immediately stand up in order to rise above. We can, after all, simply crawl. For progress is progress no matter how little it may seem to be.

When we were little, one of the first things we have learned how to do was to crawl. That, in itself, was a milestone. When we crawl, we have that little strength within us — the heart to start over, to take things one step at a time, to not be afraid of becoming small for a short while because there is the ultimate belief that all this will be worth it. That in the end, we bloom.

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We may have forgotten that we have the capacity to choose. We blame circumstances for many things—we blame it for not allowing us to find ourselves, for wandering off, for being lost. We blame the universe for letting us go astray, for not letting us meet the possible love of our lives. We blame fate for not bringing two souls together, for not finding our soulmate, for not allowing us the happiness we know we deserve. We blame many things—heck, we even blame Mondays. We blame Mondays for our lack of motivation, for our hatred of the things we do. But goddamn, we do not hate Mondays. We hate the idea of being stuck into something and wanting it to end. We do not live for the weekends because living only for the weekends entails the idea of us not living our lives to the fullest.

The thing is, we can always choose. We can choose not to blame anything—not the universe, not fate, not circumstance, not even Mondays. At the same time, we can choose not to blame ourselves for the many things we have failed to be, the many things we have forgotten to do and to become. The only thing we can do is to choose the path where we know our heart truly is. We can choose to become the persons we want to be—a doctor, an artist, a writer, a poet, someone who longs for love, someone who seeks love, someone who is loved, someone who loves.

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We may have forgotten what it’s like to feel alive. We have often resulted into thinking that when challenges arise—when we think we have done everything we could yet we still find ourselves stuck in a difficult situation—we end up thinking that there is nothing else we could do. However, when things become difficult, when things become too much, when we end up basking in the almostness of giving up, there often appears something or someone we can hold onto. These—something or someone—are the things that could make us feel alive.

While we often want our own little selves to be the reasons of euphoria and life springing forth from within us, we almost always find ourselves encountering things and people that ultimately allow us to keep going. We tend to find simple reasons for our existence among simple joys in our lives—the many firsts we have done in this lifetime. The first time we learned how to ride a bicycle, the first time we had a sleepover with our best friend, our first day in kindergarten, our first day in high school. There are and perhaps, there will be many firsts to come in this lifetime—our first kiss, the first time we cried over an exquisitely beautiful movie or a heartbreakingly wonderful book. There are other firsts—the first time our hearts were broken over the wrong ones, the first time we fell in love over the possibly right ones (but who is to say if there really is the right one?), or even that moment, with all the luck in the world, our shoulders brushed against a then-stranger who turned out to be our person.

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So, why have we forgotten all these? Perhaps, these have all been preserved in the deepest, dustiest corners of our minds. Maybe, even then, when we thought we have forgotten all these—our ability to shine through, to become light, our ability to not give up, to crawl while struggling to stand up, to choose, to feel alive—we have all just been waiting, longing, wanting to remember. We want to know that deep down we are all these, that we can be all these. Perhaps, the problem isn’t so much as forgetting, but remembering—the struggle to remember, the struggle to know, the struggle to be. Perhaps, the struggle is excruciating, or maybe—just maybe—it can be beautiful.

And so when the crippling fear of the unknown touches our existence, allowing doubt to slowly settle in, and darkness to fall behind us, let us embark on a journey towards light—one that will allow us to experience firsts and make room for seconds and thirds and all the lasts in this lifetime. A path that unravels ourselves as light—one that makes us feel alive, one that allows room for growth, one that allows us to feel, to love, to simply be. And one that allows us to be the sun—unfailingly rising, unapologetically beautiful, golden.

Larme D’or Artwork by Anne Marie Zilberman

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