It’s been longer than usual since my last blogpost. Somehow, I’ve not found anything sufficiently inspiring to write about. And, it’s not that life hasn’t been interesting but nothing has jumped out at me and said, “You have to write about this.” However, it’s been a long hiatus and some readers have started to ask why I’ve not posted anything recently!
The truth is that I’ve been feeling challenged by changing circumstances and a situation that took a monumental effort to resolve. As I grappled with a series of disappointments, unreliable people and grinding bureaucracy, I had to narrow my focus to the matter at hand with a determination that I would see it through to a successful conclusion, no matter what it took. Despite the early mornings, late nights, missed meals and an interminable wait that threatened to break my spirit, I refused to be beaten.
Finally, after a series of false dawns, dead ends and phantom endings, it was over and my doggedness had won the day. The weirdest thing is that, through it all, I was thinking about how all these ‘trials and tribulations’ would play out in my blog! How would I explain without naming the guilty? What would my readers think of my moments of weakness; the times when I felt as if I’d reached rock bottom? And, most importantly, how would it end?
That’s why I couldn’t write – I didn’t have a happy ending to offer. There was no satisfying conclusion; no lesson learned; no redemption. Nothing to rouse the spirit, inspire confidence or get an ‘amen’. Absolutely nothing. And in those moments of desperate emptiness, I came to a startling realisation – that my awareness of the narrative that is my life’s journey is the very thing that creates success. I mean, how do I end the story with failure? I can’t give up, can I? No, I’ve got to keep going.
The truth is that you never really fail until you give up. Trials, tribulations and disappointments are just pit stops along the way to your final destination. That’s why we love Hollywood films – the hero meets numerous obstacles on his way to defeating the evil genius, arresting the murderer or getting the girl. There is always that point when it looks like he won’t make it and there’s no way out, but somehow he toughs it out, grits his teeth and makes that final effort that wins the day. It makes us feel that we could do it too. And we can.
Instead of approaching life as a game of chance, a few twists of fate or the manipulations of unseen spiritual forces, we should treat it as our own personal movie, novel or play. We write the script, choose the principal actors, the locations and the soundtrack. No matter how many times you appear to be down and out, you can come back. Bullets may be flying in every direction; you may even get injured; but you won’t die. Not today. It doesn’t have to end until you win.
These days, my life is an exciting series of twists and turns. New characters keep emerging and the plot is more unpredictable than ever. Although I feel some apprehension about the changes, I’m incredibly excited about how the plot is going to unfold in this new chapter. I used to think I could control every aspect of my future through careful planning but that’s impossible. Nowadays, I understand that my main role is to hold my resolve, move forward and insist on my happy ending.
So, I’ll keep getting up, no matter how many times I get knocked down. I’ve decided to be my own hero and the last man standing.
What’s your story?