– This post is a continuation of Stop Chasing People’s Shadows –
God’s sun shines on us all. Stop chasing other people’s shadows.
The basic point of the previous post was that we all have our own crap to worry about and we all have our own blessings to count. Somewhere along the line we’ve developed this one-size-fits-all concept of how we should live our lives. We’ve created one box that we expect everyone to fit into. Limbs will be chopped, pride will be swallowed, dignity will be abandoned and dreams will be killed in order to fit into this box.
The other day I’m getting my son ready for crèche. I put out his clothes and his favourite Batman t-shirt. While dressing him he tells me that he doesn’t want to wear the t-shirt;
“Because Lesedi (his friend at crèche) said it’s not a real Batman t-shirt”, he says in a damp voice. I look at the shirt; white dude, black suit, pointy ears, flying bats. The thing has “BATMAN” in big flipping yellow letters! I’m a bit lost so I ask him, “why does Lesedi say it’s not a real Batman shirt?”, “Because the suit on my shirt is not black, it’s dark grey”
This is not some post about motivation and crap in simile. This is just a very desperate attempt to remind you of some facts you might have forgotten. I say facts because I mean things like 1+1=2, not some ‘think positively’ type nonsense.
All you have is you. I don’t care how much you love your mom, dad, bf, bff, gf or your pooch or even your kid(s). Every single one of these people or things can be taken away from you. YOU are the only guaranteed presence in your life. YOU are the only person who’s going to be there for you in every moment till the day you die. What does this mean? It doesn’t mean anything, it’s 1 + 1 = 2. It will mean whatever you decide that it should mean. Does it mean YOU is the most important relationship you’ve ever had, ever will have? Maybe.
All you have is now. There’s a quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn (no idea who this is) that says, “Where ever you go, there you are”. My interpretation is that you don’t exist anywhere else except where you are right now, in this moment. Everything that is and about you, all of it exists right now. Like, if you were to die today, all that is you, will be contained in that very moment. You don’t exist tomorrow. What does this mean? It means whatever you want. Does it mean that the direction your life takes is solely dependent on where you are at this specific moment? Maybe.
There’s a lot to be learnt from observing toddlers interact. They are us, without the masks. We listen to people we have no business listening. Accepting things we’d be better off throwing in the dirt bin. My son was ready throw away something he valued above most, simply because Lesedi said it wasn’t good enough for Lesedi. People are working their asses off only to be told that their measurement of success is not good enough according to other people. Light skinned guys are being dissed and light skinned women are being praised. Some times it doesn’t occur to us that Lesedi is lying. Simply because we want their approval. We rarely think that it was some else, who’s approval Lesedi wanted, who told him that Batman’s suit comes only in black. (If you know anything about Batman comics, you’ve seen the grey, yellow and blue colourway suit).
No one has life figured out. We are all still in school. No one has graduated. It is only when you take your last breath that things cannot get any worse than they already are. Till then, you most definitely still have something to lose, no matter how small. It is this very thing that you must protect with all that you are and nurture with all that you have. At the end of the day, all you have YOU and NOW.
God’s sun shines on us all. Stop chasing other people’s shadows. Accept your light.