Don't get me wrong, I love books; immersing yourself into a story and having a vivid journey in your mind is delightful. To be taken to all of those faraway, wonderful places, courtesy of written words, is something to be embraced.
“That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” ― Jhumpa Lahiri
Alas, there are certain books that really irk me. Let me explain…
I woke up in a hospital after a suicide attempt.
My rights were taken away.
My clothes were taken away.
Not sure about my dignity...I was put in one of those damn, hospital gowns.
I had numerous drugs in my system: psychotropics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications. It got to the point where all I wanted to do was sleep and hide. Thinking and processing was definitely the last thing on my mind.
What I remember about the experience was the pile of books that grew by my bedside, given to me by well-intentioned people. Did I want to read them? Not a chance in hell. “How to Live My Life”, you say? Hmm, how about helping me get through the next five minutes without wanting to die!
To this day, I can't read many of the books that were given to me as I find them fluffy.
What are those words?
Tell the Universe what?
Firstly, I don't care what you believe in: God, the source, a rock, or the string theory. Just believe in something with everything that you are. We are all unique, and finding a philosophy to live our life by is not simple. Some books tell me that if I live “this way”, then I will get “there”. But, where is “there”? It’s open to interpretation. Is “there” our perfect world? Is it heaven or hell? If so, then we get “there” when we die! How can I be “there” while I’m alive?
We are all learning how to live, that's part of the journey. You can't learn how to do this from a single book, because there is no set solution to life. You learn how to live through experiences, be they good or bad. For example, my traumatic experience has become a wonderful gift in my life, bringing forth learning, understanding, and growth.
I've realized that the most important thing in life is compassion - compassion for yourself, and compassion for others. Don't hide from your darkness…harness it!
“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” – Hafiz
Find your truth.
Find your voice.
Let go of the past, so that you can move forward and truly LIVE.
For me, living is an amalgam of so many things:
Reading (I know I said f%#cking books)
Being true to myself
Meditation (I'm trying)
This list varies by individual. What makes up yours?