Me: “So how do you keep yourself grounded, handle all the gruesome things happening around you, deal with the spectator syndrome – not being able to make any definitive change in the lives of those suffering, tolerate the existence of those who want to see the world burn?” 

Still Me: “I don’t know” 

Recently I had a discussion with someone who, after having exchanged some deep thoughts, quickly noted: “I feel like you’re on a journey!” and I replied, “I always feel like I’m on a journey.”  However, today, I would like to talk about my journey to handle uncertainties which is very much still a work in progress. Uncertainties are meant to keep us on our toes, excited for future occurrences that expand our narrow perception of reality and nurture our inhibitions to broaden our horizons. The rush of new experiences, new encounters, new schools of thought accompanied by uncertainties should exhilarate and excite us. And yet, sometimes I find comfort by retiring into the clasp of certainty that the worst situation will prevail overwhelmed by fear. When my mind meets fear it freezes recounting the chilling blunders of the past, making it challenging to feel the rush, as I am interpreting new occurrences with old standards, which renders the liberating impact of uncertainties superfluous. Then how can we embrace unexpected situations with patient zeal? How can we do it with kindness to ourselves and others?

Learning to embrace uncertainty without any preconceived notion is a powerful skill that displays the simplicity of trust. It’s simple as it refuses to latch onto past disappointments but anchor itself to the strength and resilience which transpired within ourselves and those around us who trust the process. Nowadays though, I find the solidarity that anchored our individual journeys is shattering into innumerable individual pieces, that inflates our egos and encourages us to precede the journey by ourselves and trust the process of introspection. As an avid believer of the sacredness of individual journeys, I must acknowledge the mysticism of our individual skills to decipher every occurrence during the process and associate meaning relevant to us. However, the presence of others is a journey by itself—how we reposition ourselves to retain balance and introspection while recognizing each other and helping one another not with the grandiose intention of saving the lost sheep, but by merely existing and allowing others to exist.

Nowadays, remarks such as “you’re so curious and inquisitive” come with a suspiciously raised eyebrow questioning the intentions behind any human interest. There is mild disapproval when attempts are made to shatter the isolation of our introspection – when it’s no longer our inner voice questioning our actions and emotions but an outer voice. We get very defensive and react rather than forge a medium to reciprocate and share freely. I do think a bit of defensiveness is necessary to steer clear of those with questionable intentions, but by pushing every living soul, we discourage those with good intentions, making them feel inadequate and unworthy. There is this movement that sells the self-saviour agenda as a selfish endeavour that will be tainted, hijacked and rendered inutile if contact is made with others, as the only one harbouring the truth is oneself. The dilemma behind such assertion is the fact that those who tell us we have the key to our souls strengthen their ties with our individualist selves while detangling our societal values and cementing their role as our second conscience.

I find striking similarities of our selfish introspection with our political interpretations, the contradictions, the driving forces that pretend to empower us but drench us with toxic narratives and make us more reliant on the voice that\’s monopolizing the truth. In fact, a friend of mine described how the process of dismantling shared values and perceptions starts with “burning” each other’s ideas. The annihilation of perceptions that differ from ours inhibits our senses with the bitter taste of victory, stringent smell of burning thoughts, seducing our minds into thinking there is power in our powerlessness. It’s quite poetic but twisted, as we cannot break free from the shackles of such illusion owning our truth if we destroy, burn, feast, consume without mercy, the truth of others.

I think it’s really important to find peace within, and the journey might entail extraordinary sacrifices that require a parallel journey to discover the brutality lurking in the subconscious of each and every one of us, and come to terms with it. But maybe—just maybe—trusting one another in our journey for self-elevation, attainment of a higher purpose, self-discovery might provide the check and balance that is needed for introspection, be it individual or societal. I think we are lost in the depth of ourselves; that\’s deceptively making us think that it\’s part of the process, rather than the addiction of capitalizing on introspection. And yet we are numb to the sufferings of others, the pain that\’s conflating into their everyday existence simmering into our glorious journeys of self-discovery. We can\’t own enlightenment. In fact, the more we latch on the less of it we retain. Therefore, why not share the wisdom of our journeys, to resuscitate those being consumed by the pain for the punishment of a crime never committed? Why not share the burden of uncertainty with those who cannot afford to fall deeper into the sorrow of pain? Why not elevate one another instead of elevating those who are floating in the shambles of self-fulfilling introspection? Please let\’s share the burden and not just the glory!


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