Epiphanies: A personal experience

J’y vais

I can be a lot of things: stupid, smart, weird, boring, entitled, impoverished, dedicated, lazy, sensible, cold-hearted, sky-high, rock-bottom. But above all, I can be passionate. And by passionate I mean burning-hot-passionate.

When I see a greater value in something, I don’t only do it, I live and I die for it –over and over again. Anything less than greatness is unacceptable. I throw all my life into the fire to make it burn even more until my passion turns into a blindingly bright flame. Resources are squandered, money is sunk, and time is wasted.

Fast forward 20 years. Maintaining such a lustrous fire eventually took its toll. Brightness turned into darkness. Now gloomy clouds linger above both my mind and my heart.

What is left of that once ambitious and committed young boy? Is there still a spark left?

That very incandescent passion I am talking about is education. Being born as a migrant child in a working-class family, I quickly became aware of my limitations in the alien society I was brought up in. However, instead of giving in, I wanted to improve myself and make it by learning and understanding as much as possible.

Education was always more than just an accumulation of information or another bullet point in my CV. Education was my gateway to a better life. But somehow along the way, my dream of a better future turned into a nightmare, a gnawing feeling which follows me at every turn.

But then something unexpected happened.

It came out of nowhere, without premonition.

I had lunch today. After that, I laid down for a minute because –as so often– my mind was overflowing with depressing thoughts. “Just relax for a little while before facing the world anew,” I reassured myself. At that very moment, I once again fell into the abyss, into the vortex of self-doubt.

Suddenly, out of nothing, I imagined talking to my beloved mother, sometime in the future. She is about to pass away. I cry, and I so so badly want to tell her that I love her and that I thank her for everything she gave and taught me. I cry even more… “Thank you for all your love, your worries, your sleepless nights, your suffering, your prayers. You see? It wasn’t for nothing. I am here and I am OK.”

I noticed tears running down my cheeks. My face entirely wet, my heart racing. I could hardly breathe. What has just happened? I looked around: still in the same old room and on the same old bed. With all my energy, I tried to stand up but I could only manage to sit on the edge of the bed. Then, I burst into tears. All the negativity crumbled to dust and clarity prevailed all at once.

It hit me like a bolt from the blue: Why those flames? Why forcing light into the darkness? Why all of this? Now it is all clear to the mind –even without the flames of self-levied pressure.

I have just witnessed an epiphany. It wasn’t my first, but this one was intense. Kissing my mother goodbye reminded me that I am loved and I have a purpose. Life is too ephemeral to spend it in the vortex. In the end, it is all just in my head. I study not only for me but for everyone who loved and loves me; who accompanies me on my path; who betrayed or hurt me; who believed in me or doubted I could make it. Looking at my current situation from a broader perspective makes all the perceived injustices look insignificant and minuscule. The main thing here is:

Rejoicing and believing in a better life. Not only for me but for all. That is my ikigai.

Sadly, I cannot knowingly trigger epiphanies. They can occur anywhere, anytime. It can be just a random thought, a random mental manifestation or a sudden moment of absolute clarity. But I am grateful for every second of it.

Within seconds, I was OK. I stood up, washed my face, put on my shoes and left the house. The autumn air tastes so fresh today. The wind caresses my face, waking me up back into reality. Now I can face the world anew.

Thank you very much for reading.

Now it’s up to you: Have you ever had sudden epiphanies? If no, what would you like to know about them? If yes, how did you perceive them? Do they have a lasting effect on you?

Feel free to share your story or view.