The Art of Living Again

Gaurav Badola
6 min readFeb 13, 2020

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Happiness can be found in the darkest of time, if only one remember to turn on the light.
Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

I’m running again…

An excerpt from a Diary dated seven years ago… to me.

It is wrong, so wrong. Why does everything have to happen to me? I’m so tired. I don’t know how long it has been since I last felt alive. A day, a month, a year, I don’t know. I’d long forgotten the joys of just being me. Just give me ‘myself’ back.

As far as I can look, all I see is this darkness, waiting to envelop me and gobble me up. Running through my skin, it reminds me of my failures, my broken self-image, and hopelessness seeped within. I’ll never be them, I say. And so I start to run again.

Running away from the scars that burnt within to running away from this movie called life, never in my entire life, I stood up for myself.

But things change, or in other words, we change as time passes by. The things that we feel matter to us won’t matter shortly. They just won’t. Friendships will fade away, people will drift apart, and you will start to blend within the crowd. But as soon as something difficult pops up, you’ll find an excuse to run again.

We’re all running in circles. I feel like I need you to make me want myself, forgetting you also want someone to make you feel like you’re desired. The “someone” I’ll never be and the “someone” you’ll never find. Yet, we’ll never walk up to each other and touch the beauty within each of us. ~Gaurav Badola

And to an extent, this is the right thing to do. There are times in life when we need to take a step back and look at things differently. Not to fade away, but to find our footing again.

But realizing why you’re running away is the most challenging thing to do. We’ve ran for so long that it has become our default choice when things go wrong.

But every time you leave, you’re abandoning something. A part of you, maybe a small glimmer of light within, or someone who needed your touch. But you’ll also gain something. An aching heart, along with the guilt of running again, you’ll find yourself lost among the crowd.

I used to think that it doesn’t matter cause as long as I’ll run, no one will get hurt, including me. But since I was always running, I never truly lived. I never saw my fears and rejected them outright. I never realized that they were parts of me that needed healing and acceptance. They were all part of me, my messed up fragments that just needed a gentle listening.

It all happened because I had gone knee-deep into emptiness and depression, and was afraid of anything genuine. To me, anything authentic didn’t exist. But a chance encounter with life made me realize how I’ve been wrong all along.

You can find about that in this post here.

And as Oscar Wilde said, “It takes great courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it. And even more courage to see it in the one you love.”

Yes, staying is scary. Staying means opening up to everything that will come, and mostly not in our control. It means that you might get hurt, or it’ll feel so overwhelming that you won’t feel your leg. But it’ll feel better.

You’ll realize it’s not that scary after all. You’ll see that everyone is afraid just like you, but even then, they show up. This is life in a nutshell. Sooner or later, you’ll have to embrace the unknown and walk like your whole life is on the line, even when your impulses tell you to stop. It means not giving in and following through what might be the most dreadful thing for you.

Even when your legs start to give up, or your voice starts slurring, and your whole body screams no, you say ‘yes’ to it.

To me, the most significant thing ever happened was that I lost my world and beyond. I didn’t recognize what I had become. Years of running away had made me fearful and hopeless. And I hated all of it. Yet, I didn’t change until it got to the point that I started hating every moment of it. And it’s the same with everyone. The question is not, do you want to change? I know you want to, but how badly you want to. That’s the real question.

Things will never become crystal clear. There will always be something that will stop you from moving forward. “I’ll try tomorrow,” “a black cat crossed my path so I shouldn’t do it right now,” “What will she (or he) think?” There will be thousands of reasons that will pop up in your head to make you stop, so if you don’t have a clear, concise, and that inner drive to move you forward, you’ll stay right there.

Remember, the mind always has a tactical advantage over you. It knows your weakness, your fears, your comfort. If you’re not straightforward with what you want, it’ll drive you in circles, never letting you move outside your comfort zone.

That’s why it’s so important to know why you want to change and imprinting it in our heart of hearts.

So how can I change?

Changing means you know you’re not happy with the way things are. People usually perceive it to mean that they have to be much better, or they have to become someone else.

But if you’ll change like this, will things change? Yes, things might become better, but not for you. You’ll end up accommodating others further. Thus, hating yourself more.

You only need to tap into your inner child (easier said than done). In no way, it means that you have to be someone else. It means you’ll have to understand your wants, needs and prioritize them over others, just like a child. I know you think it’s selfish, but it isn’t. Before change comes healing. It means acknowledging everything about yourself, the good along with the bad, the happy memories along with the teary ones, the bruises, the flaws, you’ll have to embrace all of them.

When you’re in sync with your higher self, you realize when to let go and when to hold on. You’ll realize that sometimes staying in is more toxic than letting go. You’ll know when it matters.

So, the next time you feel like running away. Just wait a minute, and ask yourself, ‘Why am I running again?’ Is it because I’m afraid of what others might think? Or am I scared of owning up to myself? Or I have become so used to running that I’ve forgotten to look at the problem again.

Screw up all you want, you’re allowed to do that. No one’s expecting you to be perfect, if they’re, then they’re delusional. But in a world where running away seems like the safest option, I hope you stay and make a choice…good or bad, doesn’t matter. We’re all human, after all.

If you’re confused, take a deep breath, and put your hand on that heart. It’s beating, right. That’s enough to make the right choice. After all, you’re alive, and there could be nothing more beautiful than that.

So the next time you feel like running away, look at it, embrace your fear, and thank it for being there. Then, you calmly let it go and stand your ground again.

It isn’t about the person who makes the right choice, it’s about the one who makes one… I hope you do too.

Will you?

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Gaurav Badola
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Writer, most days lost in my own world. I write to heal, inspire and breathe. You can find my journey and struggles here, https://gauravbadola.com