The Old Man used to tell me there was something I needed. He told me this one thing is the exact thing you need to get through life. He called this stick-to-it-iveness. This means no matter what comes or what happens, no matter the pain or pleasure, no matter the passion or the problem, whatever you choose to do with your life, and I mean what you really choose; you have to stick to it no matter what comes your way. Otherwise, the consequences are severely unfortunate.
There will always be reasons to quit or leave. There will always be reasons to walk away but above all of them, within us all, there is a source in which we draw from. We have to tap into this source because life will not play fairly nor will life come easily.
There will always be opposition. There will always be adversity. There will always be someone looking to cut you down at the knees, or a “So-called” friend, looking to keep you from taking your next step because this might be better than theirs. Yet, at the same time, none of this really matters because none of this really exists. This is just a fixation. This isn’t real, or if it is real, this does not mean we have to be victims either.
To be happy:
to walk in a room and feel content,
regardless to whichever room this may be,
or to look at the reflection you see in the mirror and be satisfied,
to feel confident, and feel comfortable;
to create a personal sense of value,
or to have an understanding of personal worth;
to breathe, live, love, laugh, learn,
and to outlast the lies we learned about us
that were nothing more than external distractions;
to step forward, to stand and not feel smaller than the world
or believe we are less than, or believe we are beneath, or below;
to believe as if the real you is the right you,
and to be unafraid,
or unconcerned about the world around you because above all things,
you have the knowledge, wisdom and understanding
that this is who you are
and nothing outside of you can take anything away from you,
and which to live with this understanding
to live without the threat of imposition
or the constant worry of impending doom-
this is freedom~
Freedom is not a place. Freedom is not a city or a state; it’s not a capitol or region. This is not a flag or an anthem. Freedom has nothing to do with politicians or wealth or financial possibilities. Not at all. In fact, freedom can thrive in even the most confined places.
Freedom is within us all. Yet somehow, there is the imprisoned idea that keeps us held in to a sordid hypocrisy. We point and we blame, we regret and we find fault, but none of this opens the cage or frees us from our mind.
There is no personal freedom without personal permission. There is no freedom without the effort to be free. Moreover, there is no freedom without the right to stick to it and believe, be, create, build, destroy, recreate and then build again.
There is no freedom that only exists outside the margins of error. Freedom is costly. Success is costly. Dreams are costly too but none of them are more costly than a life that goes unlived. Nothing is more expensive than the waste of life because we only have one. Nothing is more detrimental than a dream that dies, then shrivels, and shreds like an old, once-beautiful painting that time took away and faded from glory.
There are so many reasons why I stay and why I continue. There are more times than not, in which I have felt pain. I have fallen. I have failed. I have been laughed at and told what I do is not “Good enough.”
I have been written off and left for dead in more ways than one. I have been told, “You’ll never make it,” and I might or I might not, but deep down, I have this well that I drink from.
Deep down, I have this source of wonder that keeps me moving. And no, the truth is there are times when I can see the rejection coming. I can feel the pain is on its way. I can see where the “No” comes from. There are times when I reach for the stars only to fall back down to earth with bumps and bruises. I’ve had my share of scrapes and scars.
I have felt my share of humiliation. I have met with those who oppose and those that only pretend to support me. I have heard them say things both secretly and openly, and yet, here I am. I’m still here. I’m still writing. I’m still working. I’m still maneuvering. I’m still trying to create the sweep. I’m working for the top position in the fight to reach my goal. And yes, this is a fight. This does not happen without dedication. Therefore, there are times I will have to fight through the demons that whisper and hold me back.
I have stepped in my own way more times than I can count. I have hurt myself more than anyone else has hurt me. And I know this because pain is relative and often subjective. I have learned that my interpretations are often inaccurate and frequently unimportant. I have learned the deception of my perception is more dangerous than that which I perceive.
This is why we are chained. This is why we are imprisoned.
This has nothing to do with anyone or anything else.
Enslavement is often a state of mind; therefore, freedom is also a state of mind, in which case, if we want to be free then we have to allow ourselves the freedom to try and fail and fall.
I was once told that bravery is not the absence of fear. Bravery is the ability to move forward in spite of fear, and quite honestly, I experience fear on a daily basis.
I am afraid.
I am afraid of the social pressures. I have insecurity. I have bouts with shame and bouts with my dishonesties.
I am an imperfect being in light of the things I understand, yet, somehow, I am like anyone else in this world. I screw up. I fall to my own ideas, which are self-based, and bullshit.
Do you want to know why I come here every day?
I come here because I know that if I don’t, a piece of me will be missing. I know that I will be missing something. I know that if I don’t show up, there will be an idea in my head that keeps the demons whispering in my ear.
I come here because if I stop, then I quit, and if I quit then I will have proven everything I hate was right.
If I stop or quit or resign; then to me, this means I will have allowed myself to fail. I will have proven that I was nothing more than what my insecurity suggests I am.
I come here because by all means, I have to stick to it.
I come here because I have to listen to my Father and show my stick-to-it-iveness because otherwise, I quit, and quitting becomes a habit.
(At least this is what The Old Man told me.)
And to be honest . . .
I don’t need anymore bad habits.
This is a really meaningful post because you’ve so thoroughly explored how it feels to be consumed by so many doubts, self-hate, and twisted perceptions of life, all of which keep us from being who we are meant to be, and how we have to cling to that inner resolve to do what we love regardless of what other people say or what our demons say. I don’t really have anything to add here because you’ve covered it so well. All I can say is, if you fight hard enough, you reach a point where you’re tired of feeling like shit, tired of telling yourself no. I’m tired of beating myself up and I don’t want to do it anymore, no matter how tempted I am.