It has been a difficult year. The most difficult so far, I would say. And I thought I drew all my conclusions and learned all my lessons through the introspection work I had done in the past couple of months. But, after countless crying sessions, carried out pretty much on a daily basis, I finally saw it clearly: 404, écran noir. And while it dawned on me that I have no idea who I truly am and what I want, I did have a light-bulb moment: I realized I have never been genuinely kind to myself, particularly when I needed it the most.
Don’t get me wrong. I did take the time to process everything that happened. I did ask for help when I needed it, something that I only learned to do in recent years. Luckily, I have my support system: my amazing girlfriends, who always have my back.
But some battles are private ones. So private, that the only friend that I gladly accept in those tough moments is music. Oh, and it has held me and healed me countless times!
Some of my friends would say that I mainly listened to sad music lately. But oh, well, how will I process my feelings if I listen to ‘Girls just wanna have fun’ all day long?
This is how I recently came across one of Saez’s latest songs, in which he beautifully states that « Il n’est pas de plus grand courage qu’être gentil ». And it hit me: my entire life, I focused so much on being smarter, more knowledgeable, but not so much on being kinder. Ironically or not, the latter would probably make us happier and the world a better place to live in.
I decided then and there that the first act of kindness that I was going to do towards myself would be to take the time and space to get to know myself better. And this time, not through travelling and personal development books, but by spending time in silence, disconnecting from all external sources and asking myself the questions that I so badly need an answer to: Who am I? What do I want? What am I fearing? And so on.
Charles Horton Cooley once said: ‘I am not what I think I am. And I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.’
I truly and painfully believe that this applies to many of us. We think we know who we are and what we want, but our identity is actually wrapped up in what we think that others think of us.
And while I hope that the meditation retreat that I am planning to attend in September at an ashram in India will contribute to this quest in a positive way, I am conscious that I will be facing a long and strenuous process until I am able to finally get to a place that I can safely call home.