However long we stay on this path is however much of life we will have wasted, but if we are able to take in the lessons our darker experiences have taught us, and stop carrying our life further down this dead-end road, then nothing is truly wasted. Oftentimes, these lessons are not obvious. Particularly in the screened culture we live in, the easiest way out is to be distracted. But distractions don’t offer a real “out,” they just sink us deeper.
We are meant for more. We are meant to blossom and thrive and even light up those around us. But we can’t give what we don’t have. We can’t be of any service to those around us if we are perpetuating unprocessed pain. Anger and dissociation are the easiest choices, and ones I’ve chosen many times.
As I’ve spent the last 15 months mostly by myself, disconnected from social platforms, confronting and reckoning with darkness every single day, I’ve learned the following lessons, which I hope will help you find the courage to turn around and light up sooner.
The opposite of lies isn’t truth; the opposite of lies is bravery.
When we think that truth must be in the opposite direction to where our lies are, we are mistaken. They are not opposites; they are located in the same place, at different depths.
The juxtaposition of lies and truths as opposites and mutually exclusive in nature is a misdiagnosis of the most common pain of all. Consequently, not only do we hurt more, but we are further away from the real truths that are actually displaced and masked in the lies we tell. To address the root causes of why we lie, instead of looking away, we should be digging deeper.
To help us switch from a path of disempowerment to empowerment, we must first figure out, where are our pain points? Where do we hurt the most? What can we not speak about?
Recently, I had the honour of meeting Deepa, author of Chup: Breaking the Silence about India’s Women. She told me that the most chilling finding, as she wrote her book, was that women were forced to learn how to disappear over time. That their coming of age stories weren’t ones of empowerment, but a slow and steady process of being diminished and reduced, so that they didn’t take up space or decibels. What does this teach us? That our truths cannot be valued, so we start to erase ourselves.