I got encouraged by my discovery that Charles Darwin had severe anxiety, had to lie in bed almost every day for hours, and yet he still made a huge contribution to the world.
“Darwin had spent most of the past three decades — during which time he’d struggled heroically to write On the Origin of Species housebound by general invalidism. Based on his diaries and letters, it’s fair to say he spent a full third of his daytime hours since the age of twenty-eight either vomiting or lying in bed.”
I have come to a point where I stopped having any buried messianic tendencies in myself – I don’t need to make a huge contribution to the world, I just want to be capable of being unapologetically myself.
When I have the space to be myself, my natural tendency is to keep on creating, connecting and loving. Being in Bali for almost a month has taught me that given all the space and time in the world – being unable to work (I don’t mean in a job) is akin to living hell. There’s only so much of staring into space I can do.
My eyes are still in a terrible state, and Darwin above has given me the idea that as long as I don’t go blind, I could put up with the pain and still carve out a couple of hours to do some intense work, and curl up incapacitated the rest of the day. So, I did the right thing this week by booking an appointment with an eye specialist. I am doubtful it will help – western medicine is still ineffective at anything chronic – but it will give me a peace of mind that I am not going blind.
I am brimming with a ton of ideas in my head, probably mostly bad ones, but I have learned that as long as I keep expressing myself, keep birthing things into existence from my imagination, I am doing a respectable job (at least to myself) of honouring my own humanity.
Age has taught me it doesn’t matter how others perceive me, even though sometimes it may still inflict pain or joy on me, ultimately it is my perception of myself that will define whether I am willing to look at myself in the mirror or not. I just have to keep on reminding myself that, because my conditioned instinct is still to look to others for acceptance.
I am getting better at it though. I am so used to being alone and coping with everything alone, that sometimes I forget I do have a small but growing tribe of people surrounding me. Being able to see myself in their eyes, is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.
Yet the irony and the moral of the story is – I had to be willing to be myself first, in order to be capable of seeing myself in their eyes.