Retrospective But Relevant

My brother will always have me to hold his hand, even if not physically.A couple of months ago, my brother faced some eye-opening experiences. But as many of us know, when our eyes are opened, it doesn’t always mean we know where exactly to finally look. He needed his older sister – authoritative enough to guide him, but young enough to be able to see things from his perspective. I regret that I was only reachable through the powers of technology, where silence is rather distancing and sometimes deafening, when in fact he needed the kind of comfortable silence that happens only when two people share a singular space of affection and quiet understanding.

I tried my best to supplement the distance and the wistful silence with what I felt was the two greatest tools I have always had (and yet I feel I need to make a disclaimer – I mean that they are what have been most effective for me from experience, but not that I have mastered either or both of them completely): I used my heart and my words.

This weekend I realised I needed to heed my own words as much as I hoped my brother did. One of the many tricks to life is that we recognise how we are our own worst critics, but hardly see how we are also our own best advisers. So I place my words here, in a place (insofar as you can consider the internet a place) where I can easily look back on it, and in a place where, if anyone should need it, it can easily be found. (Needless to say I’ve excluded some things that were more personal in nature.)

 

Hi Kuya,

 

I can imagine how much you must be going through, and although I cannot say that I know exactly how you feel, I can say at the very least that I understand.

You have dreams, I know how this feels. I am a dreamer, just like you, and it makes all the sense in the world, because we were raised by two dreamers. But those dreamers have also been very hard workers. And although dreaming came to us possibly inherently and genetically, hard work is something we must do on our own.

Remember that you are human – this will determine many things.

Being human means that you have a great capacity for intelligence, for strategy. That you have been physiologically made to be able to withstand pressure, stress, challenges that are emotional, mental and physical.

That you have been given biological and psychological traits to accomplish great things, to survive, and also to evolve, always learning new ways to adapt and go beyond those before you.

But being human also means limits. You have been given intelligence, but you are not all-knowing. You have been given strength, but you are not invincible. I suppose what matters most is that we humans have been given a capacity for change.

And it’s up to us, to take that capacity for change to make us better, or make us worse. To improve our lives and the lives of others, or to be insignificant or worse, unhelpful.

Everything you are going through now, all your frustrations, your sense of limits, is a sign of growth.

Just think of shoes and how you outgrow them. This is how you know you’ve come to a point for new shoes – when your old ones pinch your feet, and make it difficult to walk.

And you can buy the exact same pair, or a completely different one, but in a size larger and more able to accommodate how you have grown.

You are frustrated and uncomfortable about the situation because you have outgrown it – you have surpassed the mental capabilities of those who have started this project. You’ve grown so much that all you can do is think outside of the box, while they still think inside of it.

And that’s okay.

My main concern is that you end up letting the success of your dreams ride solely on the success or failure of someone else’s.

It’s okay to be helpful – of course it is even encouraged. But remember that you are most helpful when you are whole.

And by whole, I mean fully intact with your hopes, your dreams, your determination and will.

Others can gain from your wholeness. You become more of a help, an inspiration,

But both parties only lose when you become divided – you go about things with just half of yourself, and others have very little to gain with just little parts of you.

So don’t forget to take care of yourself. This is the best way you can help sometimes. Take care of yourself and become someone whom others don’t have to worry about.

And then because you are so well taken care of, you will find you are able to offer more.

Sometimes what we think are our weaknesses are actually our strengths in disguise – we just haven’t mastered our will to turn it into our ally rather than our enemy.

Another way to look at it, I guess, is the way they say monks train to be ninjas (haha).

They run with iron shoes, heavy andpainful. They master the pain, and the weight.

And when they try to run without the shoes, they find that they learned to run much faster, although while running with iron shoes, they weren’t running fast at all.

Sometimes the journey towards the goal looks or feels nothing like the goal itself, but when you get there, you get to appreciate everything that brought you to it.

          All the answers you need are inside of you – some answers just require a bit more bravery to acknowledge.
         Just be cautious in turning to easy ways out – easy ways out come in so many different forms that deceive us
         sometimes into thinking it’s the ONLY way out.         I know you’re strong, that you’ll pull through.

        Take care, just email when you need me. 🙂
        Love,
        Ate
The pursuit of something good is not always the pursuit of something easy: sometimes it is brutal, it’s exhausting, it’s repetitive, it’s boring. Sometimes it’s uneventful, painful, discouraging. But if you cease your pursuit of something good, simply because it ceased to be easy, then you determine for yourself just how deserving you are of that good you wanted to achieve. This is something my brother and I are learning together, despite the age gap, the situational differences, and the distance. And I don’t believe it’s a lesson anyone can ever truly master – it will impose itself on us many times over, in different forms, from different angles, but each time we are faced with it will be a different learning experience from the last. So here’s to more attempts at trying for the good, instead of trying for the easy.
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