Sunday, May 27, 2012

let me tell you this

  Lately, I've been feeling my insides stirring again. I'm getting a little restless, my heart has grown and so has my soul, and this current reality which I'm living feels like an old shirt which is starting to fit a little too tightly.  For that very reason, I know that huge changes are coming soon -what it is I'm not specifically sure yet but seeing how it's a journey, I'm planning to find out.

  I have also been having inspiration roll in like bowling balls, hitting all the right targets in me so to stir me up. One of this includes discovering a poem I had once read on a train which had been converted into a cafe while I was on a holiday. I remember being a little puzzled by it then, but I guess that I'd never really forgotten it for it was recently when I realised that I now truly know what it means and so I went in search of it. I found out that its author is someone called Kahlil Gibran, and in the same way in which I had discovered Rumi, his writings immediately resonated with me so there wasn't much more I could do other than to put him on my list of people who inspire me.
  It is incredible how I have made this discovery. Not just the one above, but one day it registered in me that most (if not all) of my strengths, the things that I had the most confidence in doing and know how to do the best, are all things that I have learnt up on my own. The things which have been of the most use and meanings to me are all self-taught; none from the institution (or as I call 'robot churning factory') of schooling.
  My parents taught me how to read. They read to me before the start of my memory, until around I was four or five, when I started reading on my own -and have since never stopped. Then I started writing on my own (one of my first memories of it being a page's diary of a Sunday afternoon) around five or six. Written words have always been my biggest, most consuming love, and it still is. Nevertheless, I believe that I became interested in photography around fourteen. I did not have a camera of my own then, and only received a five megapixels point-and-shoot a year or two later -which I used to shoot quite literally everything. It's been quite a long journey, although at times it doesn't feel entirely like it and I just want to be better so badly it consumes me. Then, here's one which I don't bring up as often, or rather, hardly at all. It is spirituality, or religion, or to me -how to live. I wasn't brought up in a religious family (something which I'm really thankful of right now) and so had never really known much about it. I was taught 'morals', and how to read. I remember a teacher I had in high school who told us that we should spend our lives looking for the 'true religion', the one with the 'truest teachings' and then follow that. I wondered about that back then; however, I have come to learn that there isn't a 'truest religion'. No one religion owns god. God is everywhere, in everything and your heart (where even this words are just pointers. They mean nothing until you discover the place which they point to.) is the best guidance. It was in my search of ways to achieve a dream back then when I stumbled upon all these great truths that other great people back in history have discovered and shared. It is from those understandings which I have learnt the truths of the universe -which most people are unaware about even though they themselves are it- as well as ways to live. I don't need to be taught them, for I actively seek them out and they come.

  Now, back to the main purpose of this post. Here is the poem as mentioned above, and a bit of ramble I poured out the other day when I was all fired up (it wasn't in the best way then, but well, I created something which might inspire you so here it is).

On Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterdays.

You are the bows from which your children 
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
 Kahlil Gibran

  If you have dreams, desires, wishes, wants, anything which you love at all and you have for some tragic reason not pursued it, GO. Go and do it! If you want to dance, go; if you want to sing, go; if you want to write, by all means pick up a pen, pick up any stray piece of paper and write on there! If you don't know how to do them yet, if you think you will never be able to play the piano for the simple reason that you don't know how right now, go and learn. Do anything which brings you closer, which makes you the more you whom you want to be.

  And I'm telling you here right now, if you have these unfulfilled wishes, and are not willing to truly go after them, Do Not ever expect your children to fulfil them for you. Your children are not you. They came to this form through you, but they have their own wants, which may be different from yours. It annoys me more than anything else in the world to hear friends say things like, 'I've always wanted to learn ballet, but I didn't/my parents didn't send me for lessons when I was younger/any other excuse, so I'm going to make my daughter learn it in the future.' It's even worse when they say that their own parents said that and expected that of them.

  What happened to unconditional love? Un-conditional. No conditions. You love them regardless of anything. I've heard of parents who think of their children as 'failures' just because they didn't get the results they wanted them to, didn't take up a degree in medicine or engineering or law... And you still dare to say that 'no matter what, I still love them'. Do the children know? How would they know if they don't feel it?

  If you don't really go after what you want, it probably means that you couldn't have want it that much after all. It means precisely that, because if you'd really want it that bad, no excuse at all would have been able to block you. And one of the only differences between people who live in the best way possible and those who don't is that the former takes complete responsibility for their lives (and also, open-mindedness and wisdom). Those with the knowledge that everything is a choice, every single thing down to the thoughts that orbit in their head, will make things happen rather than complain about whatever is happening.

  Let me tell you this. Your desires are your own, and yours only. Others have their own, respect that. And remember that your happiness is also your very own responsibility; nobody can make you happy or upset without your consent.

  I write this not so much for my parents, but for my friends (as well as a reminder to myself). Those who will someday have younglings of their own. I hope you see truth in this and allow those whom you bring into this world live.

Here I send you much love, courage and support.

1 comment:

  1. Dearest Yi Lin, what you have written here is beyond beautiful. Thank you for filling my night with inspiration :) and also for sharing that beautiful poem! it really is something special.