A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

“Be Like a Tree, Let the Dead Leaves Fall” – Rumi

May 26, 2019

Letting Go of Our Story

Photo by Ash from Modern Afflatus on Unsplash

I am standing in the middle of my story, a handmade quilt, small pieces sewn together. I am thinking of how attached I am to my story It’s a fact that we all are caged by our stories, and we all feed on our past. We’re playing the incidents of our lives over and over again. We identify and cry over our sorrows, and we do not realize while being busy doing so that we are missing out on the magic of now. We miss out on life itself, for we are not in action mode, but we are in the dreaming mode. By getting attached to our past, we are already drawing a circle of self judgments and self limitation around ourselves, which in turn prevents us dare to step out of it.  I think getting tangled with our past serves us as a band aid, a pain killer. It’s a way of escaping the responsibilities of being in the reality of now and dealing with it – as harsh as it might be. 

I have always admired people who can walk away from a bad situation with a brand new plan of building anew again. For example, when you watch interviewers on T.V. talk to people whose houses were destroyed in a flood or in a fire, there are always two types of people with two completely different attitudes and points of view. One group is still grateful to have their health and their loved ones and is still able to go on and start building a new home and a new life all over again. Then we encounter the other group, who is looking for sympathy and wants to make a career out of a tragedy, getting stuck and playing the victim for the remainder of their lives. The group of people who can separate themselves from their stories and their pasts, get rid of the heavy burdens on their shoulders, burn it all together, and rise from the ashes like a phoenix, flying and soaring as high as they can, are the real winners.

How can we belong to this group, I ask myself. I don’t have all the answers, even though I am on a self-discovery and self-improvement journey, like the rest of you. Even though we live in an era where everyone seems to finally have been able to find self-enlightenment and everyone seems to have the answers, I do not.

I often think of how our society has become obsessed with self-improvement, and how we are all pep-talking and motivating each other, uplifting ourselves and others at all times. I wonder how it was for Emily Dickinson and all the other people who lived in the era of the 18th century. Did they have to go through all this self-criticizing and self-improvement that we are subject to in our times now? Everywhere we turn, there are positive words of wisdom coming to us, encouraging us to dream big and not to give up. I sometimes wonder, Does one size off this rack fit all? Having an art gallery and dealing with art and artists all day long and all my life, I came across so many artists that were in pursuit of their dream of being a great, successful, world known artist. In their own mind, they really had the impression that they would be there one day. However, looking at their real potential as far as their talent goes, I could well see that some of them just did not have what it takes to make it to where they wanted to be. These artists would express to me with total passion that they were willing to starve, to go through every torture at any length just to continue creating their art!

I realize dreaming is a club that takes everyone as a member, but can dreaming the wrong dream be indeed hazardous to our lives? Could it serve us as another form of a drug and be totally destructive? It seems while we are dreaming the wrong dream, our lives actually leave us behind, moving forward without us being present in it. Can we have our dreams custom made for us to suit and fit our personalities, our short comings, and our strengths? Can there be kind of a GPS – an app – to filter the positive-thinking avalanche of advice accessible to us to suit each individual according to the type of person they are? Actually, in my head, like you all, I carry a collection of similar positive motivational pep talks, which, for years, I have collected from here and there and from going through the media and the social media. According to this collection, we are all under the pressure of going through extensive self-improvement and we are all forbidden to despair, to be down and imperfect. No one is allowed to be weak. We all have to be as ambitious as we can be and get to the very top and achieve our purpose in life and beyond, and magically get up the minute we fall down.

I am standing in the middle of my story! 

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Posted in LIfestyle, Miscellaneous & Opinion |

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