“There is a part of me that wants to write, a part that wants to theorize, a part that wants to sculpt, a part that wants to teach…To force myself into a single role, to decide to be just one thing in life, would kill off large parts of me.” ~ Hugh Prather
I was in school when I stumbled upon this quote, and it blew my mind.
At that moment, I felt it was written for me. Today, with the knowledge, information, and experience that I have, I realise it holds true for each one of us.
We are all made whole by these parts we have, and we all have them. This revelation—that I have so much more to me than perhaps the career I choose or a job that I do—changed my life.
We are satisfied as a whole when we are able to cater to different parts of us.
A part that wants relationships or the one that wants a career it can be passionate about.
Then there’s one that wants to travel or the one that wants to stay grounded.
A part that wants to be still, and the one seeking adventure all the time.
We need each of them to balance the others. Even if one is discontent or dissatisfied, it sends ripples across all the others.
As much as we try to compartmentalize or tell ourselves that one isn’t affecting the other; it’s only a matter of time before the effects start showing up.
Take a moment and think, which part of you is dissatisfied at the moment?
How does this dissatisfaction spill over to the others?
We’re always trying to balance the external when the key lies within.
Happiness, satisfaction, contentment—they all originate from within. Each and every part of us holds the key to these. A key that we often go looking for outside.
“There is no such thing as work-life balance. It’s all life. The balance has to be within you.” ~ Sadhguru
Often, we are unable to pay attention to the parts of us that are crying out loud because of some barrier we have put ahead of us. Barriers that are nothing more than our own mental cobwebs. This was also something I realized when I read another quote by Hugh Prather that said, “It’s not that we fear the place of darkness, but that we don’t think we are worth the effort to find the place of light.”
Well, it took me some time to figure this one out and, when I did, it again shifted something in me.
We all live most of our lives in our minds. We are either battling with our past, trying to pry ourselves away from it, or spend the other half worrying about the future.
And we lose the present in all of this. The very space in which we are supposed to live. The space in which all our parts need to come together to form a whole.
We need to feel nurtured by our relationships now.
We need to feel passionate about what we are doing now.
We need to deal with whatever is blocking our growth now.
Who knows what tomorrow may bring; we didn’t know we would be sitting amidst a pandemic, watching bits of our life simply go by…
All we have is now.
We can’t control or change what happens outside of us (most of the time). But what happens within us—within each part of us—is always up to us.
We can keep ourselves from falling apart or piece ourselves together in different ways if we have to. Form a new “whole” and live wholeheartedly.
Perhaps we can. Perhaps we should.
“I’m convinced that this anxiety running through my life is the tension between what I ‘should be’ and what I am. My anxiety doesn’t come from thinking about the future but from wanting to control it. It seems to begin whenever I smuggle into my mind an expectation about how I or others should be. It is the tension between my desire to control the world and the recognition that I can’t. ‘I will be what I will be’—where is the anxiety in that? Anxiety is the recognition that I might not reach the rung on the opinion ladder I have just set for my self. I fear death most when I am about to exceed what I believe others think of me; then death threatens to cut me off from myself, because ‘myself’ is not yet.”
~ Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself