There has been so much going on in the world lately – no, wait. There is always a lot going on but it came crashing down in my immediate world. 2020. Ehhhh!! I want to blame the year and as it’s said “throw the entire thing away” but I’ve also had some amazing memories this year: my son turned one, my husband and I celebrated another anniversary and oh yeah! We launched our website AND started a podcast! Queue a jubilant elelelelel!
Unfortunately, having celebrated many joyous moments does not minimize the plethora of painful ones that hit home this year. What’s more, I’m being forced to face the one person I didn’t realize I was ignoring: myself. We’re all being forced to be more introspective – more like being given the opportunity to do so. Being pulled away from the people we love, the places we frequent and the events we look forward to going to leaves our mind idle; what we decide to do with this time can shape how our future will be. As for me, I’m on a quest to discover my true self; I have been asking myself some tough questions: who am I? Why am I the way I am? What can I do to reach my ideal self?
Let me tell you, these are some difficult questions to answer for a person who has always been focused on others: helping others, making sure they’re in a good space, making people happy and sending love outwards. While on this journey, I’m learning so much about myself and it’s not all sweet; there are some sour parts and some spice too. Through it all, I’m making sure to be intentional about giving myself grace, having sympathy and the time to understand the past; all of this is being done in a “judgement free” zone.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is – what’s real for me may not be real for someone else even though we’re experiencing the same situation – this is because of the prism we’re looking at the situation from. My current stance is a composition of all of my past experiences and my future will also include my current stance and beliefs. This is the reason why we need to be introspective NOW! We need to know what we’re carrying, why we’re holding on to things and evaluate if those things still serve us. If we continue to walk with our eyes wide open but blind to our internal struggles, we will continue to shape the world through our pains.
Stephen R Covey said it best “we see the world not as it is but as we are.” We need to come to terms with our past in the present so our future has a chance to be great.
Bethlehem Bekele is a cultural ambassador, mental health advocate and founder of KinetBet, an organization that highlights the cultural beauty and diversity of Ethiopia, serves as a bridge to the wider diaspora and starts meaningful conversations on ways to effect positive personal and community change.