Stars and Fireflies

Gandhi said
You must be the change
You wish to see in the world
So you’ve been curled up and sad?

Anxiety attacks. I’ve never had any of those–at least,not that I’m certain of. Someone told me I had one when I was a teenager, right when I started university. All I could remember now was how awful it was, how I struggled for composure and control over a body that was slowly shattering and freezing.

Still on that same year, I had a period of soul-searching they say, although I wouldn’t really call it as such. I was seventeen, with little knowledge of what a soul is. Souls, to me then, are those that come out of our fragile little bodies and fly up into the heavens, returning home to our dear God. They’re white fluffy things, but only appear when we’ve drawn our last breath. Otherwise, they live inside us like a financial manager keeping records, in this case, of our moral credits and misses. If that were soul-searching, I never found my soul largely because I didn’t think it was gone.

Depression is the first blessing
It means you’ve been in tune
But now the moon is waiting
For you to burn bright

Last year was different. Although I thought it was just like what I had in my seventeenth year, I found myself on an entirely different state. I wish I had documented every single day I spent through it to remind me not to ever go back.  Depressed was the likely term my generation would use to describe the me then. No, I wasn’t diagnosed but you don’t really need a professional to tell you that you’re in your lowest possible time and that you needed help. I, for one, searched and yearned for help. For someone to talk to and make me understand what I was going through. For someone to ask me the right questions so I can find the answers. For someone who knows the right thing to do to get me out of that fearful state. I was extremely sad, and the environment I was in offered no refuge.

And there has never
Been a time
When your light
Was needed more
Never a time like this before

It’s all over though..since I created my refuge.

I realized comfort offers several different versions of life. On one hand, it can make you feel contented and happy while on the other, it can open you to ideas you’d never find yourself thinking over with. Also, comfort doesn’t necessarily bring or mean happiness.

Yes you are small
We are all as small
As a single breath
But tied to the rest

They say fight fire with fire and I did. I fought sadness with longing. The knowledge that I was happy before and could be happy again gave me hope. Perhaps somewhere within me I could find myself not very broken, having enough courage to stand up, dust it off, and take control over my heart and mind. I wasn’t optimistic at all when I started looking. I had a feeling I can only find so little left of me, but that desperation for balance–for happiness–kept me going.

We are all the life of the world
The pulse that turns rocks to pearls
Inside the darkness Of their shells

The search brought me to my soul. Reading, a beautiful escape, helped a lot in this journey. It led to places and ideas I wouldn’t have known. I learned that deep within us lies our soul–beautiful, passionate, and colorful. It takes different forms as you nurture it with thoughts, experiences, and emotions. Now I don’t see it as  a white thing that only appears at my death. Not anymore. My soul is me. An iridescent figure. Broken, wounded, and  still very beautiful.

I’ve tried to nurture my soul since then. I’ve started thinking of ways to let it grow and make it stronger. We’re all responsible for our souls. Whatever form it takes, whatever vibe it gives off, whatever strand of colors it shows, it is our own doing. Truly, reflecting on your past, present and future–your life as a whole–will make a great difference.

And as you search deep within for your soul, you may also find your dream. It’s the spark that keeps you climbing the tallest mountains, paddling the greatest waves, and through the strongest storms.

So become the well
Where wishes are born
Become the bell
That rings when even
The birds refuse to sing
Become the wings that fly

Find your soul, and let it shine. Let it be like the firefly, roaming around fearlessly in the dark. Let it be like the stars in the sky, shimmering and gorgeously bright even in vast darkness.

There was no need to look for refuge far and beyond, after all. My own refuge is me–deep within me.

And every time  you’re full of sorrow
Every time you wake up crying
Know that that day
Is a perfect day
To shine

~ Andrea Gibson


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