Judith Slaying Holofernes
Artemisia Gentileschi, 1614 – 18.
…and then let them kill you.
Figuratively. At least, for most of us who are most likely not daredevils.
It could be a swift, sudden motion abruptly announcing the end of your time, or death by a thousand cuts. Honestly, it’s up to you.
It’s terrifying if one cannot identify anything that he or she is passionate about. By “thing” here, I am not really referring to anything physical. I mean, this should be implied already. It could be a belief, a cause, a feeling, or even an idea. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it holds its dear importance and relevance to you and your values.
It’s perfectly normal to not know precisely what you care about, because we’re constantly discovering, changing, and growing as individuals. However, it’s harrowing in a way if you display impartiality in every single facet of life.
What do you feel deeply about? Can you ask and answer that question with candor in your answer? If so, are you actively doing anything about whatever it is that you feel for? If you are stagnant, why are you?
[Note: If you asked yourself these questions and noticed that you were deflecting or feeding yourself really weak excuses, maybe it’s time to break out of your personalized prison that you have singlehandedly built.]
I mean, we’re all dying anyway, we might as well spend most, if not all, of our breaths doing something that matters to us.
Let me be a bit realistic here for a moment. I realize that there are certain restrictions in our lives that are stopping us from doing what we want, or what we think we want sometimes. I’m definitely aware that there are times when our hands are tied, and all we could do is to drift along the flow as much as we want to swim against the current. This is a helpless part of life that we all go through, which also goes hand in hand with failure and our individual insecurities.
I truly get it.
We’re bound to physical and financial limitations at times, and that’s a hard pill to swallow from reality. There are times when we are just incapable. There are also mental barriers including but definitely not limited to the expectations from others as well as personal fears and inadequacies. These are instances where we believe that we are unable, which we just render up any chances to even try at the first place. Extremely self defeating in a way, isn’t it?
We’ve all been through this type of bullshit, we’re still going through it, and we will have to deal with more of it. Stop for a second and just think, or remind yourself that you are in fact inching closer to death as the seconds go by. We were assigned our individual death penalties the precise moment we were conceived.
Does death scare you? It’s such an odd topic to think about in a general sense. As we grow up, we start to learn and also experience death while being alive. (Hell, sometimes we can even feel dead inside while being very much alive.) It could be that plant that finally gave up no matter how hard you tried resuscitating it. It could be a death of a friend, a pet, a distant relative, a stranger, or a loved one. It could be finally hitting that bothersome mosquito or repulsive cockroach (or both!). It’s strange how extreme feelings and emotions ranging from positive to negative can be associated with the demise of an organism.
We don’t really stop and ponder about our deaths. Maybe it’s out of fear; maybe it’s out of denial, well, or both. After all, it is pretty counterproductive to spiral into extreme existentialism. The reason is not important, because no matter how fast we run away from this topic, it’s morbidly lingering there, in the abyss.
That’s okay. It’s the awareness of this fact that’s crucial over here.
One day, you and I and all others will leave this world permanently. Some will leave peacefully, some will leave with pain – we won’t know until that moment.
We will eventually relinquish everything that we take.
Don’t let fear – whether it’s fear of failure, embarrassment, disappointment, argument, or anything, really, paralyze you from action. It can stun you for a bit, and string you along crossroads for a little while, but eventually, the right thing (and you know this, deep down, step off the personal pedestal over there) is to just take that leap of faith and just do it.
Relax (and this is coming from a pessimistic over-thinker here who plays out every single potential negative outcome in her head), usually the worst case scenarios will not happen. Our defense mechanisms get triggered whenever we try to confront whatever we have on our plates. This happens to everyone. We’re just subconsciously protecting ourselves from getting hurt from the potential outcomes, as physical and emotional pain both activate similar brain regions. Even if the worst thing were to happen – congratulations, you’ve already envisioned it in your head already, so you are more than prepared for it. If this occurs more often than not, maybe you can consider becoming a psychic if you haven’t thought through your career path yet. (I’m kidding, please don’t.)
I was, and perhaps I still am a coward. I’m scared to do so many things. There’s constantly a pit in my stomach whenever I have to face an issue that is bothering me.
However, I learned that being frightened makes me nothing but human. If I choose to be stagnant or dissociated from anything and anyone I care about, I may never truly get hurt, because I can avoid direct rejection and failure. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done that. Then I realized that this detachment is causing a persistent pain that I’ve become accustomed and comfortably uncomfortable with for the longest time. I proceeded to reach my breaking point, shattered some core beliefs, and restarted from scratch. It’s absolutely common and understandable to keep anything that might potential hurt you at arm’s length.
…but I know me, I refuse to settle.
I’d rather try, fail, and feel the whole range and package of hurt than to float in limbo, in the zone of nothingness. I hate getting consolation prizes, especially ones that tells me that I’m neither this nor that.
There are so much grays in this world that I’m willing to live with, but there are some parts that I need to know whether I’m in the black or the white.
I’ll be dead one day, so before then that time finally swings by, I can confidently say that albeit the hesitations and pauses, I’ve been chasing and risking agony for things and people that ignite me as much as I could.
Those are my passions, and I’m comfortable to say that I’m more than willing die with, or to be killed by them. I refuse to have it any other way anymore.
How about you?