good things to remember for ever and more

28 December 2020

It is not uncommon for me to become attatched to certain quotes, but recently I have found myself relying on two quotes more than others. Niether are particuarly profound, and they may mean nothing to some, but they hold meanings that changed my perception of the world for the better and I believe that to others they may hold the same great resonance that they do for myself. (and what a better time to have some inspirational quotes than on the brink of a new year!)

postcard from here

'Well, maybe we should try not to understand so much, and accept some more' -Matt Haig, The Humans.

I think the attempt to understand everything is to make everything seem a little easier. Hardships appear better when the mechanics are understood, crises seem more bearable when the root problem can be identified, but when has life ever been so simple? Some things should be understood. Understanding emotions can help us better identify triggers, learning how the covid-19 vaccine works provides great reassurance, and I am sure there are a million more things that make life easier when they are understood. But many aspects of life are nothing more than abstractions. They appear and happen and are felt for reasons that can not always be understood and interpreting the reasonings behind such things can only get us so far. As much as some things are simply not able to be understood, sometimes they are not meant for us to understand. Many times this year, I have tried too hard to understand things that are actually impossible to understand, and I have caused myself more grief than neccessary by dwelling on why some things have happened. I forgot the bliss and learnings that can come simply from accepting things. Like I said, life is full of abstractions, emotions and motivations do not hold a physical embodiment so trying to understand them is not always possible. When we come to accept more and understand less, I think life can become a little lighter. It becomes easier to learn from things as we have accepted that the only thing we are able to control and understand is how we react and grow from some happenings. Not everything in life needs to be, or can be understood and attempting to accept more and understand less is probably one of the best things we can do for ourselves.

‘I occasionally experience myself as a cluster of flowing currents…[which]...require no reconciling, no harmonizing… I prefer this to the idea of a solid self, the identity to which so many attach so much significance’ - Edwaird Said, Out of Place: A Memoir 

This has slightly been taken out of context in the way I have come to deeply appreciate it. I first heard it in a lecture about the impact of colonialism on forming an identity and how it affects one's ability to rely on a stable sense of self. This is not to diminish the importance this quote has in postcolonial studies, but I also believe it has great resonance for those experiencing mental health difficulties. Often, when struggling with my own mental health I felt like I was constantly trying to return to being ‘the real me’, but how detrimental it was of myself to view the non-suffering me as the blueprint of my existence. I failed to see the problems of trying to return to a way of being, but this quote helped me to realise that identity is not a stable entity. There can not be a past self to return to because the self is not stable and fixed but instead is a ‘cluster of flowing currents’ that do not always fit together, that do not always make sense, that can never be returned to because the things that make us who we are continuously change. To think of myself as a fluid identity rather than a solid self makes it easier to accept my own adaptability, it makes sense because I am an accumulation of happenings, I cannot return to a way I used to be because that part of my existence never left, it simply changed slightly. I once read something that described our souls as animating the bodies we live in, and what a perfect way of describing it. We animate our bodies, we provide it with action and give it a life; our souls are not stagnant things in our bodies, nor does our soul separate  inside of us, therefore there is nothing ever to return to, no part of us ever gets lost. We are animated, we are moving, we are living, so we should never cause ourselves sorrow by wanting to return to a past self, because the past self is our current and future self. 

So, I hope these quotes provide you with some reassurance and hopefully they help you through tough times like they have myself. With all that being said, here is a final quote to remember : ‘you can get through anything, one day at a time’

© Libby-Jade. Design by FCD.