the goodbye letters (#4)

the goodbye letters

self-sabotage

/sɛlf/ and /ˈsabətɑːʒ/

noun

  • the act of undermining a personal cause
  • any underhanded interference with personal productivity and work
  • the act or process of hampering or hurting ourselves
  • the act of deliberately stopping ourselves from achieving success

Dear Self-Sabotage,

I’m a perfectionist. It’s a strength, and it’s a weakness. It’s a strength because it pushes me to excel, but it’s a weakness because if I weigh the chances of success, and decide that they are low, I tend to get stuck; or worse, I don’t even try.

You’re that inner voice that keeps telling me I should be working harder, and if I’m not, I’m already doomed. You’ve chained me to a work ethic that’s rooted in believing that I’m not doing enough because I myself am not enough. And so my efforts feel like I’m punching a wall.

I know some of your other lies, too: “No one will care about what you have to say!” and “It’s already been done – except better!” and the most severe, “You’re running out of time – your window of opportunity has already passed!” It’s the most defeating one because it kills hope; and well, “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life”.

I can barely think for all the lies you scream at me. And that’s your whole point isn’t it? To stop me from thinking, and therefore doing, and being.

I’m enormously talented. Yep – I said it! The opposite has been so ingrained in me for so long that it even feels like a lie to say this – but it’s true. And it’s for that reason –my talent, my drive, my opportunity to give to a world so in need of love and beauty – that I am parting ways with you.

The enemy within, making way for the strength to fight the enemy without.

I will not doubt my success, anymore.

I will not expect to fall as I rise, just because rising feels so far from the ground.

I’m going to touch the sky!

This is farewell, and I’ve sealed it with a prayer and a mustard seed.

So then, goodbye, old friend.

And good riddance!

More than a conqueror,

Dusty

“Unless we learn to know ourselves, we run the danger of destroying ourselves.” 
― Ja A. Jahannes, WordSong Poets

“So I forgive what was taken from me/ I will be free from the picture you paint you see / Tell them ‘these troubles are out of your hands’/ Tell them ‘you’re free to use them to clap and dance.’” – Seinabo Sey, Pretend

Honestly speaking

My mother and uncle as young children

A little girl ran up to me and pointed me towards the book she was holding. “Look!” she said excitedly, pointing to a passage from within the Book. “I found the verse you taught me, here it is…” and then proceeded to read it to me. Seconds later her mother came with her younger brother and spoke to them, “Come on, we have to go now. Say goodbye.” She closed her Bible and waved at me. Her brother ran up and gave me a tight squeeze. He’s so tiny he only reaches my knees and had to wrap his arms around my legs, but the little man almost pushed me over when he came! His small gesture of appreciation left my heart warm all over. It came unexpectedly, and the smile I had afterwards was big enough to cover the road from Grahamstown to Tzaneen.

I love children. I totally get why Jesus said that in order to get into Heaven we have to become like them. They believe so wholeheartedly, trust so completely, and live so honestly. Even if they are manipulative, they are honest in their deception because they really know no better.

TheDustySoul as a young girl

Some people, bless their souls, are “sweep-it-under-the-carpet” folks. They maintain a tradition of pretending that everything is alright when it isn’t, never speaking about the problems in the family in the name of ‘respecting elders’, and that of seeing and not hearing children. Hello to depression, because children seen and not heard put away the pain until the build-up becomes too much. Any vessel can only take so much pressure before it bursts.

theDustySoul with the late Koko Rebecca (maternal grandmother)

I hate pretending. I tried that whole let’s pretend we’re okay thing, and to be honest, honesty is better. You see, when we are honest with ourselves and with others we open up the door for healing to take place. A physical wound cannot heal completely if it is covered up by a bandage. Anyone in the medical profession will tell you that it is better to let a wound be exposed so that the body can form scars, starting the healing process. It’s the same with what’s inside of us. Healing, then, must be preceded by surrender. I choose to surrender my pain because hanging onto it will kill me. I choose life.

theDustySoul dancing on her second birthday (where'd all that rhythm go!?)

Children are usually not afraid to say that they need help. They’ll fiddle with something and finally walk up to you and say, “Please open this bottle for me?” They get that without your help they won’t be able to drink their juice. They’ve taught me that doing that brings not only the help they need, but also the courage to dare further next time. I’m done with secrecy; because where secrecy is respected the darkness of depression is king. I’m done with pushing people who can help me away, because no woman is an island, anyway. And most of all I’m done with pretending I don’t need strength from those around me and from the Source of all Power, because admit it; it takes a lot of strength to admit that we’re weak.

Yours,

Dusty Soul

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32 (New International Version)