Not the mirror but the heart is where we should look closely

Today is the last day of 2011. It has been a tough year and a beautiful year. I’m trying to feel what has changed. The first thing that comes up is a sense of loss and closure. I turned 40 in November and I feel that this upcoming life phase is different from the thirties. I am losing touch with what used to be my buddies. Sometimes I have the idea that it is personal, that I’m not invited to things I can’t afford and they want to save me (or themselves) the embarrassment. It could also be that I’m less fun to party with as I used to be. It seems to become less appealing to me to surrender to grave intoxication, mindlessness and superficiality and I might project that out. But I feel the most important factor is the establishing of families. When children are born the rhythm of life changes and there is less room for spontaneity.

Another big thing is that writing has become more of a constant factor in my life. It is strange that although this year was difficult regarding finding new clients I still feel that I discovered something completely new. A whole new ‘product’ or ‘service’ was created. I just realized that I have real output, measurable and everything. I can count the amount of articles I wrote and see how many people read what I wrote. Wait, I will do it now.. I checked and I’m flabbergasted: 21,123 people spent together 599 hours and 58 minutes reading my website. Wow! That is both humbling and hilarious, the idea that so many people read about my struggles, sadness, insecurity and insights.

When I look at the paragraphs above I see a huge paradox in the two things that came up apparently random. On the one hand I had many moments where I felt lonely, misunderstood and even abandoned. I often feel like Goliath’s David, a tiny man fighting for dignity, honesty and integrity in a world where enormous greed, selfishness and cowardice is the norm. There are times when I don’t even feel a part of society but someone who is fighting his own, to the occasional observers mildly entertaining battle in the periphery of real life. On the other hand I see that I actually captured the attention of more than 21 thousand people. Their lives might not have been changed and it might not be much compared to other websites but it is definitely proof that my existence is recognized and valued. People chose to read what I wrote out of free will.

So I can create real proof for myself that both scenarios are true: I’m lonely and ignored and I’m at the heart of the attention, fulfilling my self-chosen and worthy role in the Universe. But the whole idea of proof is delusional: it shows my need for control and safety, for something solid to hold on to, something that is real and thus defines me. The mere fact that I’m trying to prove that some aspect of my life is more true than another is just me creating a mirror image of myself that is incomplete and selective and making myself believe that the image reflects the whole truth.

When our life seems to fit into a scenario we should be warned. Yesterday I learned an important lesson for at least the second time this year. I had rejected a certain possibility because I felt it would create an impossible scenario (to love two women at the same time). I got stuck in the ideas my mind created about life and didn’t allow myself to feel beyond what I thought was acceptable to feel. When we limit ourselves to a particular scenario or version of the truth fear is at work. Every time I venture into ‘the impossible’ new worlds open up because I open up. Why am I saying this? Because this is my big lesson of today’s writing exercise: It is not about getting stuck in a negative self image or a positive self image but about opening up to whatever truth is there for us. Not the mirror but the heart is where we should look closely. By overcoming our fear to explore the impossible the impossible becomes possible. Opposites can be embraced. Fear can be replaced by love. The moment love enters boundaries turn out to be figments of our imagination. They will dissolve and space will arise.

Please keep following your heart in 2012, especially when it takes you beyond the point where you still feel comfortable. That’s where the magic happens. Trust me. It always does.

Thank you for being here with me.


  1. Els says

    Atalwin, thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings en honest looks at yourself. It is most inspiring. Sometimes I wish I would dare to be so honest ‘in public’ (on the internet). It is funny, because writing is my profession and my passion, but that doesn’t mean I’m very skilled in writing the truth about myself.
    Anyway, I wish you all the best for the new year. May your dreams come true.

  2. says

    You appear to be describing that amazing point where truth is more powerful than fear and I think you captured both the beauty of the love it releases and the absolute impossibility that it will ever satisfy ego.

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