You should talk to yourself. Really. I know you already do that. But you must talk to yourself intentionally. The answers are all there. You just need to ask the right questions.
Time: Years ago.
Location: Somewhere irrelevant.
“Fix me,” I say.
“But are you sure you’re broken?”
Yes, I am sure. Look, here, look at my health; I smoke like a chimney, I can’t run more than a 100 meters without risking a bloody exploded heart, I climb stairs and feel that I just climbed Kilamanjaro. Remember those pushups I used to do; 50, 60 at a time? Last time I tried, I collapsed after 8. Fell flat on my face.
And my work? I live from deadline to deadline! There is no aspect, not even a fleeting hint, of a routine — I work when I have to, and I make sure I don’t have to. I have turned this whole thing upside down; work is supposed to bring joy and peace that you are contributing, you are playing your part. But my work is not work, it is just a money-making machine. It just exists to bring in some cash. It sounded good in the beginning, but now I have nothing meaningful in my life. Don’t you see the fracture here? It is all broken.
My friends? The last time I called them was when I was bored — they are there for me, a phone call away. But am I there for them? See? Fractured and broken.
And my family!? See that I talk about them here, after I’ve talked about myself and my friends? They MUST be on top of my priority list but they just aren’t. They love me. So much that it sickens me. Their love makes me feel guilty. I want them to hate me just so I can be at peace with not paying any attention to them. See? Fractured and broken.
I need fixing. What should I do?
The voice inside my head is far wiser than I am. I wait for it to answer.
So I talk some more…
The problem is big, I’m sure you can see now. Stumped you didn’t I? The problem is not in one “area” of life, it is everywhere. The problem is not in technique, the problem is in behavior. I don’t need a quick fix… I have come this far with quick fixes, don’t you know that? Sure you do.
Remember when God to me was this accumulation of stories my elders told me? Remember how that was so confusing? And you surely must remember how we found Him through His Word? And how we confirmed and rejected many of the things people were saying about God? Wasn’t that just beautiful? Wasn’t that liberating? Isn’t God Grand? Remember how we brought God in our daily lives, even in our vocabulary? Alhumdulillah, I had a problem, we dug deep and we found a solution, didn’t we?
Remember when I had no money? We started this ridiculous business — we surprised everyone around us, didn’t we? We made good money didn’t we? Yes we did. Didn’t we start way too many businesses then? Wasn’t that fun? But with all that money, what next?
Money solved a very small problem. I now see that it was not even a problem, it was just a want, a desire that was presented as a problem. I bought it. I thought it was a problem to solve. We solved it.
But don’t you see, this is beyond that. I don’t need a band-aid, a freaking quick fix… I need a strategy, a plan… something that tells me “what next”, something that no-matter-what keeps me content. Why is this so much turmoil in my life? The world’s burning I know, and guess what? I won’t be the person who fixes some small part of the broken world, you know why? Because damn it, I’m broken too! Two brokens don’t make a fixed.
What? You’re smiling now? What, why are you giggling?
“That was a good line; two brokens don’t make a fixed.”
I remain quiet. The voice inside my head has a sense of humor, and this means the voice was listening. And to talk, he must listen first…
You see, the problem doesn’t lie in behavior. The problem lies in belief…
And just like that, the voice started talking. And didn’t stop.
The battle to “fix myself” is constant. When I feel that I’ve fixed myself, I later find that I was most broken then. Constant and never ending improvement is the only way forward. Content, but never satisfied; otherwise I won’t grow.