Mental Health · Personal Development


"The journey is the reward" © Nishanth Jois, 2012. CC BY 2.0.
The journey is the reward” © Nishanth Jois, 2012. CC BY 2.0.
Faith. It’s all going to come down to faith, isn’t it? Establishing belief that if I work hard on the things that matter I will see improvement.

Noticeable difference.

Faith. Even when it seems like I know better, I don’t. Forgetting every time I felt like I gave my all and got burned anyway. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I am not finite. There is no “all”. No matter how empty, how hopeless, how beaten down I feel. I can always get up again. There is always something I haven’t used yet.

It’s easy to feel I’ve been doing everything I can my entire life. Easy to assume that if any of it were going to make a difference it would have by now. Harder to learn to see the difference between fighting and learning. It’s never been about how hard I can punch, only how quick I can dodge it.

Divert. Disperse. Learn a different tactic.

Don’t try to stop the river. Rivers always find a way. At some point, the dam breaks, and you’re worse off than you were in the beginning. You must be gentle. Coax it. Day by day.

We don’t need elaborate gestures. Don’t need fireworks that draw our eyes up, then fade out into nothing. We need constant pressure. And I know that’s harder.

Harder because there are no grand ceremonies. No celebrations or finish lines. We just trudge forward and hope we’re doing better than we were.

Faith. Understanding that growth, that improvement, has always been gradual and near invisible. Only observable by looking back. By remembering where we were a month, a year, a decade ago.

This is not a fight. It is a slow and steady climb. And yes, it’s easy to feel like Sisyphus. But the boulder isn’t rolling down. We never go all the way back to the bottom again.

All the work is always counting. We will continue to push our limits and surprise ourselves. It’s okay to take a moment and throw some confetti.

33 thoughts on “Dopamine

  1. I’m throwing this out, for what it’s worth..
    in yoga today my teacher talked about Ram Dass who suffered a pretty devastating stroke years ago. And when he was asked about how hard everything was for him he replied that only in looking back was there suffering. As long as he stayed present(even amidst the shit!) he was content.
    I agree that so often it is only by looking back that we see the trajectory of our lives and how they inch forward most of the time, sometimes leaps forward or back, but it is slow and steady. But staying centered and grounded in the now is our best friend, that place of fait and hope, because that’s all we really have, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you. I can totally relate to that. Being present is what will makes us happy. At then end, we have no power over the past nor the future. Present is what we have and what we can manage.


  2. I am very moved by your latest blog. We are advised to look back but not stare. But it is only by looking back and coming to terms with what my live has been that I have the motivation and strength to move forward with any contentment. I feel content. I feel gratitude. Thank you.


  3. I’m still a fighter, and the river and me are reckoning, but I’m grateful to be a reader of your work.


  4. Ruby, you’re perceptive and thoughtful, sometimes profoundly so. If there are moments in which you can find nothing else to be glad for, be glad for that. Practice is valuable, but perspective is invaluable.


  5. This is interesting for me. I have always viewed my depression as a lifelong war with daily battles. Some days I win, other days I merely survive. My therapist reminds me to think of where I was four or five years ago, and to be proud of the progress I’ve made, but that never seems enough for me. I need to work on patience and self-love. Thank you for giving me a new perspective.


  6. You’re right. It is difficult to keep the pressure constant, even though you know that is the way to do it. Easy to feel hopeless and give up, after all, what were excuses made for? Right? Faith and I however, don’t see eye to eye. It is difficult to believe in something only because you must. Food for thought?


  7. You must be gentle, coax it day by day, I love that part, tells me to take one day at a time, a local adage in my country rightly says: life na jeje ‘.
    Beautiful post.


  8. This is very good. It was a very hard-earned truth for myself. It is endurance that matters; how well we walk through the fire. Keep doing what you’re doing. You may not be where you want to be just yet, but know that on your way there you are helping others with wise, calm, decent words. Just wanted to let you know that you made my day a little better, a little softer, a little easier.



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