6 ways to be stuck & retrogress in life

Ahmed Saeed

As the renowned singer and songwriter John Lennon once said: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one”. There are two types of people in this world; a dreamer, and a realist. 

If our dream is a driving motive for us to create, let’s embrace it! You are empowering, beautiful, portentous, and capable of achieving the impossible. The skills that you are ought to discover, ideas that will bring prosperity to society, inventions that will ease our lives and elevate its quality, and art that will bring us closer to ourselves, and others; these objectives will serve our purposes toward our goals, which will serve humanity. 

Believe in your power, nurture it, and share it collectively. When life beats you down, I don’t wish for you to remain in a state of despair, but I can show you what that would look like. I won’t go too far, I’ll use my own experience with bullying as an example.

1. Don’t question your behavior.

I was subject to bullying in 2009 when I attended high school, and it’s safe to say that it was a turning point in my life. School itself was alright, but the batch I joined weren’t exactly so. 

I was willing to focus and study, but it wasn’t easy to accomplish when you’re on a constant defensive mode. I had to deal with a lot of nonsense on a daily basis. I made some friends, but only a few knew what friendship is. 

Connection is a human need, and real friendships are the kind that do not require an effort to connect deeply; it’s there naturally. On the other hand, we were raised to not question — yet to follow orders. 

This process conditions the mind to think, and emotions to weaken. We need to start questioning our behaviors, and start connecting with our intuitions. We were taught to do a lot of things ever since we were kids but we never questioned why. Bullying is a bad thing; yet, when I was getting in fights on a daily basis, others laughed because they found it funny and normal. 

We see it in the movies and condemn it, yet we laugh about it at times in real life. When you see someone being bullied, do not laugh, rather stand beside that person in need, and embrace them.

2. Don’t face your problems.

This experience led me to decide between two options. Either I fight it, or let it devour me. I started facing it in a physical way by playing martial arts professionally. 

Regardless of my being physically stronger and more skillful, I realized that I still felt the impact I had in high school whenever I remember their faces. You can label it as a traumatic experience. 

Perhaps a psychiatrist, or a life coach would have helped me go through it at the time. But I was not ready to face any of my high school bullies. It reached a point where I felt I wanted to face them, to know the truth behind their actions. 

That’s when I realized it; it was in 2016 when I was accidently in a place where one of my bullies had intersected my path. He came to me, my heart started pumping even though I knew I was physically stronger. But somehow all of my vivid memories came crashing down in that particular moment, and suddenly my muscles started to shiver, as if I was entering my first fight ever. 

The guy reached to me and attempted to shake my hand to simply greet me. But after continuous struggle and ongoing thinking, I came to a conclusion; I needed to find a way to survive. And as humans, we have the tendency to adapt in the most extreme conditions.

3. Carry all the weight around with you, and don’t forgive.

After watching a lot of motivational videos every morning as I was going to the training center, and on the way back from the university, I realized that forgiveness is a great tool to use. It’s not easy, but it’s something that has the power to take me out of this trauma. Throughout the years, as I was practicing theatre as a passion, I realized there was a bigger world to express, a wider world to perceive, and a much more important aspect of life that an individual should focus on. 

4. Have no compassion whatsoever.

The need of art in my life has created a natural formation of humane values; compassion. I started feeling people, hearing their thoughts, listening to their body expressions, acknowledging society’s negativities and learning to overcome them. That generated the love of connectivity with people. 

It is not easy, but it is possible to find something that creates light in you that others would find, and the opposite. With this humane quality, you will have the absolute strength to not only forgive, but have a positive influence on others. Art was and will ever be my medium of expression, as well as self/collective growth. 

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5. Refuse change at all costs.

I can visualize myself traveling the world, and discovering different perspectives of life. With time, it became a need for me to accept change, because our basic human nature is dynamic. It’s a never-ending need for change. 

An atom cannot stay in one place, they move, transform, and with temperature they become invincible.

6. Don’t acknowledge what you went through.

We need to embrace and face our struggles. If we stopped holding on to thoughts that no longer serve us, that bring us pain, and ones that were imposed by society for the sake of old traditions; then we will be able to achieve and prosper with purpose. As long as we are living, thinking “we are free”, we can do it.

In reality, we are living in a circle surrounded by invisible barriers, which can be unraveled by penetrating our unlimited potentials with passion, courage, and belief to make a better change to ourselves and eventually to the world. 

Eventually,

I met my other bullies 6 years after I graduated. Some have changed, and others have remained the same. However, both of them made me who I am today. My bullies, if you are reading this, I forgive you, love you, and thank you for making me the person who I am today. You made me stronger. You made the artist who longs to live. Without you, I would never have thought of writing this article. 

Finally, if you have better ways to get trapped in life and retrogress, then you are on the right track. “To be free is to be in peace, to be in peace is to breathe, to breathe is to live, and to live; is to be free.”Ahmed Saeed

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