The Heart of Listening.

There’s been this nagging discomfort right in the depth of my heart, a feeling that has decided to be felt, against all odds. When it began, I dismissed it for my mood because  they (my moods) are crazy and they scare me sometimes. But this one made me feel uninterested in any other thing but it and I knew my normal crazy mood wasn’t at fault, she knows when to end, that I at least give her credit for. There’s the other mood, the one that hormonal changes and woman ish brings, that too was discharged and acquitted of any guilt.

I looked but saw nothing. I listened but I heard only the soft sounds of that feeling giving me a litany of things I’d rather leave to faith and hope. Anyone close by receives the brunt of the feeling’s effect on me. I wish I could make it go away, yet it stood still and strong like a soldier sworn to a duty post.

What can I do? How can I help me? This has to go away, quickly. Music! I thought. Then as swiftly as the idea came, so did my ears get plugged! Passenger won’t help my cause I decide, he’d only aid and abet this feeling’s work. I settle for any other random song from the 10 inch tablet I’m using. My earphone, as if on a conspiracy with that same feeling begins to misbehave. I give up on music.

Social media comes to mind and quickly, Facebook is clicked on the speed dial of my browser. As if also  a conspirator, it gives more justification to everything the feeling has been trying to say to my defiant ears. The first thing I see is the post of one of those entrepreneurs I follow as a need for inspiration. Good heavens, she has toured the world, and here, I have done nothing other than go on tours in my head! What are you doing, I hit my head in annoyance. Think! That is your function, I scream at it.

The feeling smirks, I see it do it with the eye of my heart, after all, it resides within my heart. Action more than intents matter when it comes to success it says ruefully. I scroll down, looking for something to plead my cause. There’s none. All I see are people conquering their worlds. This time I close my eyes, hold my breath, seal my mouth shut, and pinch my skin, in rebellion to the laziness of my sense organs to sense a world I can conquer. The brain is lucky it is encoded in a big, hard covering like my head, else the grey matter would have become white and functional!

With conspiracies everywhere, I’m left with this feeling. I go outside the house. The darkness welcomes me and shows me love with the little light from the crescent moon high above me. The mosquitoes greet me with glee. I ignore them. The smell of burnt beans escapes from the house on the other side of the wall and passes through my nostrils. I welcome them! Anything to distract me from that feeling.

But I can’t run away from it, because it is at the core of my being, the engine of my system, where the beats determine if I can be considered living. So you see, I can’t avoid it.

“Listen to me”, it tells me. I shake my head in revolt. I don’t want to be sad and miserable, I don’t want to wish nor dream.

“You should never stop dreaming”, it admonishes me like Paulo Coelho had done sometime back when I went on the Pilgrimage with him. He, my guide admonished me with wise words every time I turned a leaf to the next page.

Dreams are what makes the living fight to live long, to see their dreams being called their life, their success, it said again.

I can’t listen, I seek a distraction.

“Are you not dissatisfied with your life?” It asks me. My hand slaps my leg as a mosquito draws my blood.

The word ‘dissatisfied’ stared at me refusing to leave my head, sounding repeatedly in my ear. I look to the skies. There was nothing, no crescent moon, no stars, just thick cloud. I was alone with the darkness. Even more scary  was the darkness in me. I didn’t know where I was headed, no sense of direction. The feeling was silent now seeing it had hit a raw nerve with its last question.

It dawned on me what the discomfort’s name was –  dissatisfaction. Now I knew why I had pined for a change in environment, had been easily annoyed by home, because it had not changed and I couldn’t tolerate home not changing, why I wasn’t inspired by those people on Facebook, but was turned off, because they showed me how lagging in life I was and empty my life is, why I wished so much that there was someone a call away, so I could just speak to about this feeling. Yet, speaking has never been my specialty.

I revolt no more but pay heed. It tells me a lot but one stays, and that is that people speak about their destinies and say it was revealed to them, it is however the things that they had set their hearts to and done, the things they had never given up on, the things they had chosen to see, where others would otherwise have been blind, the things they had trusted which was told them by their heart, those they had ignored which was spoken by unbelievers who knew nothing of their belief in the dreams they dream at night and visions they see during the day; (after all, an unholy yoke it will be if a believer wines and dines with an unbeliever), their connection to the source of all things ephemeral and eternal, which suffered no disruption.

It reminds me of the words that had always been said in the circle I attended at Afara, begin again! It adds this time: dream again, do it again, work again, pray again, laugh again, smile even more again and live again even when death eventually snuffs life from you.

I didn’t know  how or when I got to my bed, but I was lying on it staring at the ceiling, listening to my dissatisfied heart. It was discomforting at the start, that’s why I labelled it discomfort. I thought it cruel a feeling to never leave me alone. But now, I realise it had been my heart all the while, sending me a message through the feeling, that was how I could listen amidst the roaring distractions in my life. I have listened. I have made my decision. I will begin again, everyday, because life’s for the living and only the living dream dreams that can become true. I’m not afraid of being sad or miserable. It’s also a way my heart speaks to me. So I will listen to it and obey it. Is litanies I gladly leave at the feet of faith and hope, because they are the believer’s strength to forge on through life’s challenges.

I feel better and lighter. Listening is sometimes the solution we seek to our problems, but the noise within and outside of us make it very difficult to do. Be of good cheer my heart, as I begin again!

We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming – Paulo Coelho


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