Do not fall back, I want you to lean into life. Take a deep breath, hold firm and realise… That sometimes people just want you to fail; you have to come to terms with that. Even those closest to you. It’s a shame, but it’s true, and it’s because it will allow them to feel a little bit more at peace with their own existence.

When you take risks, and attempt the insane, the absurd, or even just the morally upright thing to do, it makes others feel uncomfortable. Putting your neck out, pointing out contradictions, or simply standing your ground on thin cracking ice, reminds others of how brave and daring they once used to be. It reminds them of how much more they could be giving, how much more they could be doing. And they would sometimes prefer it if you just stood down and went quietly into the night, perhaps walked a little more softly through life. But you will not stand down, you will not fall back; because you love them, and you want them to see in you, the best parts of themselves. So stand strong.

By giving everything you have without getting anything in return, you inspire others to question how much more they can give. They may not say it to your face, but your unflinching existence reminds them of a part of themselves they thought they had lost or forgotten. They don’t like the noticeable difference between where you choose to stand and where they choose to stand. They want you to stand closer to them.

They want to tell you where they edge is and to tell you to not get too close to it for you might fall. They say it’s ambitious, or impossible, they would like to tell you what is and is not sustainable according to their own appetite for  uncertainty or risk or effort or adventure. And if you ever resign and return to the fold, they will be there to comfort and reassure you and tell you that you made the right decision. They will support and assist you to reintegrate into the system you tried to change or escape.

So don’t do it my love. Don’t go back. You believed in what you were doing once, and you still believe it, so don’t let hardship or uncertainty deter you. If you have arrived at a new and grander understanding, then fine, move on from your belief system. But do not return to a way of life, or retreat from a goal or ambition just because it was too hard to achieve. That is how the status quo is maintained, that is how you begin to feel small and insignificant, that is the beginning of the end. It is when the flow of Qi begins to decrease to your body and finds a more alive channel to feed. That is when your passion for life will dissipate, that is when anxiety or depression sets in. I tell you, do not be afraid to go out in a blaze of flames if that’s what it takes because you never know who is watching. You cannot know who will be inspired to pick up where you left off and perhaps burn a little further than you did.

How many people still wish upon shooting stars? How much hope and joy do they offer those who are witness? Be that shooting star if you must. Burn until there is nothing left. Perhaps you may arrive at your goal before you are completely consumed. Perhaps that is the goal in itself; to be so completely enraptured by the thought of attaining your desire that you relinquish your comforts and all thoughts of personal wellbeing, simply that you may offer yourself up for something you believed in.

Better that than to have cowered away from life, to have cowered away from risk, and uncertainty and hardship, better death than to exist without a point or purpose to exist for. If we are to eventually close this chapter of our existence, would you not rather commit everything you have to something you believe? We can’t really know the answer to all the questions that plague the mind, but one thing that we can be sure about is that one day your consciousness will detach itself from this body you now have; that is unavoidable. And whether you call that death, or simply a transition to another world, what you cannot deny is that whatever is of this world will remain in this world.

Like a dream that scares you or fills you with joy as you fill your pockets with golden coins, when you awake you will be left with nothing but the feeling. The gold was always an illusion, it was just there to test you. So why busy yourself with things that are of no consequence, what does it matter if you were hungry and cold, or if people despised you because you believed in something? Because maybe you believed in them before they were ready to? Maybe you saw a better version of this world, and it took an entire lifetime to show them? What does it matter if people laugh at you behind your back? In your heart you know you still love them.

One day the hardships you have faced will be gone, and you will not remember them. The toys you play with in your dreams, the fears you run from, the situations you find yourself in, they all disappear, and all that will remain is how you feel about how you reacted. You will not be afraid of what you feared in your dream, once you wake, but you might wish you had been a little braver. You will not have your pockets full of coins when you wake, but you might be embarrassed for the way you behaved. You will not be angry at the person you were angry with in the dream, but you might be ashamed of the way you reacted. This life is much the same.

What you will take with you, if anything at all, is your reflections on how you carried yourself? Did you live a life that meant something? Did you do something that scared you? Did you do something that others were too afraid to try? Did you do something that made others ask question and rise into better version of themselves? Did you stand firm in the face of your fears or did you hide? These are the questions that you will have to answer for yourself when you leave this place behind.

So do not cower away from life my friend, stand firm and remain steadfast, hold your ground, brace yourself, and lean into life. Holler with the full force of your lungs and let that roar turn into laughter as you realise there was never anything holding you back but your own hesitations.

Speak up. Be loud and clear and address all those who try to deter you. Shower them only with love, and let them grow with that love you offer and become bigger people. Turn your face directly towards all those things you were afraid of, and you will see how empty they all were. You will see how upon the touch of a delicate finger they all fall away like the floating bubbles that they are. And just as you realise in a dream that you are dreaming, and you begin to play, and fly, and create and explore with no fears or hesitations, so too will you be able to experience this existence for the glorious, joyous dream that it is. So stand strong my love, brace yourself and lean in.

Erfan Daliri