Why Try? (Nothing’s Happening Anyway)

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You have big dreams that came from your big heart and your big visions. Your heart was on fire when you first began, and everything was wonderful and you’re looking forward to finally taking those steps that would lead you closer to your destiny. To your purpose. To your dream.

You felt like you were on the summit of a mountain, enjoying the view of the promised land of your dreams, and everything is so, so awesome and you can’t wait for the rest of your life to begin.

Your heart was full when you first signed up for this. But now it’s just barely beating from all the battering it’s been going through.

It’s tiring sometimes. Exhausting, really, when you’ve been working so hard for the longest time, putting out every ounce of your heart and soul into something you believe in, and yet… nothing’s happening.

Have you ever worked so hard for something, for so long, and get nothing in return? No result. No affirmation. No progress. No victory.

You work so hard, you try so hard, you hustle so hard, but you have nothing to show for it.

It’s easy to just give up then, to just drop the fight. Maybe you’re fighting a wrong battle, you’d begin to think. Maybe you should count this as a loss. Maybe you should throw in the towel. Maybe you should just drop the sword.

Maybe you should just quit.

I mean… why try when nothing’s happening anyway? Why try, when day by the best you can do is to sit by as you watch your dreams die? Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? You wonder. Because it’s been dark and dead and dreary for the longest time and you just want to finally let go. Give up. Give in.

But you can’t. We can’t. We have to go on. We can’t give up, because if we do, then what kind of life will we live?

I don’t ever want to have to look back on my life and be filled with so many regrets. I don’t ever want to feel like I’ve wasted my life just getting by, just because I was too afraid

Here are a few words I’d like to keep in mind when I feel like giving up.

1. Soldier on

So you find yourself in a long, dark tunnel, and you don’t know where it’ll end. Every step loses its purpose, and every breath loses its meaning. You don’t know where you’re going, and you can’t see what you’re doing, and you can’t, for the life of you, see the light.

But hold on, my friend. Keep walking. Keep at it. Because I’ve heard it said that true winners are made and molded in that dark place, where they are forced to take every step towards the light they have yet to see. This dark place is where courage is forged. This is where the heart develops the muscle to endure, and where the soul manufactures the strength to survive.

Victory, they said, belongs to those who refuse to quit, those stubborn men and women who refuse to believe that darkness is all there is.

When nothing’s happening and when you’re going nowhere, keep at it anyway. One step at a time. One after another.

Believe me, every step you take, no matter how small, brings you one step closer to the finish line.

Even if it doesn’t seem like it.

Even if you don’t see it.

That is why we need to have faith.

2. Have faith

Faith is believing in things you’ve yet to see. Faith is knowing that things will work out for your good. Faith, for me, is believing and knowing and trusting that God’s promises will come to pass.

Faith is knowing that there is a God who will not, who does not disappoint.

Faith is knowing that there is still something good that will come out of this darkness.

Faith is knowing and trusting that you will reach the end, that you will find the light, and you will claim that victory.

Hold on. Have faith. And just do what you do.

And when at times it gets so hard, so difficult, so downright trying… remember why you began in the first place.

3. Just love

Wasn’t it because of love that you began that thing?

Wasn’t it because you loved doing it, you loved yourself, and you loved the people who will benefit from it?

Wasn’t that project a surplus of the love that overflowed from your heart and soul?

Wasn’t it because, once, not long ago, your heart beat furiously at the very thought of bringing that dream to life?

It was love that started it. It was love that fueled it. And it is love that will keep those flames burning.

Quietly. Steadily. Constantly.

You work because you love.
You fight because you love.
You hustle because you love.
You try because you love.
You do because you love.

Because you? You are loved.

You are love.

So why try?

You keep trying, you keep working, you keep going, because of love.

One Last Story

It was late. I’ve been working for hours, but I’ve yet to finish the story I was writing. I’ve poured over my notes, and I’ve spent so many hours researching about the material, but for the life of me, I couldn’t even finish one single story.

I was getting frustrated. And angry. And hopeless.

More than 10 years of training and study. A handful of workshops. Generous mentors.

I had everything I needed, everything I could ever want.

But I couldn’t finish my story.

Ayoko na, I said as I threw my pen down, and slammed my laptop shut. Marami namang mas magaling sa akin, bakit ko pa itutuloy ‘to?

I was losing hope. I couldn’t write one single story.

Ayoko na.

I wanted to cry. And the thoughts I’ve imprisoned in the darkest chambers of my mind suddenly broke free.

There are millions of books published every year. What makes you think yours can make it?
There are thousand of writers who are better than you. What makes you think you’ll get a break?
Who would read your story?
You can’t even write a story.
You can’t finish this because you’re not good enough.
You lack training. You lack technique. You lack tools.
You have to work a thousand times harder because competition is so much tougher.

Have you ever been trapped inside the darkest part of your mind? It’s like drowning. It’s like being submerged in dark waters, surrounding you, covering you, stifling you, choking you, and you can’t breathe, and no matter how hard you try to kick and swim, you can’t get up.

jacob-walti-447-karren-renz-senaYou can’t even scream for help, because the terror has paralyzed you.

Help, I remember screaming in my mind. Help. Lord, help.

You know how in the movies, when someone is drowning and you feel as if it’s the end of the line for that character, you suddenly see  a hand breaking through the dark waters to pull that person up?

It was like that for me. I don’t know know how it happened, exactly, but out of the dark that covered me, I suddenly saw a hand reach out to me. I was out of the dark waters and into the light of the sun.

Karren, I didn’t bring you this far just to let you go. The promise will come to pass. You don’t have to try so hard to get there. I will bring you there. I am bringing you there. Trust.

Oh.

All this time, I’ve been working so, so hard to be a good writer, but I forgot that I wasn’t alone in my journey.

God was with me all along. He was the one that brought me here in the first place.

I also realized this: I’ve been so bent on writing the best stories, the best articles, the best posts, using this technique and that theory, that I forgot what writing truly meant to me.

I’ve been focusing so hard to write for various purposes:
for a contest,
for a workshop,
for a magazine,
for a submission,
for a book that would propel me to international stardom…

But I forgot that sometimes, there doesn’t have to be a purpose for writing. Sometimes, the purpose is to write.

Writing is joy.
Writing is life.
Writing is love.

I forgot what it truly meant to write just because I enjoyed doing so.

I forgot how I started.

I wrote because it brought me joy. Words bring me joy. Stories bring me joy.

I wrote because my stories could bring joy to other people.

I wrote because I love to write.

And I wrote because I love to share what I wrote.

And I forgot all of that, because I tried so hard. I fought so hard. And I worked so hard.

Today, I still have those goals and purposes behind everything I write.

But I try to never lose sight of the most important thing:

I write, because I love.

And it is because I love, that I realize, that somewhere, somehow, something is happening.

Maybe I’m moving hearts.

Maybe I’m inspiring someone.

Maybe I’m changing lives.

Or maybe, for every word I write, it gets me closer to the heart of another story, of another character.

Something’s happening… for as long as I keep writing, something’s happening. I have to believe that.

I hope, dear friend, that you too will find your heart again. Believe that something is happening to you too.

Keep doing it.
Keep trying.

One day, it will happen.

Write beautiful words,
Karren