As I’m writing these words, my mind (and heart) is with my fellow revolutionists on the streets. I even feel a little bit guilty that I am sipping tea and writing, instead of being with them right now. Are they being burnt by the sun? Do they need water? Are they hungry? Most importantly, how tired are they? It is of no surprise that since this revolution started, a lot of Lebanese men and women have been doing the best they can in a hope of a better country! I knew this would come with a price, but I was completely oblivious as to what that cost was.
We are all happy that this is finally happening; yet we are too emotional, struggling with lots of ups and downs. With every new piece of information we receive, every story we tell to each other, and every video we watch, uncontrollable tears can turn into smiles or laughter in a matter of seconds.
You can even witness the intense, mixed emotions on the streets! Angry, happy, depressed, calm, sad, anxious, hopeful… Not only are we physically exhausted, but also processing our emotions at this time is a difficult task for all of us.
These days, the revolution is what’s waking us up in the morning, and what keeps following us throughout the day, until we sleep. Then, we might dream about it. We have always dreamt about it!
But this is very new to us! We deeply feel, inside our souls, that we are headed in the right direction; yet there is a strange, unfamiliar feeling. Is it just that we have finally stepped out of our big ol’ collective comfort zone? (Wait… was that even comfortable in the first place?!) Is it that we are sure that a big change is coming?
As we are excited that this is happening, something in parallel is going on every moment: It was done, said, or written about; and we give it our FULL attention. We feel that these small events we are learning about by the minute will surely result in a big change, which will affect our daily life in the long term.
Why have we ignited the revolution in the first place, if not for this? We all know it is not very clear how things will exactly go… yet, we badly want to KNOW EVERYTHING. It’s normal. We try to connect the dots and analyze every single new occurrence in order to know how to act next…
The truth is: In the big scheme of matters, the only thing that has been making the real change so far was us going to the streets, and staying there no matter what! Micro analyzing the new events sometimes does more harm than good, and at times it becomes draining.
Hmmm… Did listening to, or participating in, endless political debates ever change anything? Or even watching the news?! Ok, maybe, on the night of October 19, 2019!
Our hearts are leading this revolution, and our feet are on the ground! But we need to rest our feet! So, every now and then, I get to learn to take at least three to four hours breaks, just go home and relax. By relaxing, I don’t mean reading tweets or refreshing the Facebook Newsfeed every 2 minutes to then enter into a fight with friends and family, and reply to haters or conspiracy theorists; which I used to do at first, wasting more of my energy.
I am honestly planning on becoming a professional revolutionist now. I take a bath. I drink tea. I’ve told you that I’m doing that right now already! I listen to music. I speak with a friend about elephants! Yes, elephants! I tell him or her jokes, because if a revolution cannot be happy and fueled with love, it won’t survive…!
Anything to distract me, and guess what? I learned that the time you take for yourself serves the revolution better than anything else. Have you ever read self-help books about how you must take breaks during a difficult challenge? If you have been in the streets since day 1 without a real break, well, my friend, I have extremely bad news for you…You won’t last. Oh! And I can spot you!
Now, I have noticed that I am subconsciously releasing everything I need to witness in the new Lebanon that I want. Not only when I am discussing politics with my friends or the new friends I’ve made on the streets these past ten days, but everywhere you can imagine. I invite you to do that! Feel it in your heart and release it so the whole world knows what’s the Lebanon that you have always wanted.
Mine has waited for years! Here, let me say that I am extremely proud that the Lebanese people are doing the same, filling their cities not with anger (we are more emotionally intelligent than I previously thought, honestly!), and not with hatred, but with arts, delicious food at cheap prices, banners where you can unleash your inner patriot and freely express yourself!
All that in a beautiful tolerant, loving, thoughtful set…which is being admired by people worldwide, and tells me a lot about the form of the new Lebanon we are going to collectively make after this. It was past due time that we start our journey of evolution, and if it needed this, so be it! Our real beauty has revealed itself to us, and we don’t want to let go of it, never again!
But, there is a blind spot here! We must understand that this revolution is hard to grasp for some people deeply rooted in their own comfort zones and some in their own entrenched notions of dependency. I understand; it gives them a sense of security, even if unproven.
What’s on the inside leads our outside and how we deal with it, and some people need every move to be calculated to the point that they can’t see the end goal, even in their personal lives. You know them. With them, it is the same for the country. Give them time!
Explain to them the beauty of this revolution, how it has made every Lebanese person connected with every other Lebanese person on this land and outside it, to the point of no return… And you need to maintain an excess of good positive energy, or else, I guarantee, it will turn into a meaningless debate in which you’ll both gain nothing.
In my new journey of becoming a professional revolutionist, I have also understood the importance of patience and remaining grounded. For years, dealing with our country’s problems, most of us got used to instant gratification, whether positive or negative.
It was a way for us to escape from these problems -sanity obliged- like talking to a friend about how bad the situation is and feeling somehow momentarily better afterward, or fighting about it around and online to unleash our painful frustrations (because there was nothing else to do), or feeling hopeless and helpless, then going to the gym or reading a book or drinking beer to neutralize it.
Now that we have claimed back our power, our freedom, and our country, we must know that this is going to be a long journey. But, it is totally worth it!
This reminds me that, in this revolution, EVERYONE IS LOSING SOMETHING. It is the natural development of all changes, especially the good and constructive ones. And I am not talking about losing sleep or a meal or a life routine. We’re losing some things, and that will naturally open the space to new better ones. We don’t really need to refer to the notion of universal quantum energy to know it.
My personal “losses” are not significant but they matter to me. My gym subscription, for example, has been waiting for two weeks and I forgot to freeze it! I’m not writing as much as I used to, and I’m an avid writer! Even my book is on hold, discarded on the side of my desk, waiting to be finalized. I have put aside many personal goals and I’m not spending much time with my family, and I love my family!
But then again, I think everyone else on the streets is losing something or some things, maybe even some friendships. We are while gaining a lot, most crucially so we have recuperated our Lebanese identity, and we have achieved the preciousness of unity. We all now proclaim deep from the heart and loudly to all: We are one nation, we are Lebanese.
To our beloved Lebanese writer Gebran Khalil Gebran, I announce, and I’m sure that somewhere he is hearing me out: We have finally understood your beautiful quote “You have your Lebanon and I have my Lebanon”… and it has now finally become Lana Lubnanuna! WE have OUR Lebanon. Be proud of us, we have finally made it!