Who is this Leyla?

Eda Berkin
5 minutes

As they say, in order to explain yourself, first know yourself, I have taken a step towards that path right now. Months ago, Zeynep asked me if I would like to write for her magazine, which she intended to publish. Of course, my first reaction was to freeze, followed by a surge of self-confidence and a lot of unwarranted fears. Once again I saw right under my nose how quickly the feeling of inadequacy takes over.

What he wanted me to do, however, was to give life to what I had written before, even if it was only a small number, which I had been keeping to myself from time to time, and which I sometimes couldn’t keep to myself and put to pen. I think when I look one step further, this self-questioning part was the sense of perfectionism that my professional life has instilled in me since my childhood. That’s where I had to make eye contact. Especially in the last few years, this emotional state of mine, which I have been exchanging ideas at the chat tables, talking and sharing with my colleagues who have the same concerns as me in many places, had taken control of my life without me realizing it.

Since this offer came, I have had the opportunity to observe myself both in bilateral dialogues and in the business environment, in short, at every point where my awareness stays with me. Of course, it is not easy for a person to eradicate what they are used to, their habits, in one fell swoop. But during that observation, trying to mitigate the severity of the reactions I had given earlier, I started to feel a lot of relief internally. No one is perfect, of course, and nothing that happens to us is without a reason. Even a tiny moment when I could see the magic of the perfect functioning of the universe’s system opened my perspective inch by inch. For example, the delusion that the work must be perfect, which I had discovered in myself over the years and which I was confronted with in every situation where my talents became visible, was also a clear statement of how I was resisting myself. But one realizes it sometimes the first time and sometimes the last time, or not. Actually, every time you do it towards yourself is a victory, and I am interested in how I can keep that joy permanent. As the saying goes, it’s not the story, it’s the one who can write the story…

So today I asked myself if I had the courage to go even deeper. I used to think that the deep was always pitch black, a place where there was no way out, a place where you would gasp and run out of breath. I had this illusion in my first meditation experience. Stephen King would have given Stephen King a standing ovation when he heard how a situation I had never experienced before was spinning big scenarios in my mind. As my perspective changed, it was of course a bit disappointing to see that every sentence I had compressed into stereotypes and spoken by rote was actually my limited view. It’s not a pleasant moment when you realize that all the things you thought you knew were actually things you didn’t know at all. But isn’t that a degree of darkness, in which there is a dazzling light…

I thought. What is this light? A song that I sang from my heart, perhaps scratching the ears of some, every note I improvised without getting stuck in patterns, a brush stroke on the canvas that is a reflection of the emotion I felt at that moment, all the sentences that I thought I could express myself despite my spelling mistakes, in short, that infinite sense of freedom that I embraced the darkness in my mind and brought it to light…

Every work I do without worrying about who will listen to it, who will like it, who will buy it, makes me step by step free from the desire to be perfect, and this makes flowers bloom inside me. A feeling that is very familiar but as we grow up, the distance between us widens… A feeling that belongs to my childhood, that I thought had been erased but in fact is always there and will never disappear… Although every investment I make in myself with effort sometimes has black and sometimes white transitions, the respect I have for the teacher of grays is even more meaningful now… I know that there will be issues that will blur again, where I squeeze myself, where I lift my shoulders and say what should I do now, but remembering that I have effort in one hand and courage in the other will make the path a little more visible.

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