I used to be scared silly of situations outside the realm of my comfort zone.
I used to beat myself up for not meeting all the structured standards that had been drilled into me from outside sources.
I used to judge others and situations to help make myself feel better about who I was and where I was at in my life.
I used to wonder what people would come to expect from me. What box they would place me in or label they’d adhere to me.
I wondered if I was good enough, strong enough, beautiful enough, belonged enough. Worried I’d be judged, ridiculed, or my intentions mistaken for something they were not.
I used to make my decisions based on “shoulds” from what was “right”. To hold myself hostage with all these swirling whispers of wonder and worry in my head…that nine times out of 10 led me to dread.
I used to bury my head in my phone when in places that had the potential for socializing with people I did not “know”. To feel sorry for myself and wonder why people were intentional hurting me.
I used to abuse and use alcohol as a coping mechanism and an emotional numbing agent to help me open the tightly closed up pieces of myself I had began to hide because I never wanted to feel hurt. Those pieces that had recoiled from past experience and were dying to see the light of day.
I used to be paralyzed by the mirrored mirage that we were different; that we were single separate strings of strangers who had gotten tangled together and were now desperately trying to unwind from each other to become our own distinct depiction of perfection.
All while (ironically) trying to conform to and argue over the “right” definition of success, happiness, freedom and such.
Until I realized, we’re not all that different. That at our cores what we are made up of is all the same.
Then I realized how silly and petty all this actually was, how wrong all of it felt, physically, mentally, spiritually.
We are all interconnected and the fact that we call each other strangers helps create the illusion that we are not connected at all.
The fact that we focus on our differences in a judgmental way creates the struggle. We have forgotten just how similar we are and it sparks the suffocating disease that sits silently within us all steering us further away from the peace and happiness we seek.
We all long to be seen, to be heard, to feel important, to be validated, to be loved…and most of all to be accepted for exactly who we are without having to change or pretend to be somebody we are not.
I have never ever completely understood how people choose to not accept another living soul. How people fight over truth or what is right as if they will die if they don’t. How others can hold grudges that last a lifetime.
How anyone would purposely choose to harm another unless they were damaged themselves…(ahhh, the light bulbs turning on).
I am bruised. I am broken. I am susceptible to the words I hear spoken.
I am less than whole…a damaged and at times, delusional soul,
I am the epitome of sin…with an innate ability to learn how to counteract it from within.
Yet in times of desperation, frustration, and fear,
you better bet my instincts are to protect all that I hold dear.
My family and friends,
my comforts and typical trends,
my happiness, my peace,
the way in which I pay my lease.
Right or Wrong goes out the window,
don’t even think about getting in my way,
because in my broken state of being
it is likely you will pay.
I may not do it intentionally,
I may not even ever know,
that what i’ve done has hurt you
or understand why, when you tell me so.
This pattern will be repeated,
Until I’ve taken down all barriers
and healed my cracks.
So until I learn how to forgive myself
Unconditional Love for others I will lack.
Truth is we have all been broken in some way, shape or form.
Truth is, we have all been burnt and immensely hurt.
But if we keep continuously cycling through every and any reason to call ourselves a victim, validate our actions or making our motions, words spoken, and known notions seem acceptable because xyz, then we will never remember that the cure for all that ails us is Unconditional Love.
We are all perfectly imperfect and are here to help each other to learn and grow.
No use taking anything personally, we are all just trying to do our best with what we’ve been given.
No reason to cast shame, or blame, or call another insane, we are all just trying our best. That person who seems like a complete and utter assh*le with no heart—the one who stole from you, cheated you, lied to you, or hurt you—is broken (just like you are or were).
We need to take down the illusionary barriers we’ve created and come together, give people the benefit of the doubt, remember that no one is perfect, and believe in the good that deep down we all are, no matter how buried it appears to be.
Life is a journey of ups and downs, highs and lows and all that could possibly fall in between. It’s unpredictable and that is part of what makes the game so exhilarating and liberating.
However, If we are constantly trying to determine the exact and “right” height our (or everyone elses) high should be, or keep lacking love for ourselves (or others) during the lows, the exhilarating and liberating game of life becomes a predicted and restricted path of existing. It leaves us prisoners within ourselves and turns us into the increasingly violent, grudge holding, fear mongering, blind, numb, and barely existing beings so many of us are today.
Own your brokenness.
Shine light into the darkness of your shadows, open up to receive and heal yourself and recognize you are not alone in your journey.
While yours might appear different than everyone else’s, at the heart of it, you are, we all are searching for the same stable grounding of love, acceptance, freedom, genuine joy, and community. We are all seeking to feel safe enough to let our feet sink down so we can express, create and collaborate together in our own unique ways of experiencing this gift of life in peace and harmony.
Author: April Williams
Editor: Sarah Kolkka