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I am giving a voice to my silent suffering because I no longer need to be silent, and I no longer need to be suffering.
I know why I needed to be both at points in my life but now I am a Lorax of sorts, speaking for the hurt because we have forgotten how to be human.
We’ve put so many filters and pressures and expectations on how to perfect and preserve these bodies that we’ve forgotten how to feel on the inside. It’s like how I hated the black-and-white parts of The Wizard of Oz because I believe life to be so much more beautiful in the full vibrancy of color.
I have lived through so much grey that turned into the darkness to know I can’t fast-forward through the sh*t that provides the contrast to the light. If no one has told you, it’s okay for you to feel exactly what you feel right now then please, allow me to be the first.
Welcome to my self-validation of feelings.
It’s similar to how we ask people’s opinions when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t. You know what you’re feeling, you just don’t want to feel it because it’s hard and we humans like our easy. It’s heavy, and maybe sad, and we don’t know where to take heavy sad things so we place them down in the basement of our being and we tell them to stay there.
But they grow there, these feelings. And they start to weigh us down like we’re carrying bricks we had no business ingesting.
My life has been scotch-taped together, and I lived plenty of it behind filters and fake smiles because I succumbed to the pressure of having it all figured out and no one came along to tell me it was perfectly okay that nothing was okay.
So I humble myself now in my authority of being human to make others feel comfortable in their own humanness because somehow our role models for this gig have led us severely astray.
I share my humanness in all of its unscripted messiness because there’s a sweetness to the figuring-it-out-as-we-go-along that alleviates the pressure valve of my nervous system. It offers sweetness to the pain I’ve experienced and it empowers my empathy in a way that lets me use it as the superpower that it is rather than the self-sacrificial curse I once saw it to be.
So, I’ll share here, with you, and hope I can offer you the reprieve you are looking for.
I’ll write the love letters from my soul and share my stubborn refusal to give up on the life I deserve for the mere fact that life had some plans that weren’t exactly aligned with my own. I’ve accepted the possibility that maybe life has more magic in store for me than I ever imagined and while it’s been really hard to let go of my own agenda, it’s been liberating too.
We don’t always have to agree, me and this life, but if anything I keep learning, it’s to get out of my own way and try to enjoy the view from the passenger seat instead of white-knuckling the steering wheel. It’s tricky, I get car sick, and it doesn’t necessarily get easier, but so it goes.
I am not the victim here, I am not broken weak, or fragile, but I am healing. I will mess up and say things I wish were in quicksand and not printed and published, but I don’t want to keep waiting to arrive to share myself, both in life and through these words. It’s about the journey as much as it is about any destination we think we’re hellbent on getting to because, let’s be honest, we’ll probably change our mind once we get there too.
I choose to share it because otherwise I swallow all the things into that basement of my being and I’m really looking to furnish it so that I can occupy more of myself. And otherwise, I’m overwhelmed and there’s enough anxiety in the air for all of us and sometimes it’s just comforting to look around and know someone has been through it too. And I’ll be damned if I haven’t had enough lived experience to sit around the coffee table with the best of you and talk about the tribulations of this wild ride.
So I bring my light to the stories that comprise this soul of mine. Life has become increasingly dark, and I don’t think we have to see all bad things as suffering. Sometimes, there is good sprinkled in even if it’s using your own pain to be a landing pad for someone else.
At the end of the day, if you get nothing else out of my oversharing, I hope it’s this: your story is yours.
You are the writer and you get to change the setting, the characters and redefine what happily-ever-after means, even if you need a do-over to do it. You get to tell your story of your humanness and be your own authority.
You get to try again and when that pain hits a dead end, you get to reroute.
Life is all about the detours and the dead ends. It’s as bleak as that sounds, or as adventurous as a choose-your-own-adventure book. You don’t have to go with a storyline that makes you feel anything less than powerful because you deserve so much better than easy.
And if I need to remind you, you haven’t lived through your hardest days on earth to settle for mediocrity.