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Yes, I look at your social media.
Yes, sometimes maybe I get a little sad, but other times, a smile appears across my face as I watch your life pan out in front of the world.
I know that we both acknowledge that our past didn’t offer a healthy environment for growth, although it taught me more about love than I would have ever been able to learn without you.
I see you happy, and in the past, I would have asked, “Shouldn’t you be sad?” or “Why are you not more upset about what happened?”
You shined a light exposing all my insecurities; I felt that if I am not happy, then you shouldn’t be either.
I don’t think I ever truly wanted that; I would never wish badly upon you, although in the moments of my weakness, I wanted my sadness to be validated and shared in knowing that you were grieving too. My heart would sink and my mind would race as I watched you share all your moments of joy. I would sit at home with a mind full of fear, trying to figure out why I was the one who had to suffer.
It took a while for me to understand that I could give myself permission. I could say to myself, “You are allowed to be happy; you are allowed to enjoy life.” It took time for me to embody this new message that I was trying to tell myself because I couldn’t accept that my confusion or my pained heart was ready to move on—but once I did, I no longer wanted you to share in that pain with me.
Maybe your joy inspired something within me; maybe seeing you embrace life regardless of what had happened in the past was exactly what I needed to learn that I, too, can embrace my worthiness of a joy-filled life.
I think that this is a common occurrence. Where one person is left confused and unsure of what they could have changed, feeling stuck in the rut of not being acknowledged, while the other person appears to have moved on and seems to not be holding on to any pain.
You have taught me that both can exist together. I can be in pain; I can be sad; I can validate all my emotions—and at the same time, allow that to push me into life even more deeply than I had been before.
It’s as if my emotions are the messages telling me, “It’s time to live; don’t forget that you are alive and you can be happy.”
For so many, including myself, thinking of happiness as a choice is confusing in and of its self. And maybe it isn’t always the case that we can choose to be happy, because there are times where real emotions need to surface and be faced.
I think that the most powerful thing that we can do is accept that we are human and that, yes, we have emotions, and yes, we deserve to feel them. And we also deserve to be happy.
The hardest thing I have done is to choose to be happy when I felt so low. The thought of getting up and dancing or writing didn’t feel like a sensible act at the time. Now, I use them as tools to explore my emotions, release the pain, and express joy and freedom.
I never wanted you to be sad; what I really wanted was to also be happy.
I wanted to see my worth.
I wanted to explore my emotions.
I wanted to get up in the morning and continue to move.
I wanted to be like you.
This is not always black and white. The gray is that there is the chance of avoidance, that we move so quickly and become so busy only to avoid the pain that may fester beneath our mask. This is a balancing act of vulnerability and love.
This is about acceptance and understanding that all emotions are worthy of attention. Acceptance of knowing that our happiness is never in the hands of someone else, that we don’t have to wait for someone to tell us not to be sad, or even someone to tell us that we can choose to be happy. It’s acceptance in the fact that we have a life at all, and that all parts of it are beautiful.
Now, I see that your happiness is beautiful. Of course, I am unknowing of what is happening beyond that smile or underneath your laugh, but seeing that you are in a place of wanting to find joy inspires me to do the same.
I now look at your social media and smile, knowing that you are doing the best you can, and so am I. I see someone who wants love, happiness, and peace, and I can be happy for you because I have found out that I want the same thing.
I was on a mission to find happiness within myself, and because I have found it, I can now accept that it’s happening for you too.
I always want to see you happy because then I know that love is finding both of us.