“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” – Goethe
I’ve seen both sides of the glass in my lifetime and I’m never going back to where I was. When I lost faith in myself, I lost it in the world as well. Everything was just another tragedy in a sea of misery, just another monster in a sea of darkness, not a single light in sight. The worst part was that I couldn’t stand it, but chose to be numb instead of searching for a way out.
Day upon day, I languished, dragging myself like a corpse from place to place. No matter where I went, I found only the sorrow, pain, and anguish etched in my heart. It could have gone on for a lifetime if I allowed myself to settle. I still remember the day I embarked on letting it all go, so I could watch it sink ten feet under. The only matter of business left was my revival: how and when I would awaken and begin living my life.
I’m not going to lie, it was a slog to the top. I spent so much time doubting myself and others that I had to completely relearn how to believe. To this day, I still struggle to trust and love as I did before, but I’m leaps and bounds away from where I used to be. Back then, even a kind-hearted classmate set me on edge. In my mind, there had to be ulterior motives; they had to be planning something malicious that required me to let my guard down.
In reality, I was still trapped in the time when my friends became enemies and my honesty their weapon. Better to tread lightly than risk judgment even if that meant I had to lie to myself. I wish I could say I stopped for the right reason; that I saw no more reason to hide away or found someone who accepted me for what I was.
Actually, I was just tired of feeling tired. It drained me immensely to put up my facade and speak only when necessary. Perhaps that was the reason I made so little progress in the first few years. My heart wasn’t really in it. These days I never accomplish anything that I don’t care about. Still, even I can’t dispute how much my life changed after I finally learned to believe in everyone.
Things didn’t always seem like they were between life and death anymore; there was a middle ground where I could carve out my days in peace. From there, I discovered the magic of toiling away with friends; I didn’t always have to go it alone. That step was one of the hardest ones I had to take. Acceptance and love are never guaranteed, but we have to leap in headfirst if we ever want to receive them, and that’s assuming we already have both within ourselves already.
There’s something undeniably compelling about one who takes their strengths and weaknesses in stride; never losing themselves in one flaw, but seeing the whole person. The way I learned it, nobody else will love you for you. Only you can give yourself that kindness and support, and then others will join you. Furthermore, everyone is capable of love within themselves and others. That’s why I believe where there’s life, there’s hope.
Uncertainty is the only thing that’s for certain in this life. We simply don’t know how that job interview will go, whether that person is willing to listen, and it doesn’t matter. All that rejection means is that we can’t do it with that person. There are billions of other people on the planet; at least one of them will have to listen.
The reason I know this is because I’m capable of listening. I take my good and bad for better or worse because I’m done with hating myself. I express, and take care of, myself because I’m done with silencing myself. I do it all because I care and I know that others can too.