Let Me Be Honest

When darkness hits, I am rendered emotionally paralyzed. Motionless. I am consumed by shadows of regret. They dance around my living room and crawl underneath my sheets. I don’t know why I get like this, a walking zombie, a useless corpse.

My unintentional thoughts like to tell me I’m not worth the fight, that I’m not worth standing up for. That it’s not worth trying to get better. So I sneak off into my own world, shrink into the depressive state, and not let anyone in. It’s what I’m best at; hiding, running away. I am just a mixture of negative thinking and blurred lines.

What I am trying to tell you is that, if you ever feel this way, you are not alone. You are the farthest thing from alone. Be honest with yourself, be open to the ways that you are feeling. Don’t let the unintentional thoughts that ravage your mind and terrorize your soul  become the very thing that you are. 
Don’t be ashamed that sometimes you  are weak. Our weaknesses are the very things that make us strong. 

I Am Whole

She is but a ghost, a scattered memory pulled from the deepest parts of my mind. When I look into her eyes, I see a layer of glass that shelters almost a decade of sadness. This girl from my memories spent her days staring into a mirror that shouted insecurities back at her. She yearned to be more in a world that looked at her as less than. She longed to be better in a society that told her she never could be. Everyone thought she would die like that, with a needle in her arm, laying on top of all the bridges she was burning. 

But she didn’t. Her body was given a new soul, a soul that has slowly but surely become me; who I am. Every part of who I was supposed to be lives and breathes inside of this body that was once frozen and useless. 

I am whole. You can be, too.

There is a Girl

There is a girl who lives in the forest. Every morning, she wakes up to the cacophony of birdsong outside her bedroom windows and the rays of sunlight that pour in from behind the canopy of trees. She makes a pot of coffee and stares outside to see the beauty that surrounds her. The trees stand spirit-like, observing the girl’s house that looms above and around them. When she opens her kitchen windows to the wooded air, she can almost smell the coppery scent of the river that lies within the heart of the forest. She closes her eyes and breathes in. Her nose fills with the sweet smell that radiates off the beds of pine needles covering the forest floor.

It smells like home, she thinks.

The man she loves comes up behind her and wraps her up in his embrace, kissing her neck and playing gently with her hair. She spins around and flashes him a smile, digging her head into his shoulder. Her children are still asleep.

This girl has lived here for quite some time, her soul craving serenity and her thoughts seeking retreat. Closing my eyes, I can see her. Freckles mark her face in patterns. Pale skin stretches over bones worn from experience yet blossoming with strength. Eyes filled with the reflections of her memories.

This girl exists only inside the crevices of my mind, just beyond my eyelids, in between thoughts that rage and fly across membranes. She is a part of me, in a way, and she lives a life I’ve never known but always wanted to experience. Her heart beats the same rhythm as mine, and her soul is filled with the same hurt as me.  I am like her but, at the same time, I am not. She is better than I am, full of more grace and patience. Full of more strength. Full of all the things I’ve always wanted to be.

I believe that I created her at times when loneliness consumed me and thoughts of a better life would not leave me alone. I think that she began to exist because I could no longer stand myself, because I needed to feel like there was more to me than just bouts of sadness and fits of rage.

In some ways, creating her saved me. In others, it did not. Either way, I am no longer alone.

What Society Doesn’t Teach Us

I’m becoming more aware of the little things, like the way the floor feels on the bottom of my feet as I tumble out of bed, or the way my daughter’s hair smells when she hugs me really tight. I have these epiphanies regarding my mortality that make me appreciate the things I’ve been gifted with more; lips to speak out of, lungs to breathe with, a heart that beats inside of my chest, legs that walk. I could go on forever about fortunes which lie in our grasps, privileges we often take for granted. But I think you understand where I’m going with this.

I am starting to notice things like the way my pupils change in reaction to the light. I look down at my hands and I see the lines that God carved into my palms, the intricate beauty planted into our skin that television never shows us.

It’s funny, really. Well…maybe not so much. Society doesn’t teach us about the beauty of stretchmarks upon a woman or a man’s skin, nor does it teach us about the wonders of an intelligent brain or about smiles that could light whole houses.

No. It teaches us what “good enough” is supposed to look like. Lies that we are taught to believe, fantasies that we are expected to measure up to. It’s all fake. Trust me, it is. None of it matters. One day, you are going to lose that perfect figure, that toned body that you wasted years struggling to obtain. Growing old is inevitable. Our bodies will shrink and wrinkle, wither and writhe into foreign shapes and forms, things that we no longer recognize. Our soul is what permeates eternity, the things that we stand for are what stay with us forever. Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts,”?

It’s damn true, people.

Stop wasting your precious time on trying to look the way television tells you to look and spend more time focusing on what’s going to make you happy, on what’s going to guide you through the darkness when you’re without any light. Those are the things that should matter; the little things. The things that we fail to recognize on a daily basis.

Appreciate those moments that are important in your life, so you don’t end up taking them for granted and regretting it forever. Kiss your kids goodnight and make sure they know that you love them. Call your grandparents or some other relative just so you can hear their voice. Smile, because smiling is crucial. Forgive someone. Start repeating affirmations to yourself in the morning. Go grab a coffee with a friend you haven’t heard from in a long time, someone you’ve been meaning to reconnect with. Start that project you’ve been wanting to start for months or even years.

Just do some things a little differently. Focus on something you wouldn’t normally focus on. You never know how it could change your perspective.