I look around us and I see the path we’re on. I look around at our society. I see the people that we work with and live with and the faces we pass on a daily basis. I see the good and the bad, the tough and the easy. I see life and death and all that meet in-between. I look around at the basic and daily complications we all face.
I see us all the same way, as people, just trying to make it, and just trying t figure how we can get ahead. Sometimes we relate and other times we see things differently. Either way, life is life, which means regardless to how much time we have or not, we still have to live one day at a time.
I look around and realize that although I am unique in my own regard, I am also just like everyone else here on Project Earth. I am also just trying to find my way. I’m just me; trying to navigate through an obstacle course on this huge conveyor belt we call “Our” planet.
I saw a young person sitting across from their father yesterday. I do not add the typical he, she, or him or her gender to define this young person nor is this written to discuss whether gender is a social construct or an educational example to decipher or explain the definitions of gender.
No, this is not a piece about any of this; however, respectfully, this is about an inspiration that came to me from someone that will remain respectfully unnamed.
I saw this young person, sitting quietly, sheepishly and shyly looking away from anyone and everyone to avoid attention or eye contact.
I saw the distance between father and child.
The father was seemingly frustrated about something regarding his cell phone and the young person sat adjacent to him, obviously covering scars and tiny cuts on the young person’s arms.
Now, I’m not sure if everyone around would notice the cuts—but I did. And I’m not sure if my assessment is just judgement or a reflection of something I recall from my own childhood—but still, I will remove opinion on whether the cuts were intentional or if they were accidental.
Instead, I will go on without assumption and explain the inspiration behind this journal entry.
I see us as people, all of us, just trying to make our way. No matter how we choose to identify us, we are all just trying to navigate through the same obstacle course.
I see us as people; whether good looking or bad, commercially beautiful or otherwise, each of us have our own complications.
We all have personal needs, wants, and demands. We have our own ideas and thoughts. We have emotions and feelings and memories and history.
We all understand what pain is. We know what joy is and what sadness is. Some of us are able to express ourselves verbally. Some of us express ourselves behaviorally.
Some people act out physically. Some revert inwardly and hide. Some people hide out loud. They are openly outgoing but hide in plain sight, which, of all the above; this was me, hiding out loud.
Sure, I was loud. I was loud because I was afraid. I acted and pretended and I posed as best as I could. I have heard the term, “I went along to get along,” and this fit me best
However, while alone, I was the inward kind. I had no words to describe or define my emotions. I had no voice. I also had no control. I was under pressure with no relief. It seemed to me as though my mind was like a pressure tank without a relief valve.
I saw this young person yesterday. I saw the little cuts and related to my early ideas of what pain is. The idea of self-harm, or wait no, the words alone “Self-harm” are words in which sound, for lack of a better term, crazy!
Why would anyone want to hurt themselves?
Why would someone intentionally cut themselves, repeatedly?
Well, one explanation I have is this—
Pain comes in different forms. Emotional pain comes without a physical description. Depression, in fact, comes without a face or a name—it’s just there. It’s like having a voice of a person inside of you—one that always expects the world to fall apart—one that assumes everyone hates us—one that assumes everything is your fault—something must be wrong with us, but why God? Why does something have to be wrong?
Why me? Why can’t I feel, be, or look like someone or anyone else?
Or in the simplest regard; why can’t I just be normal.
By the way this is normal
Normal: Conforming to the standard or common type; to be usual, regular, or better yet, approximately average.
I am not sure why being so fabulously unique is such a bad or strange thing. I am not sure who or what has the right to decide or define the standards between regular and ordinary—but why is this?
Where does this come from?
I see the young person from yesterday and I think about the child version of me and I come to a few questions.
Who told us we were less than amazing?
Let’s not leave out extraordinary or free to live life through the wonderment of alternative possibilities.
Who told us we have to live like, look like, or be like anyone else but us?
Why is it so difficult for us to embrace ourselves?
Why is it that we give way to social standards and dehumanize ourselves because we simply just don’t believe we measure up or can adjust to the standard?
The bravest thing you or I or anyone can do is equally the simplest thing that you or I or anyone can do.
Just be yourself.
It is the easiest and yet most difficult and bravest task of all.
To just be you is the freest thing possible.
Be you. Be all of you. Be everything that you are without fear, without concern, and without discomfort.
Be you because YOU are the most BEAUTIFUL person in your world.
You are the one that knows all of your traits. You know all of your qualities. You know what you like and what makes you smile.
You also know what hurts and what takes you away from your best possible self.
Now, in darker times, admittedly, I struggled with self-harm; only, I never thought of this as self-harm.
No, I just saw this as my pressure relief valve.
I had this insurmountable flow of thinking and emotion. I felt pain and sadness but this was pain and sadness without a face or description.
I had no way to relay or express myself.
I just felt too much. I just thought too much. I hated me too much. I regretted me too much. And more importantly, I hurt me too much. And also, I cut me too much.
Why would I see myself as anything other than perfectly beautiful? Where did these programs come from to teach me that I was the opposite of special or wonderful?
No matter how I identify myself, no matter what I look like, no matter what color my eyes are or what my waist size is; no matter the width of my back, or my feet, or the length of my legs, the shape of my arms or belly—at all points, I am perfectly me.
This is not to be contested nor should this ever be short of the bar because being me is exactly who I am supposed to be.
And that’s perfect.
I felt the most pain in my life when I was trying to cover the real me or be someone else. I felt most out of control when I tried my hardest to control the uncontrollable.
I suppose this is where people would give the speech or tell you this is where acceptance comes in.
No, I say this is where personal decision and freedom needs to come in. This is where the work starts. This is where the healing has to begin. This has to be where the wellness starts and the personal improvement begins.
One of my favorite practices is transformational coaching, which in all honesty is a misnomer because there is no transforming; no, as I see it this is just us allowing us to be our true selves, but wait, let me stop here before I digress.
Transformational coaching is us reaching our best potential. This is us living our life exactly as we choose to, without fear, and without regard for others or outside opinions.
There is no transformation but instead, there is a re-affirmation that who we are has always been perfect.
I will leave with a few questions, which are simple yet not so simple—they are more brave than anything and deserving of honest answers.
What actions can you take to find your best true self and be happy?
What acts can you take to make you happy?
When will it be your turn to have the life you want and live comfortably?
And more importantly, when will you give yourself permission to this?
These are some of the steps we can take to be free from self-harm
Trust me . . .