What I am about to write is no easy task. However, this is something that I offer you as a means of friendship. This is something from me to you, which, actually, this is an offering. This is from me to you as an explanation to the way I relate to the things you say. I wanted to send this because to me, this message is worthwhile.
And speaking of worth . . .
Here’s an idea about our value. For example, the things people say are often different from the things we hear. But hey, in the Land of Interpretation, misconception is king (or queen, depending upon the circumstances).
I was wondering—
Why do we bother looking in the mirror if we don’t believe in what we see?
Do you understand where I’m going with this?
What I mean is there’s perfection in our reflection. Only, for some reason we only see flaws, which are inaccurate and programmed. Yet, I’m not sure where these programs came from. I’m not sure why we have them. They’re just there, storing space in our mind. And I don’t know why this is.
Was it you or me?
Was it the images we saw or the things we heard while growing up? Is this just a case of the thought machine?
Or was it the moments we spent wishing life came easily or naturally; and each time we posed or fixed our grin, or acted as if, — maybe somewhere in there is the skewed version of us.
Know what I mean?
Maybe this came from our life in comparison to others. Maybe it was the need to strengthen our weaknesses to be, let’s see, how do we say this: impenetrable?
Ever pose? Ever practice? Ever rehearse the things you were planning to say? Yet, you never said them. You just prepared yourself, just in case.
Ever rehearse an old conversation that’s been long gone and yet, you still relive it as though it were yesterday?
Ever find yourself uncomfortable because the last thing you said echoed in your mind because it sounded so incredibly stupid?
I hate when this happens. The last word sort of echoes in your mind and it won’t stop. You try and say something redeeming. You try to fix it only the hole you’re in digs deeper with every next thing you say.
I think there’s a word for this. I think this is called insecurity only, I think this seems so much bigger than one simple word. I will say this for sure. It is hard when you can’t see yourself clearly. It’s hard when you lack confidence. It’s hard when you can’t see your worth. It’s hard to feel good when all you see are the faults and flaws. And yet, even more, it is hard to be beautiful when you can’t see your own beauty.
It’s hard because sometimes, I’m not sure if we even know what beauty is. And more, it’s hard to be beautiful when we think ugly thoughts or believe ugly things. It’s hard because these ideas can rip us apart. Ideas like this can make us question ourselves. Ideas like insecurity or the constant questioning and the internal narrative are tough partnerships to deal with. Especially the internal narrative because the internal narrative can be a bitch sometimes. This leads to irrational worries and inaccurate assumptions. This leads us to question everything we say or do. Or, if we did do something or said anything, ideas like this lead us to question why we bothered to say anything at all. I swear, mental masturbation is truly a bitch. This and the ideas of impending doom can go to hell.
Am I right?
Laughter has always been an interesting thing to me. It was always interesting to see people laugh or dance or be comfortable to enjoy themselves in a crowd. I used to wonder how people did this. I used to wonder how people felt comfortable with themselves when me, I felt so incredibly vulnerable sometimes.
It hurt me. Know what I mean?
Let me ask—
Have you ever noticed the paths we take? What I mean is our life choices. Have you ever noticed how relationships tend to run the same patterns and outcomes seem to end the same ways. Ever say to yourself, “Why does this always happen to me?”
Ever stop and wonder if this has anything to do with our choices? Ever wonder if our subconscious programs and ideas can turn us around and lead us in the same direction? More to the point, ever realize that much of our problems are contributory. Therefore, change our patterns. Change our behavior to change our thinking and inevitably, we start to change our feelings.
Did you ever wish you were someone else because you felt you were like no one else? So what do you do with something like this? You try. You fix your smile. You put on your brave face or you shrug it off. You try as if to act like nothing bothers you, — except, deep down, you know that it does. So what do you do? You try harder. You try to hide yourself behind anything and everything that won’t show your truth. Sound familiar?
Do you have any idea how painful this is to the people that love you?
But hey, they love us, right? So they have their own biases. You could even say that I have one too. Am I right?
People that love you are supposed to tell you nice things. People just soap you up, like it’s a con, like they can actually accomplish something by lying to say, “Hey, you’re really good at this.” I do not say this is easy to admit to nor is this easy to write about because believe me; I have my own struggles.
I have my own difficulties with the mirror sometimes. I have my own qualms with the sound of my voice and my own internal narrative. I hate the sound of my voice. If you have to know the truth, I hate speaking in front of people, which literally makes no sense because I speak publicly all the time. It’s true. Yes, it is. That doesn’t mean it’s easy for me.
I have insecurity. I have this idea in me; and it whispers to me often in a way that whispers louder than a scream. Only, no one can hear it. No one except for me.
Goddammit man, this is a painful and unfortunate way to live. This is a tough way to look at yourself. The truth is and I’ve said this before, it’s hard to see your beauty when you’ve been blinded by ugly lies for such a long time. It’s hard to step away from that. It’s hard to believe anyone else could possibly see you as beautiful too. And I get it. How could anyone possibly see you this way? How could anyone see you as beautiful when all you see yourself as is anything but?
And I don’t say any of this lightly. I don’t say “I’m right about this,” or “trust me, I’ve been there,” because I haven’t.
No, I’ve only been me for my entire life. I’ve never been you before so I wouldn’t dare to try and appropriate your life or your background, your feelings or your ideas. I would never insult you this way. No, this is just me sending you an offering. Or, more accurately, this is just me trying to be a friend.
When I hear you speaking, I think to myself, “I get it”. I’ve felt this way or at least similarly. I know what it feels like to look inside and not be able to find anything redeeming about yourself. I know what it feels like when you literally can’t catch a break. You can’t catch your own breath. I know what it feels like to look around and wonder, “What’s the fucking point?”
Something else I know is what it feels like when you look around at the top layers of life. You look at everyone else and the way they live, which seems so easy for them. You see what people have, which always appears to be more (or better) than what you have even if it’s worse.
The problem is it’s hard to realize there is a great big world below that superficial life. The problem is the failure to see ourselves for what we are, which is actually beautiful. Only, it’s hard to be beautiful when you believe you’re ugly.
It’s hard to find strong qualities when all you see is weaknesses. It’s hard to find love this way. It’s hard to love anyone else too and more than anything, it’s hard to love yourself.
One thing I came to realize is everyone has life going on. Everyone is recovering from something. Everyone knows what fear is and everyone knows about insecurity. And just because someone tells you they know better is not an insult. It doesn’t mean they’re right either. Suggestions do not mean you are stupid. Just because something doesn’t work or something doesn’t fit, don’t let this take you down the rabbit hole.
Don’t see this as discouraging. Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever allow anyone to steal your thunder and by any means necessary, never give up your smile because this is you at your best. And don’t worry so much about the beautiful. Trust me, smoke and mirrors do an incredible trick. So don’t be fooled. Not everything is what it seems. Plus, no matter how pretty someone is on the outside; if they’re ugly on the inside, they could only be average at best. And you, believe me kid, you are nothing short of extraordinary. As a matter of fact, you couldn’t be average if you tried.
So, before I go, I have a challenge for you. Just for now, set aside all the things that weigh you down. Set aside your resentments. Forgive your problems for the moment. Think about a light switch at the doorway to a room. Imagine you turn the switch off and turn out the lights. Now, imagine you leaving the room. And of course, you turn off the lights because that’s what you do when you leave the room. You do this because you don’t want to waste electricity right? It’s a waste of energy, isn’t that what they teach us?
Think about your mind like a house with rooms. Each thought is a room. Each room has memories and each room stores your past experiences and your regrettable yesterdays and your ideas that taught you the lessons you wish you never learned. There are rooms for your anxiety. There are rooms for your insecurity. There are rooms for your fears and rooms for your pain.
Think about this. Think about these rooms and how many lights are burning brightly in them, and yet, you’re not even there. These are the storage rooms in your brain. Imagine how much energy you would have if one by one, each of those unnecessary lights was to turn off. (So you can rest.)
Think about how much energy you would conserve if it wasn’t spent on waste?
See, that’s the thing about waste. Waste doesn’t care if we miss it or not. Waste is always there. So take a break kid. It’s okay. I know it ain’t easy but for what it’s worth, I’m here now.
As a matter of fact . . .
I wish I could have sent this to you when you were younger. I wish I could have told you this. I wish I could have shown you the lies and introduced you to your truth. But here we are now. And I know you’re still there. So don’t worry. I know the kid you used to be. But trust me son, none of what you believed is true.
Now go dance kid. And sing if you want to.
Smile as much as you can.
I got you.