I am more than where I come from. I am certainly more than my past and more than my future. I am like you or anyone else in this world. I am a series of different chapters which open and close no differently than the daily sun that rises each morning. I am more than this too and yet, I am simply just me. I understand this. I tried to attack the ideas and identify the mysteries about myself by writing out my thoughts. I did this to feel better, which at first, I worried too much about the world around me and the interpretation of myself. I worried about my education or the lack thereof. A writer? Me? Could I ever be? Or more to the point, could I ever be anything more than what I was?
Put simply, I wanted to find myself and create an honest sense of inner-soul searching. I wanted to do something that would not only help me find understanding but more, I started to write my journals because I wanted to learn about my truth. I wanted to rid myself of the mental or emotional blocks and be freed from my internal bullies. Plus, I always wanted to learn how to write. And by this I mean, I wanted to learn how to descriptively transpose my thoughts onto a page. I wanted to have my thoughts be visible enough to see color and taste the different flavors that come with emotion. If I wrote to you, I wanted you to be able to see, feel and literally touch my words and grasp the velvety concepts behind them.
Secondly, it was important to me that I become and remain consistently real. By this I mean, I never wanted to write and allow myself to be shaped by the critics or appeal to the compliments. My goal was to write humbly and modestly. I chose this goal because of a lesson I learned during a tough stint in my life.
In the wake of a few tragedies, I found myself looking for answers. I learned that there is one inescapable fact and try as you will; no matter where you go there you are. The truth cannot be escaped. It can be ducked and hidden but the truth never goes away. Eventually, I learned the toughest lesson, which is you can save your face and you can save your ass but you can’t save your face and your ass at the same time. You have to choose.
I was faced with a list of humiliating discoveries. There were some revelations in my life that knocked me from my feet and kicked me from my so-called high horse. The saying is true, pride does come before the fall. Ego is not always a friend. Greed, lust and gluttony, pride, envy, wrath and sloth are the so-called deadly sins but to me, all of them were only symptoms. All of them were only reactions to something within me or something lacking, which I tried my best to hide.
I tried . . .
I tried but all of my reasons for reacting were based on this thing in me, which I define as something fragile. Like a porcelain doll with chips and cracks. God forbid anyone should see this. God forbid, anyone should know my truth or see the invisible cracks and brakes in my personality, which read like a road map to the vulnerable truths that would expose my inner-self.
As I opened myself up to this adventure and committed to writing on a daily basis, I realized that humility and modesty were the bravest words I could think of. To be humble or possess humility means to be honest. This meant no decorations or flavors to distract from the truth. This meant that pride has no room in my reports. At least not here. Not with you. No, this is where modesty is crucial, in which case, I had to understand the definition of modesty, which is simple. Modesty is really nothing, except the absence of pride. Be this. Be real. Be honest and be aware of the ego.
When I decided to journal, I had made one quote famous to myself. I would regard this quote as somewhat of my personal mission statement. My first line to myself was written from the heart and with no thought in mind. I sat down with a wholehearted sense and in a stream of consciousness format. I wrote the first words that came to my mind.
My redemption has nothing to do with your response.
I wrote this to remove the worry or the concerns about whether I would be received or understood by anyone else. I wrote this because I wanted to write, which to some, my prose made little sense. My sentence structure was poor and my grammar, spelling, typos and typing ability were equally poor. But who cares? To hell with the grammar police and the literary Nazis. Nothing I wrote was intended for anyone else. Instead, this was my soul searching for the light of truth. My intention was to free myself from the darkness of my misperceptions. I needed to find my way out of my own dark little room, which is where I kept myself for a lifetime, holed up like a prisoner of war. I use the expression “Holed up” to describe me as I was, hiding, as if to be in a hole, deep below the surface of life and trapped within myself and locked in the dungeon of thought, which was nothing more than being caged by the lies of my inaccuracies.
Humility and modesty, which meant the understanding that no, I could not save my face and my ass at the same time. This meant that I could not dress and decorate my stories with little embellishments to protect my ego from facing the vulnerable truths. This would have to come to an end. There was no more tough guy nonsense. There was no more lying or exaggerating. There was no room for this at all. None, whatsoever.
If I was to become the person I wanted to be; then this was the only way through. I was done with myself and my life or the way it was. I was done trying to please or commercialize myself to be included. No, none of this worked for me. Not now. Not then. Not ever.
If I am to become the person I want to become and if I am ever to reach my goal of being the writer of my choice, the only way this can happen is if I remove myself from the equation. I can’t be afraid to let go of my creations. I can’t grip them so tightly that they never have the chance to be or breathe. This means I have to remove pride, insert honesty and above all things; this meant that I must first walk away from myself and the false gods and the false creations I used as protection.
To be the person I wanted to become, I had to be unwavering and unrelenting. This meant that by removing the covers of my inner truths, whether they were accurate or only a figment of my imagination, to be cleansed from my former self, I had to reveal my true self. This had to be me, rough, rugged or raw, or weak and vulnerable; either way, I had to be truthful with what I saw, thought and believed.
There is the idea that changing your behavior enables one to change their thinking. There is another concept, which I celebrate because I have learned this to be true. I have learned that dark truths fear the light because the concept of light would lead to exposure of the dark. Therefore, by exposing my dark truths and/or fears, the darkness of my lies were settled by the light of a new truth. This meant the threat was not as threatening. I called myself out. I brought myself out into the light, which was not easy. No, the purity stings, which only means that the remedy was working. My past lost its grip on me. My fears were exposed and less than threatening. I faced myself and the inner bully; and like most bullies, I overcame them with real strength, which is that I am no longer afraid. The kind of bravery I want to have is that I am not afraid to say anything truthful about myself. No matter what. I’ve come a long way. Then again, I suppose we’ve all come a long way. Everyone comes a long way when they work to improve. The important thing is to celebrate this. Recognize growth, acknowledge achievements and celebrate any and all successes regardless of their size or reward.
It’s amazing to think about where I was when I started this journey. I’ve held to my commitment though. Downfalls and setbacks aside, I still kept my promise to come here with you. I stuck with it and no, you might not find me on the bestseller list. But hey, my redemption has nothing to do with your response. I’m not here for the food and friends. No, I’m here for this: I’m here for my daily routine, to sit with you and make sure I’m never so lost or dark again.
Thank you . . . .
As long as we are aa true to.ourselves as we honestly can be at that time. That is all that really counts. Sometimes I take honest posts down put of fear. Sometimes if I am in a reactive place and seem to be judging others I later get uncomfortable. I get the think about nit wanting to take in compliments but a simple thank you helps me connect to those who resonate and reach out. We are here to share honestly..face our dark side and embrace others in my opinion and writing has saved me since I was 5 years old growing up in a family where I never felt fully seen or understood. The blank pages did that for me. I find your posts moving.
Sorry for the typos when I reply on my phone without glasses I often make mistakes..
I am the king of typos
🙂 thanks Ben..
I think you’ve produced amazing volumes of self-discovery that helps others do the same. I have found that writing helps me uncover more stuff than just sitting thinking about it. Sometimes stuff comes out of your pen (or keyboard) you never expected!