I have come to the understanding that each life comes with an inherent truth. But what is truth? Or better yet, what is my truth? Or, should I ask, what is ours?
(Does anybody know?)
I have found that honesty can sting. Even at times when honesty is only pure, like the beauty of an old couple at a lake, looking across the surface to watch the ducks swim past before the sun goes down. The sky is on the verge of change and the color blue is about to switch to a pre-autumn sunset. Orange, I think. Yes, with shades of a purple hue to lace the clouds. And oh, the face of the lake is like a mirror to the sky. It’s perfect and true; yet, endearing enough to bring a tear to the eye.
I have seen this in different forms. I have seen this on movie screens. I have seen this in dreams and behind the walls of my eyelids. I have felt the endearing touch of emotion. I have had moments alone where I allowed myself to weep as if to say to the child within, “I know you’re there. And it’s okay.”
I say to him, “I’m here too.”
I say, “Just let me get through this minute and you and I will sit and talk for a while.”
“And I promise to set you free.”
“Don’t worry,” I say. “I’ve kept you safe for this long and I won’t stop now.”
As a matter of fact, I think there is a word for this.
It’s called reassurance.
I know that in some cases, truth can be inherently sad and the sadness of yesterday and the ability to have endured is touching enough to be inspirational. Even the truth of an open heart; even the truth of our temporary madness and the warmth of a sullen morning, viewing through a window to see a storm has come and lo and behold; the surroundings mirror that sentiment in our hearts. And that’s okay. Maybe this is a moment between us that lets us know, “Maybe we’re not so crazy.”
Besides, crazy people don’t think they’re crazy.
This means we are more sane than we believe.
I know that snow has fallen. The sky’s color is light gray. The wind is heavy, which means snow is flying in all directions. Some of the tree limbs are caked with white branches that have been laced with snow. It is dull as far as daylight goes. It’s cold outside. The wind moves in stages of a great breath, perhaps this is a representation of breath from the lungs of the almighty universe. Or, more accurately, this is the scene that I see now.
It is cold yet, there is an inherent warmth. There is something that makes sense to me. There is something telling; as if somehow, I know the truth. I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be and tomorrow is coming with something different.
I see no reason not to be honest. I see no reason to avoid the truth of our thoughts or not say what’s in our hearts. It is useless to deny what we think or feel, especially when we think and feel them.
Why lie? Why argue?
I have been journaling for years with one goal in mind. The goal is that I have to be honest. I have to be absolutely and unequivocally real. I have to do this regardless of the critics. I have to do this regardless of interpretation. I have to be mindful of my intention and mindful of my direction and anything or anyone else can go shit because this is for me. Not anyone else.
I told you something in confidence once. We talked about this a long time ago so, perhaps you might not remember. We talked about a lesson that I learned about the word “Humility.”
And what is it? What does it mean to be “Humble?”
This means to be true. To be humble means to be honest. This means that rather than act or pretend or report to you that I am fine and well and that I am unmoved or unafraid; instead, I am honest and I tell you the truth.
I say what I feel. I tell you when I’m shivering inside. I tell you what I think, which are literally thoughts and nothing else. This does not mean that I am sad or that I am in despair. No, this means I have thoughts, which I expose to keep them from weighing me down. And only you get this. As for the rest of the world, not so much.
I do not come here to act or brag. Instead, I come here to be humble. I am honest here because if ever there’s a place where I can live, feel or be free; this it it (with you).
Besides, where else can I be free, if not here?
Where else can I be honest?
Where else can I let “It” all out and put down my mask or be myself?
Someone else might interpret my thoughts and think that something is wrong. Ah, but no. Something is right.
Something is right because regardless of whatever may come or whatever pains I might feel or adversity I face, at least I have this place with you.
At least I have somewhere to go. At least I have somewhere that I can find relief. Meanwhile, there is an entire world out there who would never dare to be this honest.
They would never dare to reveal their truths; yet, they have a thousand different opinions about people who do.
I have seen people who take notes just to knock someone down. I have seen the crabs in the bucket, pulling their so-called friends down, just so no one else escapes the pot. I have seen people do this and defend their position and pull a card, as if to say, “Oh, I didn’t mean it like that.”
People say: You must be sad. You must be depressed if you write something so openly. No. This is not true. But, since we are on the subject, the only thing I must be is me.
Now, that’s humility.
I once supported a friend of mine who would write poems. My friend would tell me about their challenges. They would tell me things that made sense. They would talk about their worry of the critics. They would wonder if any of what they did was worth it.
Was anything even good?
And I would answer, “Write on, Poet.” And this became something between us.
To “Write on” no matter what, no matter who and no matter why, when or where.
This is humility. This is not bravery. This is simply honesty, which in fairness, who knows?
Maybe it is brave to be honest. Could be.
Or maybe this has nothing to do with bravery at all. Maybe my means to justify the ends is simply to feel better.
Besides, I have been buried beneath the wrong life for way too long. It is a far better thing that I do, to be honest and to be human.
I am real. I am blood and bone. I am a mind, a pair of lungs and a heartbeat. I am every bit as deserving as anyone else in this world. And thus, if I am to reach my goal and claim what I deserve, then I will gain this because I stayed true to my intentions.
So, no. Nothing is wrong.
Being honest is the only right thing to do, which is why I choose to “Write on” and keep going.
I have decided that this is where I come to be humble; here with you. This is my safe place.
I know what humility means and I know this now more than ever.
Humility means to be honest; therefore, modesty means the absence of pride. This means the ego is left at the door. So, rather than defend myself or look to impress anyone, you and I can be ourselves here. We can take off the mask and put down the shield. We can do this because it is safe.
So, let me be honest:
Let me be humble and let me be modest and true. I don’t want to virtue signal. I don’t want to be afraid here. I don’t want to be judged or criticized. I just want to be pure.
I want to reveal my emotions and let them be true without the bombardment of questions; as if to appear that something is wrong because no, nothing’s wrong. In fact; something is right.
The fact that I can openly say what I think or feel without pretending or saving my face is above all one of the most refreshing things that I own in my life.
This is why I do it. So I can breathe.
I come here to find you so that I can face the day. I do this because it helps me recoup and recover one more day.
I am here to meet you every morning because this is my life and you have become my lifeline. I am not depressed. I am Ben. I might live with depression. I might live with anxiety. I might live with different challenges but they are not me. No, I am me.
I am a man. I am a person. I am somehow who has been in the trenches. I have seen both sides of the table between mental health, emotional disturbance, good and bad and I have turned my world around.
I have one thing in the universe that no one else will ever have.
Regardless of what anyone says, I have this with you.
And besides, who cares what the rest of the world says . . .
Am I right?