Changing the Inner View

I wonder . . .
When can we throw it all away, as if yesterday never mattered and now, here we are. Nothing else could be more important than this moment. Right here. Right now. And without judgment.
Just to be present.
I find myself in various stages of inspection. Some would say that hey, this is just me. I think too much or too often but then again, we all do.
We think too much and we pause too often. We miss the boat sometimes and then it hits. us. There we are thinking about a sunset that we will never see again. Or wondering what the temperature is like in places we’ve never seen but only dreamed about.

This is not intended to be overly sappy or sentimental, hard or anything like that. Instead, I am seeking an ear to listen. I am searching for a voice to speak and if this can be found, I am looking for the like-minded souls and for those who think deeply. Yet, as wonderful as this is (and you are) people who are often this incredible never dare to share their thoughts with anyone else.
So, let me speak first and if you feel comfortable later, I’m here to listen.

I remember there was a line from a show I used to watch. I was younger then but not so young. The show itself is not something that I choose to advertise. However, my life (or My So-Called Life) has often been altered or impacted simply because a person was brave enough to speak up. I can remember times like this.
I remember the eye-opening moment when I thought, “Yeah, me too!”
I can recall being in a sense of shock because I never dared to share certain things; but more, I never stopped to think that there are others who feel the way I do. And then ah, suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone.
What an amazing discovery this is – to not be alone, to realize that perhaps we are not too crazy (or unworthy).

This is why I do this.
This is why I look to keep this world spinning. This is because I know there are times when I hear something and find relief to know that I am not alone.

The line I remember is this: “No one should hate who they are.”
I wonder . . .

I have met famous people and wealthy, powerful and popular ones too. Yet, they suffered in silence. I have met people who no one would ever realize felt alone or ugly and also imperfect and irredeemable.

I wonder how many people relate to this. I wonder how many people look at their reflection in the mirror and as they look, they believe they would be better as someone else. I wonder how many people see their reflection with contempt or regret because this is them and this is what they look like.
But wait. There’s more.
I wonder how many people look at themselves in the mirror and see themselves as worthless or as a liability. I wonder if the mirror show us nothing more than a series of great inaccuracies, which alter our perception and change our view into something ugly.

I listen to people preach and take their pulpits and as they do, I think to myself “Do you even know what depression is?”

No one should hate who they are.
But, people do.

I wonder how many people relate to this. I wonder how many people feel diseased or shamed because of their history or their background or because of unwanted touches they’ve felt, which only led them to feel dirty or ashamed (or stained as if to forever be tainted or incapable of being clean, cleansed or free).

I wonder.

I wonder if anyone knows the worst theft of any kind is the theft of self – to lose to an idea or to a belief that is so inaccurate that they lose sight of themselves – or their true beauty.
I am blown away sometimes. No, really. I am.
It staggers me to see how people subside to themselves and sink inwards, never to know, never to see or never to realize how truly incredible they are. 
Maybe what I see is a reflection of me. Or, maybe you can relate too. Maybe we all can.

I say this as someone with scars and unfortunate indentations. I say this as a person with imperfections, which I believed were nothing other than proof of my ugliness.
I say this as a person without regard for my pride or ego and essentially, both vulnerably and humbly – I express myself here to you with hopes that there are others out there who know how crippling insecurity can be.
But further, I offer this as somewhat of a truce. No arms. No manipulation. No emotional weapons of mass deception or destruction. I write this for the youth, for the old and the young and for anyone who has grown so inward that they fail to see their true outward appearance – and how without you, the world would simply not be the same place.

All I have are these words to defend myself and I lay them here to render me defenseless – even in a professional setting. I leave this here as a submission that this is real. And not just for me but for much of the world.

I say this as a person who has watched brilliant minds believe they are nothing more than childish or stupid. I have seen the lights in the sky, beautiful as ever, like, say, the skyline of my City.
I have taken to roofs atop some of the tallest buildings our city has. I have looked out both east and west, north and south.
I thought of my various tasks as a person and my responsibility to myself yet, there I was stuck in a holding pattern. I was stuck in a failure to launch my hopes or my dreams. But why?
What was I lacking? What was I missing?
Was it my spirit? Was it my looks? Was it money?
Or was it my belief that was missing?

I spent years this way. No, I spent decades lacking the belief that I was undeserving of love, warmth or that of a sweet attention that comes without abandon or shame.
In fact, I spent the majority of my life in the disbelief that my dreams deserved to come true.
And where does this come from?
This comes from my cognitive relationship with my history. This comes from the lessons that I learned. This comes from the beats, the shames, the bruises and the blood, the sweat, tears, and as a combination, this comes from my need to “BE.”
Years ago, I used to spend time in basements of churches; in meetings with people who would share and tell me, “Of course you feel that way. You’re an addict and alcoholic. However, dare I say it, I defy this concept. I defy this concept because I despise the limitation this puts on me or anyone else for that matter. I am not a label. My only label is my name, otherwise known as ME. 

No, I feel and think this way because I am human. I am a person. I have memories and un-seeable scars and unmatchable pains yet, I have the ability to resolve and recover (and so do you).
I have the ability to inspire and motivate, love, share and cherish.
I have the ability to stand and heal and appear before the sun, one more day and as I say “Here I am.” I have the universal right to improve and adapt, regardless of any labels or identities.
In fact, this is not about identity or gender or the need to discuss the differences between them all.

No, this is to find my sense of commonality because I have spent nearly 50 years thinking about my differences. And now I celebrate them. 

Know why?
Because nobody should hate who they are.

No one should lose themselves to the ideas of rejection especially since rejection is not real. At least, not really. Rejection is a product of our assumptions and interpretation; therefore, rejection only exists in our minds.
We see this as a measure of our faults or inefficiencies. Meanwhile, even if this is an outline of our defects, who does this outline belong to, if not us? How is it that we can value the view or opinion of strangers more than the way we see ourselves? 

I go back to the standards of our chaotic thinking and the conversations we have in our head. I go back to the way we administer our defense or the way we preemptively strike first, to keep from being hurt.
I remember wishing I could say what I thought or felt. But I was out of my head. I was out of my mind. I was too afraid and too lost to an assumption that the problem was me; that it was me who is the ugly one and that at best, the only way I could redeem myself was through lies or manipulation or even this – to buy people because otherwise, no one comes around unless it’s a benefit for them.

But dig –

I get it. I get the ideas of emotional quicksand and the harder you try to get out, the deeper you sink. I get what it’s like when you say something and the words come out so painfully awkward, and you hear them repeating.
So, you say something to redeem yourself. Or maybe you say something to defend yourself but in your defense, you only sound worse. And there you go, sinking to an emotional quicksand, drowning, and you can’t breathe because of the fear and the feelings of uncomfortability are too much to think about.

I can’t believe this sometimes.
Know why?
Because I have seen some of the most beautiful people in the world yet, they never knew it. No one ever told them. Even when someone does tell them, they never believe this is true.

I never saw myself as smart. I never thought that I had any of what it takes to build or create. I only believed in my limitations; therefore, all I knew how to do was defame or destroy.
But not anymore.
The war is over and I have grown too tired from battle. I’m tired of trying to be strong. So, let me be weak. Let me be meek and let me be humble. Let me do this here now, with you as my witness because otherwise, if I choose to go back then I’ll be back to the front of a war that only exists in my fears.

Do you want to know something else?
I don’t care where this goes or who sees this.
I don’t care about my business or book sales.
I’d rather find courage and strength in humility than fake my way as someone who can take it – or take it all. 

No one should hate who they are.
Yet, people do.
So, this is a hopeful entry to my journal with hopes that someone out there knows the truth, which is this – I have never seen someone as beautiful as you.
In fact, I admire you.

Know why?
Because I know what it’s like to hate myself too.

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