There was a point in my life when my heart was filled with pain, when I experienced so much pressure from the outside, when I had so few positive influences in my life, that I gave up on myself.
I was only just not a child anymore. I had people who loved me, but they were in even more pain themselves, so they failed to show their love or pay attention to me hurting. They couldn’t take care of me. I hadn’t been given the tools to do it myself just yet, I had no way to learn, and I was surrounded by broken souls who were functioning only through their brokenness.
I was hurting deeply, because of what I had seen, because of what I’ve been told, because of whom I had lost, and I needed someone to care for me. I wasn’t ready to take care of myself, all by myself. I wasn’t ready to be a grown up. I wasn’t ready to tell someone ‘no’ loudly if they hadn’t listened the first time. I needed someone to show me how it’s done, so that I could copy it: taking care of yourself. Caring FOR yourself. Being compassionate with yourself. LOVING yourself so much that you didn’t have to rely on anyone else’s love to feel complete.
But there was no one to teach me.
And soon enough, I started copying what I saw around me. And I found out for myself that being sad gets you attention which feels a bit like love. And love was what I was craving.
I wanted to be carefree, but every time I tried, I ‘let down’ the people around me who were relying on me to care for them so they could feel loved.
I wanted to be happy and have fun, learn some lessons by making a few silly choices , but when I tried, I was told that I had messed things up irreparably (when I hadn’t). I became too afraid to ever appear careless again.
What I didn’t want is to feel alone. So I joined in on the brokenness that was surrounding me. I tried to repair it at first because that is what we do when we see brokenness. But I still felt alone. And I was in no position to know how much more that would hurt me.
I started to feel. I felt all the hopelessness. I felt all the sadness. I felt all the loneliness. All the pain that had been accumulated for years, through generations.
And it broke me too. I didn’t know that it would ever stop. Soon enough it was all I knew.
I gave up, without knowing it. It wasn’t even a big deal. All I knew were people who had given up, long before me.
And soon, I felt nothing at all.
The time is now.
The way I once felt was all I had known for most of my life. I’ve only discovered another way of feeling in the last few years. I only discovered another way of feeling because some people in my life who didn’t give up on me, and one, who did more than she had to.
Once I had found my way out, I decided I never wanted to go back to my old ways. Still, over the last few weeks I had moments which turned into days of feeling ‘in my old ways’. I felt it creeping up, but thought that I couldn’t allow it, because it had knocked me down so hard before that I only managed to get back up with a lot of help. Of course I will fight to never be in the same situation again.
But I won’t win this fight by pretending my darkness never existed, or doesn’t still exist now. Maybe the only way to win this fight is by putting down my weapons.
Maybe there was never a fight in the first place. Maybe I had created it.
I am reflecting back on this time because I am trying to understand the present. So I can find a way to stop fighting. Most of all, so I can make sure not to pass my brokenness to the next person, to the next generation.
I’m sharing my reflections on this time because I still don’t want to be alone. Because I still want to connect. Because I want to truly understand and feel that we are all connected.
The more we can do to understand this and the more we can spread that message, the better of a place this world is.
It is the most powerful lesson there is. We are not separate.
Neither are light and darkness. Naturally, the sun sets slowly, letting darkness take its place. There is no fight. Then there is always the light of the stars existing in the darkness of the universe.
I am learning now to accept my darkness, and to allow negativity it’s place while taking some sweet, sweet care of myself to make sure I don’t drift into the darkness that feels endless.
Now I’m imaging how good would life be, if we chose to let positivity flow into negativity, and float back just as easy. If we could let emotions flow without judgment, let them come and let them go when it is time.
The truth is, if we keep practising, any emotion will naturally flow, just like the sun slowly leaves our sight, only to light up the sky for someone else, only gone until the morning, only until it comes back.
If you’re going through dark times, try to remind yourself that it will pass. No matter how hopeless everything seems right now, things are always and forever changing. Don’t be afraid to accept help.
Even though you might be used to putting this kind of pressure on yourself, do don’t have to be ready to conquer the world tomorrow (or finish that degree, or run that half marathon, or stay in the high-pressure job), all you have to do right now is to be gentle with yourself.