If I have learned anything in the last twenty-three-years, it has been the unfortunate discovery of accepting ourselves in secrecy. Our culture teaches us to never say too much, or you will be mistaken for an individual who is utterly defined by the distorted circumstances that have occurred in your life. We are taught to grieve, mourn, accept, recover and when life kicks back into gear, so do we. We are taught that nothing is constant, but change.
And if we do not learn to change with the world, we are a person who struggles in the aspect of being capable of moving on. And that can be anything from the changing of friends, careers, love, and spouses. We are taught to keep our weaknesses at an arm’s length and when we are asked about them, we never tell the truth. No, we are not damaged or deeply pained.
We must carry this persona that we are strong, shatterproof, and we do indeed look better with scars covering our bodies; it just shows we have fought, lost and won some, and moved on. We simply learn to accept the cruelty of the universe, lick our wounds, keep our head held high, and never stop fighting. However, this is not us, it will never be, and deep down in the core of our stomachs we are well aware of the identity we make for ourselves, to better fit in this world that strives for unrealistic expectations and an illusion of perfection.
When I was a little girl, I was taught to not cry. My father had claimed that crying would not change the outcome of an event. I was told that expressing my emotions was not an option in our household. We take the hand of cards we were dealt with and we learn to accommodate with them, to live with them and to never ask too many questions. I found this to be one of the hardest challenges to overcome as a child, not being able to feel. To be honest, I have yet to overcome the challenge of not being able to publicly feel or a remedy to suppress my feelings, because in reality, that is not possible. We feel everything, it is a part of the human condition.
I find this to be saddening—forced to accept ourselves in secrecy. We do not share the most intimate parts of ourselves to anyone and if we choose to mention the most rawest parts of our inner-being, we are risking the most awful realities of being rejected of love, acceptance, and understanding. So in turn, we hide. We learn to cry in our cars, find comfort in a bottle of Whiskey, and we learn to be emotionally limited until we are alone.
However, we cannot do this alone. We can no longer hide that I-am-too-needy-and-I-have-abandonment-issues to ourselves anymore. We need to find trust in our own hearts to tell someone that we were once physically and emotionally and we just want to be loved, comforted when we feel like letting out a good cry, and reassured that we are in fact beautiful when we share our vulnerable selves with another human being. Real emotional integrity is sharing our most sacred emotions with another imperfect soul. This is how we connect, relating ourselves to individuals who are fighting the same conflicts as us. And if anything is beautiful in this complicated world, it is showing your humanness. Taking a hand of a loved one, and placing their fingers on all of your open wounds. Accepting all of our whole truths. Knowing that who we are, with more faults and failures than strengths, is enough to be loved, accepted and understood.
Be yourself. Own your feelings. Never shy away from expressing your fragile soul and always remember that we are always risking something, no matter what we do. We have to embrace the human condition, understand that each fault or weakness of ours, is steamed from something that we may or may not subconsciously be aware of. We have to reconsider the thought of sharing ourselves entirely with another human who is just as defective as we are. We can no longer hide the virtue of being openly vulnerable. We must share it and if that means risking the world to turn on us, then we need to be mindful that not everyone is capable of understanding us, but we will have more turned cheeks before we are finally able to run into open and accepting arms.
One thing to remember, you can never change your truths. Yes, we can hide them and bury them deep within ourselves, but nothing feels more amazing than to free ourselves from the things that actually define us. Show yourself love, nurture your low self-esteem, provide gentleness to your insecurities, and show yourself gratitude for surviving another storm. Strength is loving yourself, not partially, but entirely.