selective focus photography of woman wearing gold solitaire ring

I feel like I’m stuck inside a well that separates me and the rest of the world. I’m constantly looking up and never spend enough time looking within.

I may live within this well that acts as a barrier between me and them, as I refer to those outside my circle, but I don’t spend enough time reflecting in the darkness. In my own darkness. I’m so focused on what’s above me, what is going on outside of my own realm of mind and being. And I realize this is why I don’t truly know myself. I want to understand myself on a deep level, I want to get my hands dirty, but since I was a child I refused to even try. All I focused on were the sandcastles I built in my make believe sky, because I never opened my eyes wide enough to see the real one.

I wasn’t a part of anything grand… at least, that’s what I convinced myself all this time. So my hands grew tired building people up sky high only to watch them slip through my fingers like the sand, and its box I refused to outgrow.

If I really wanted to break free, I needed to start breaking down walls with my bare hands instead. That’s the only way they’d grow stronger. But I was always adverse to the work, always afraid of the stretch, as if I wouldn’t bounce back. I’m starting to realize I’m made of the same elastic as everyone else. What I choose to let into my core, and what’s already inside, is what shapes me into my unique soul.

I was the builder of my own castle, and it didn’t need to be made of sand. I wasn’t the delicate piece of glass I believed I was. And I never realized that when people held me, I was actually cutting them with my expectations. Because I never felt good enough, I expected everyone else around me to be what I couldn’t be to myself; I expected everyone else to live up to some grandiose version of themselves in my head. In my head, I kept them trapped. In my ideals, I never let them breathe, and I didn’t even realize that’s what I was doing until recently. Until I looked around me and realized I had covered all the mirrors, like some unconscious ritual that was sung to me like a lullaby.

Refusing to look into my own eyes was the reason I kept stumbling. And the ground would crack open and swallow me whole, and I never understood how I got there. That’s what happens when you live your entire life with your eyes closed. You may as well be asleep, and maybe I was.

I can now take your advice; I can close my eyes, be still, and let myself feel. But this time, I won’t be closing my eyes to fall asleep; I will be listening within, watching it all, with open eyes and an open heart, reflecting back to me.

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