I was meant for greater than what I’m currently experiencing. My fears, these obstacles, them naysayers…none of them are bigger than all I was meant to become. All that I will ever be.
I can’t articulate my hatred for unkind people. For unkindness. I can’t make it poetic or profound. I don’t care how important someone is. How popular. However powerful someone is…shouldn’t matter. Always treat others with kindness.
I remember seeing a photo of myself when I was around 20 years old. I was looking down, and there was sadness in my face. In my eyes. Sometimes when you life gets you down, you can no longer hide it from the world. It’s in your posture. In your hair. In your skin. Even when you smile, a sadness hangs over your eyes and stretches them down to the sides of your body. There’s nothing unnatural about challenges and finding that sometimes there really is no way to conceal the pain. Wear it in your demeanor like a coat that’s much too big. But take it off soon or it’ll become a second skin. There’s nothing unnatural about being transparent about just how deeply you’re affected by something. Wear your humanity as a badge of honor. Do not try to hide it behind an armor of facade. It will take up residence in your soul and hang there tormenting you until you’re a shell of your former self. I see pictures of myself now with none of the soreness of a fresh wound, but if it’s there I know now (what I didn’t understand at 20) that pain is temporary. So I get to trade in all this heaviness for a smile because I’ve learned that not every lesson will be an easy or happy one. These challenges come to make us strong. To make us better. To remind us that we’re human. And there’s nothing in this world wrong with acknowledging that.
There they are: every thought, every memory, every missed opportunity, every failure from the day’s tasks. They’ve come to taunt you. Come to haunt you. Come to remind you of every single little thing that bothered you about the day. While the sun is up you can ignore them, store them individually on a shelf and move on to the next thing. But at night they form a congress of petty annoyances that come at you at once. They tease. They harass. They try to steal the sleep from you. If you couldn’t do anything about it then, what makes now different…when the world itself is asleep? Why is the urgency of everything that produces worry in our souls something that must be solved now? Here’s my advice: do not believe the things you tell yourself late at night. Under the shade of darkness even the simplest of problems seem like insurmountable challenges. But you’ll get through it. Let the sleep wash over you and dream of peaceful things. Tomorrow is another day.
And I just can’t be angry. Or sad. Or despondent. Or give up hope. That’s how you know it was real. It may not be all that you expected or wanted it to be, but there comes a time when finally, it doesn’t break you or make you bitter. It makes you better. It makes you ready…to love.
I know why my heart is so wild, so restless: because I am a part of every soul that went before me, endlessly searching for home. As Tennyson once wrote, “I am a part of all I have met.” Well every one that came before me carried a part of who they were and passed it on to me. Once I find those missing parts, I’ll find a place to call home. I know I’ll find it, because it isn’t here. It’s in me.
Like love, it really is all around us. We just have to look for it in the simple things. In the air, in the trees, in the faces that pass us on the street. It’s in the mirror too. 😘