For the past 23 years I have been trying to learn who I am, and how to love me for me. Even while the most profound sources of love surround me I sometimes struggle with providing myself with the same emotion. It is the reason I have often ignored the hands reaching out for me to uplift me and steady me when I waiver. When I’m shaking, quivering, unable to find my place within a corrupt world. Ironically, there are few things worse to me, than reaching out for help and the receiver not responding. I’ve been on both sides of this, and can now understand the frustrations that come with it. But, because I’ve been on both sides I’ve found my reason for my own behavior. Internal war. Conditioned responses. A youth (though it felt like an eternity) of comparisons to whomever appeared in my eyes to be better/prettier/smarter than I, only to find that no one is better than anyone. It is solely that some find a way to exceed their own expectations, and are held as such. (I imagine at this point someone is going to mention Michael Jackson, and I will laugh – you got 1 point.) What I wish I could whisper to the heart and soul of 9-year-old me is: what we demand from ourselves is the better. You get better than you every day, so long as you work at it, and you will because you never accept failure.
Here’s the tricky part. I’ll admit this now, so you understand why I’m writing this in its entirety. Why it’s called Caring for the Soul.
I overdo it. I push myself beyond “legal” limits, and in between those moments I lose sight of myself, consumed by the work and the notion of perfection that lingered with me from childhood. I am sure someone has told you at one time or another to take care of yourself. I believe people tell us this not only because we appear stressed, but also when we lose touch of an intangible sentiment they have always felt. That aura of goodness around you. At that instance we must try to find a way to drown out the world. To look inward. Silence the endless unimportant noise, and focus on our own soul. Especially those who look out for others on the regular basis, who take on the sorrows, misfortunes, and concerns of strangers. Half the time the disconnect that developed stems from the toxicity of the world, overflowing within us, clouding our better selves. Sometimes it’s like the world fades to black, but it’s all negativity, and the soul is weighed down.
So, how do you breathe again? How do you reestablish balance in your inner world?
You make a decision to.
Nurture yourself the way you have others. Look after yourself the way you have others. The thing people miss when you make yourself readily available to them, is that you need time for yourself as well. To give, you have to have your mind, heart, and soul intact. Ground yourself within yourself and find your clarity. Don’t get so caught up in the ways of the world, the ways of the people that don’t know you. The people you probably focus on, don’t see you as an individual, but as a group. When in reality, there is only one you. That is something I will always tell you. I see you as one. One limitless person who has to listen to herself and himself to attain those dreams you’ve told me about. Also, you’ve always known who you can truly trust, so if you need a second voice until you can isolate and trust your own, go to them. Find the courage to be gentle to yourself, and acknowledge the feelings you’ve ignored while being immersed in the daily cycles we run in. If you’re looking for a better day, start from the inside out and take care of your soul. Maybe then you can accept help from those reaching for you.