i muddled through the black waters, pants sticking to my legs and trying to drag me deeper, deeper into the depths of what i couldn’t see.
true north shone brightly in front of me, coaxing me farther into the shallow night.
their lights nicked me here and there. i dove behind patches of nature i couldn’t name, my breath drowning out the pounding of my heart as i tried to quiet myself into the stillness of the amazon.
they’d invited me here
given me stories of love
but that’s all they were. stories to cover their chains. chains and blood and misery. i sliced through them with paper cuts and tears, fleeing into the middle of what they would not see.
they’d made theirs.
it moved, the sky, and i realized i was going the wrong way.
or perhaps. true north never was very true.
could they lie so perfectly?
i drove a stake into my heart to hush it. not now. i needed to think. needed to breathe.
their voices came closer, closer, words almost but not.
would they stop at the gate? the gate, the gate they’d paraded in front of us all, mocking our chained gait, waving their red flags to hide the truth. behind crowds and chants, mindless distraction and chemistry.
we didn’t listen.
we chose too.
at the gate now, their rattling grating on my nerves. so close their words made sense, scraping down my spine and making my teeth ache.
i would not go back. inside me, they spoke, we will not go back.
i nodded in agreement, branches scratching my face and arms.
moving in nanoseconds and held breaths, i peeked around the black bark of the tree. everything painted black in the absence of the moon, they appeared as foreign things, standing with too long limbs, too large heads, rounder than seemed right.
at the gate.
they moved like they had no joints, too limber, too broken. eyes shining like an animal’s as the lights they carried caught them in the face. hissing and guttural anger issued through the clearing.
backs to me now.
left me to my choice.
i sighed into the tree at my back, tension rolling off my skin like springs falling out, leaving me lifeless and warm.
but there was no escaping what lived inside me now.
Get over all the dramas of your life and the dramas of your relationships.
I love that the support group I go to helps me to see that I am held responsible for myself and no one else.
I can be here to support but I am not here to fix people or their situations. Enabling them will help them stay ill. Keeping them from feeling the consequences of their actions, inactions, and/or words will help them stay ill. Lying so that I appear to be who they want me to be will help them stay ill.
Not doing that.
Doesn’t matter what kind of illness it is either. There are so many addictions. So many ways for us to hurt ourselves and others.
I am responsible for me.
You are responsible for you.
My words, my actions, my issues, my pain – my responsibility to deal with.
But that’s not what I want to get into today.
Today, I want to challenge the saying, “grow up”.
I was going to add it to my thought process. My support group reminds me, tough love, grow up.
But that’s not quite right.
Tough love at times yes.
“Growing up” isn’t exactly getting good at life. It isn’t exactly enjoying life. It isn’t exactly living life.
Perhaps what we really need is youth. A youthful mindset.
Youth focuses on self-care and self-love and relationship with God (or whatever your Higher Power is), and then thinks of others.
Youth says “no” and doesn’t feel ashamed for meeting their NEEDS before someone else’s WANTS. (Don’t forget, unless you’re the parent to a child, other peoples’ needs are their responsibility to meet. You don’t disregard your needs to help someone else meet their needs because they’re good at manipulating you, or a thousand other scenarios.)
If we are to become youthful, we will know and believe we matter and so do all others; humans, animals, and nature alike.
Enjoy our lives more.
Seek out what we are passionate about more.
Change our perspectives. If we make a mistake – we are NOT horrible, a loser, the scum of the earth, etc. – instead, when we make a mistake, why not think of it as an experiment?
Youthfulness realizes life is a gift.
Youthfulness accepts that life is going to hurt.
Youthfulness both knows and believes we have to create our own magic to feel our lives are magical.
This dizzying wave of noise blasting through a protective layer of music in peaks and bossy valleys – life isn’t really all that glamorous.
There is nothing fancy about who I am or what or where I come from.
Am I complicated? Oh so very much. Quite so. I am layer after layer of pain masqueraded behind plastic lips and lying eyes. And don’t tell me that eyes give people away. Sure, they can. But eyes can lie.
And what happens when you get lost in the lies of those pretty eyes.
You get dragged in, inch by inch until all you have left is a memory of your soul. Perhaps an ember or two.
Because if you hide well enough behind a mask, you may walk right past someone who is ideal for you. Whether as a friend, helper or lover, it doesn’t matter.
You will never meet them or know them, feel accepted by them or loved by them if they do not know who you are.
You’ll never have what you truly crave because you were not yourself. Instead, hiding behind a mask of lies and partial truths. Don’t hide. Don’t fear who you are.
Be who you are.
The only other option is to be someone else.
What is the point of you living if you’re going to be like another already here?
We are all the same and yet we are all so different.
Don’t hide your differences. They make you, you.
The vulnerabilities, the mistakes, the genetics controlling so much of you, the choices you can control and make, the choices you cannot make, how you react to those things out of your control.
Who you are is made up of not only every breath, but also of every thought and action. Every small comment and blush. Every yelled word of anger. Every slap, every hurt. Every smile. Every reason behind that smile.
“We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Be who you are.
Or you may end up hating yourself. And as a byproduct, everyone else.
Everyone wears masks, that’s true. But don’t let that mask block who you are from yourself or those around you.
There’s darkness inside all of us. But without dark there would be no light. Don’t hide it. Without one part of you, the rest of you would cease to exist.
Be careful that your mask does not keep you from living the life you want.
“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” –Andre Berthiaume
For about the past five or so years, I’ve grown rather bitter towards this word.
Sorry is defined as meaning, “feeling distress, esp. through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune”, according to Google Define. “Feeling sorrow, regret, or penitence; mournful, sad”, according to the Merriam Webster’s dictionary.
THIS is how it’s used when I hear it:
Oh, no, you caught me/called me on my crap, so I’m sorry, I’m going to respond with extreme outrage and deny everything, or wither into a pool of self pity and whine about how I’m trying so hard and no one understands how hard life is on me. I promise I won’t let you catch me again/I’ll come up with a better lie/excuse next time.
And then they do it again. And again. And again. And say sorry. Again, like it means something.
And for those who say they’re trying ‘so hard’ – how are you trying if you’re doing the same thing over and over again the exact same way, wanting the exact same thing, and knowing you’ll get away with it just exactly like the last times – and with the intention and full knowing that you’ll do it again? You’re not trying. You’re making an excuse so that those outside of the situation think you’re trying (and if the person you’re apologizing too then doesn’t accept your apology, they’re the one looking as if in the wrong) and you can continue to NOT try to do anything to right the wrong you’re continuing to do.
Promises mean everything but once they’re broken sorry means nothing.
Sorry is not a rubber stamp, making whatever you just got caught or called on doing, okay or acceptable. Sorry, does not magically erase everything you just said, caused, and/or did.
Sorry does not take away the sting, the pain, the memory of the person who you just wronged.
Sorry, is when you truly, really, 100% feel REGRETFULL about what you did, DON’T want to do it again, WISH you could take the pain away from the person you just hurt, and WILL try your hardest not to do it/cause it again.
Sorry should not be a knee-jerk-reaction. It should not be the response you throw at people in normal conversation.
But that’s what it’s been reduced to in my life. And really, I’m tired of it.
So. If you’re going to say sorry to me – MEAN IT. Or shut up. I’m worth more than your empty words.
And I’ll work on not saying sorry about things I’m not actually sorry about, like apologizing for having my own opinion or having pale skin or a strange outlook on life. Nope, not actually sorry, so why am I apologizing in normal conversation when no one got hurt?
It’s not about how many times you tell someone that you love them, it’s about how many times you prove that you do.
They say when it comes to relationships, have a little faith. Well, to that I say – I’m tired of having faith in people, only for them to let me down. I think it’s high time the people in my life prove they love me, prove they’re a real friend.
Prove I mean something to you, not by your words alone – I don’t need lip service – but by how you treat me, how you interact with me, what you do for and with me, and why. And better yet – just be a good bloody person! If you want to be my friend, you can’t go around beating waiters and burying bodies. (Well, maybe, under specific instances, but whatever.) Don’t treat other people like less than human.
Don’t give me hollow words. Treat me like I mean something to you.