Life is so short, friends. So achingly, forgettably short.
By that I mean that we forget. We forget how limited our time here really is, and we waste a great deal of it in pain, in misery, in confusion, in worry. Even when we have experiences that remind us of our human fragility, we only heed them for a short time before falling back into old habits and mindsets. Our default is to take our lives for granted.
We think we have time, so we spend it caring what others think of us. We fail to embody ourselves completely, afraid that we will be judged or disliked. Instead of rejecting the tiny boxes that society seems to love shoving us into, we make ourselves teeny tiny to fit them. Then we wonder why we are intensely unhappy.
I always believed that the complicated nature of my being is a problem, succumbing to what society – and some specific humans – impressed upon me. With my shaky sense of self and low opinion of my worth, I was the perfect target for … pretty much anyone. It took me years to understand that it wasn’t about the people around me and what they did to me (read: my victim mentality in full effect), but my inability to hold space for myself and who I really am. Because I couldn’t stand in my truth, I absorbed the energy and opinions of anyone who happened to be around. I was uncomfortable in my skin, so I let others treat me as if I were too much, too needy, too difficult, too everything.
It’s not just that, though. It’s tough to embrace the complexity of our lovely, interesting, deeply imperfect selves in a world that demands we remain easy to categorize and even easier to degrade. If we aren’t wrapped up in a constant urge to be different and “better”, we won’t buy all the products, sign up for all the classes, and try every damn thing we see advertised. After all, how will they sell bullshit to us if they can’t compartmentalize us according to their metrics?
Not only do I now refuse to be simplified by anyone or anything, I am fiercely unapologetic about it. No, I’m not easily understood – so the fuck what? If you really get down to the bones of it, no one is. The only reason you think that they are is because they are in a space where they are unable or unwilling to embrace their full selves. Perhaps they are completely unaware that they aren’t fully expressed because they don’t know how to access their own depths.
I don’t have to fit anyone’s idea or impression of me. I am not who anyone thinks I am. I am not who anyone needs or wants me to be. I am. That’s it. I am, and it’s one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.
That isn’t to say I’ve crossed the finish line. I still fall into old habits and patterns. I’m more aware of them, and I now take steps to reconnect with self when I realize I’m faltering. Also, we are all in constant flow and flux. That’s the human condition. As such, my understanding of self must shift and grow as well.
You are incredibly complicated, simply by virtue of being human. That’s not a reason to feel ashamed, but a reason to celebrate. In this cookie-cutter, instant gratification world, you might feel that people won’t want to do what it takes to peel back your layers. So what? They aren’t your people, and do you really want them in your life anyway? You are worth it, my dear. I promise you. Every last bit of you is worthy of acceptance and love for exactly who you are, no matter how complex.
You can learn to embrace your own many layers with excitement and curiosity. You matter. Put self-acceptance and self-love first. I believe in you and I love your intricacy!