“I give because I know how it feels to want.” — Anonymous
If you clicked this title, odds are there’s a little piece of you that feels incomplete. I can appreciate that. I may not know exactly what it is, but I certainly know what it’s like to wage war over what’s missing.
Maybe you’re at an impasse with a loved one. Your career. Your friends. Your lack of direction. Or maybe, just yourself. All that I get. I hear you. I’m with you every step of the way.
Life can place suffocating amounts of pressure on us to succeed with flying colors. We want to make everyone proud. We want everyone to know who we are. We want to be fully self-expressed. But sometimes, it’s not that easy. Sometimes, before any of that happens, we have to make it out of bed first.
Certain days, I know that’s a tall order. When the first hour doesn’t go as planned, it tends to serve as a paintbrush for the entire day — deepening the resentment we have for our circumstances or even ourselves. None of these places are fun places to be, but it doesn’t stop us from going there.
Things may be piling up: bills that should’ve gotten paid. Courses you should’ve enrolled in. A promotion you’ve been wanting to ask for. Conversations you’ve been wanting to have. Confidence that continues to wane. Despite the 3-step process all the listicles we read suggest, the distance looks more like miles across a barren desert. The courage to confront what we've been putting off often requires more belief than we have in ourselves.
It’s hard not being perfect. People can be so unforgiving. It seems like everything would be easier if we just nailed it every time. We would finally be fulfilled. We would finally have harmony. We would finally catch a fucking break.
You may look for patterns to reinforce how you’re feeling — evidence to support your argument so you can feel justified in your disposition. I do that, too. Unconsciously most of the time, but I still do it.
But I’m not here to wallow with you. I’m not here to blow what you’re feeling out of proportion. And I’m certainly not here to allow you to remain stopped in the face of what you want the most.
What I want to tell you, with the core of my being, that you are not alone.
Before you scoff at my suggestion, please consider the world we live in for a moment. Despite all the bullshit, the uncertainty, the inconsistencies, the defensive posturing, the hardened exteriors, the glossed-over eyes, the broken people, there lies a kind heart. The same one you have. The same one everyone has. And to a varying degrees, but still some degree, everyone is really just winging it.
Control is an illusion. It’s a temporary truth and absolute falsehood. Despite how much we prepare, how hard we work, how much faith we have, we’ll never really know how this thing’s going to go. Even our own reactions, as much as we work at harnessing and corralling them, will still be pushed to the edge every now and again.
This is universal, meaning everyone deals with it. We’re human beings and we have the same sets of needs. Yes, certain people have spent their entire lives building walls to protect themselves and thus, it appears their capacity to love or feel connected has completely dissipated. But I assure you, cut them some slack and see what happens.
So even though everything we’ve ever known to be certain could be wiped out in an instant, the one certainty you can always count on is you can share what you’re feeling. You don’t have to go it alone. You can break off some of that stress and give someone else a chance to take it on with you. Stay committed to sharing, and don’t let dismissal get to you. Have compassion for where others are in their own self-discovery journey, and that they may not be ready to help you with yours. Keep sharing and eventually, you’ll find that person who’s arrived at the same checkpoint as you have.
This doesn’t mean you look to others to solve your problems. I just mean speaking truth to what’s really going on lessens the blow. It gets us out of our heads — where shit looks scarier than anything life could ever throw at us.
By sharing, we can work through the anger and the fear until there’s nothing left but love in our hearts. We can establish that behind all the rage and turmoil is a desire to not feel so lonely. Or feel like we’re not enough. And we can affirm that we are, in fact, enough. We were made this way. Our trials and tribulations shape our ever-evolving character, and that story is distinct to each and every one of us.
We’re not alone. We just have to love each other enough not to get discouraged. Love serves a dual-role as both the source of life and the solution. If you give things that don't matter long-term more value than the things that do, you're sure to hit roadblocks. Discipline is the key. You either get what you want the most or what you want right now. You can't have both.
People make life changes for two reasons: inspiration or desperation. Whatever stage you’re in doesn’t matter, as long as you take action. Don’t stay stationary. Walk outside and smile at someone. Everything affects everything and you either add value to the situation or you take it away. You’re probably feeling down because people took away more value than they added to you, so why would you want to follow in their footsteps?
This is it. This is all we have. This one special life. It’s as confusing as it is frustrating. But that doesn’t have to keep us from loving it. From putting ourselves out there. From sharing what we’re feeling and where others could help. Or where we could help others, as there’s always someone less fortunate. We’re all a bunch of 5-year olds walking around in full-grown bodies. We can spare a little compassion for the kid inside of all of us.
And that’s who’s running the show for you. That little kid inside. Who just wants to feel love. And joy. And wonder. And simple things. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be. Find somebody and share your truth. Make a difference for them. Express your love and gratitude for them. Light them up, and you’ll be lit up in return. Enough to keep at it. Until it gets a little bit better, a little bit better, and a little bit better.
It can and will if you keep stepping forward. Bumps and bruises are sure to come along the way, but it’s all part of your story. Your never-ending spirit. Your desire and commitment to make a difference.
Know thyself and be thyself.
You are not alone.