We all carry with us some struggle that we harbor internally. We hide it from the world through feigned health and happiness believing that to show our struggle would somehow mean showing weakness or incapability. I have done this for years and believe there will always be an internal struggle. But who benefits from keeping these struggles hidden? The answer I have kept returning to is no one. Relationships are strained when we hide our struggles, people not understanding the full picture are left to make assumptions good or bad. More importantly our own health and happiness are sacrificed in the process of our deception to the world. Despite this knowledge it is hard to become visible. To speak with honesty about the struggles we face for fear that they might overshadow our accomplishments.
I am invisible. The true self that I hide from the world is one that struggles daily with pain, exhaustion, frustration, humbleness, and gratitude. I am grateful for what I am capable of but I struggle with what I cannot do and will never be able to do without great consequence.
I am one hell of an actress but I am tired of acting. When I am not okay…it is not okay to pretend that I am. I can’t count the number of times I have thought about just disappearing. Slowly slipping into the night, out of my life, never to return. It is as if part of me believes that escaping from my current circumstances would somehow free me to live more honestly and holistically. The reality is that that “notion” of escape will never provide the relief I seek. Only honesty with those around me will help me find the strength to do what I need to do. To take care of myself and those around me. I believe deeply that I am not the only one who feels this way. So I am left asking "why is it so hard to be our true selves, to live boldly and honestly?"
The answer is complicated and unclear. The world is a hectic place, with a myriad of beliefs and ideas. It is a mix of beautiful and ugly, inspirational and discouraging. Each day we are bombarded with judgments positive and negative about how best to lead our lives and uplift or condemn the actions of others. Some days, like today, I feel the negative is stronger than the positive. That to take actions to adjust my life so that I may be more balanced and productive will be condemned as weakness and incapability. However, it is in moments like these that a sense of clarity strikes my mind.
We have a responsibility to change that atmosphere of negativity to uplift ourselves and those around us. To not jump on the bandwagon of judgment and instead step back and ask questions that allow us to slip on someone else’s shoe and walk in someone elses life. When we engage in this exercise, we hone our ability to see another view point and cultivate the capacity for empathy and compassion for one another.
This is not easy, it burdens our hearts and minds deeply when we begin to carry the weight of others struggles as if they were our own. But in our sharing of this weight, even if for just a moment, we can find the connection and acceptance that despite our different beliefs, ideas and judgments that we are simply conscious beings looking to live the best life we can.
So I challenge us all to become visible, to allow each of us to lift each other up with compassion. To recognize that our disagreements make us unique and challenge us to find places where our disagreement ends and our empathy and compassion begin. In becoming visible we take a risk, but with this risk comes the chance to inspire others to meet you half way and build a more compassionate world.
Take the risk, become visible and remember its about the journey…
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Hi, I'm Liz. I like to write about life and the wisdom I cull from it. I use words and images to inspire empathy and connection with each other and the world.