Be kind, be meek.
(related — “Kindness is Not Weakness” by MG )
Be kind, be meek.
(related — “Kindness is Not Weakness” by MG )
She looked at me with insecurity in her eyes, as if pleading for sympathy.
Much as I tried to muster up a shred of compassion, she had used up the last ounce left in me. Used it up on some medial triviality that was, if anything, inconsequential to the matter at hand.
For years, I had done my best to understand the root of the issue. For years, I had given a part of myself to her — my ears, heart, time, energy. I had been sympathetic towards experiences far out of my scope. My arms were always open for embrace, my head was always open to another perspective, but my soul was guarding my heart from digesting more than I could stomach.
Then it happened.
One day, I opened my eyes and realized that she was a living, breathing reminder of everything I had already overcome. She had the demeanor of a human, but the behaviour of what used to be my undefeated demons.
I was at the end of my tether, a tether I didn’t even know existed — perhaps very few people had ever dared reach it. Even fewer lacked the cognizance to know where my line lay.
But she, I suppose, fell into that category of “one of the fewer”.
I confronted her, of course, regarding the levels of disrespect radiating like Venus’ sulfuric acid — she didn’t “mean to”, she just couldn’t “help it”. Apparently it was my fault for letting her speak in that manner, for not defending myself.
Well my apologies for choosing to rise above the need to be unnecessarily defensive.
I took her advice, nonetheless, to prove a point. I “defended myself” by not taking blame for other people’s transgressions. This was, incidentally, viewed as “interrupting” and “not letting the other person finish speaking.” (Rambling, honestly).
Well my apologies for having self-respect and guiding a conversation instead of enabling validation.
How did I even let it go on so long?
I’ve been there before.
I’ve been in her shoes before. Those juvenile, self-centered, self-indulged, narcissistic, insecure, egotistic, defensive, over-analytical, paranoid, anxious shoes.
I’ve worn something like that.
Many moons ago, but in those shoes I’ve tread those paths — climbed the mountains and rolled down cliffs, drowned in lakes and washed up on shore, broken my bones and worn them casts.
But I am not there now. Nor do I want to go back to any of it.
So when I say that I am out of sympathy, it is not selfish or uncaring. It is not callous or heartless.
It is that I will no longer allow anyone to twist something beautiful into their distorted versions of reality. I cannot fill the voids she won’t admit exist, and will not validate insecurities that are hers — not mine — to fight.
My darling, if you ever read this, I’m sorry that I’d ever let you mistake my kindness for weakness, but I’m walking away because of the strength I’ve mustered up after recovering from this battle. I can’t let you interpret my words to your advantage simply to justify the mistakes of mine you continuously repeat instead of move past. I cannot keep being the buoy you cling to when you get stranded at sea, repeatedly. It’s time for you to pull your own weight — I’ve left you with enough care packages and tools to sift through, but it’s up to you to figure out how to use them.
You’re on your own, darling, but in a way that you need right now.
I’ll see you on the other side.
Hope you make it out alive.
Signed with the kind of love you’ve yet to understand,
My dearest darling,
For the longest time I have kept you sheltered and kept you protected. I have hidden you in the crevices deep below the depths, beyond where even I myself dare not reach.
But I have listened to the echoes within the silence, riveting from your soul and out of my hands. I have heard your yearn for greatness, your desire, your push, your drive, your motivation. You want to leave a legacy.
I tell you, my dearest, what it is that makes you great.
Your “greatness” was never about you. What makes you great, is that you have those who stand behind you, who stand beside you, who stand with you through thick and thin, sun and rain. What makes you great, is that you are merely a reflection, an embodiment, of those you have chosen to place in your life.
You encompass all that they are, and in turn, envelop them with the love you have received. My dearest, you do not take more than you are willing to give; and you do not give more than you get.
I know you — you knew me once, but I…I know…you…
My dearest, you are destined to be great, and remember… that it is never about you, rather it is about how you reflect all that has been instilled in you. Your influences are what make…you.
Remember this, darling, remember…you…
memory legacy in the making.
It has been a long time since I’ve written you a letter from the heart. Yes, it’s not the first, and it may not be the last. But it is a letter nonetheless, one that should be read; if not by you, then by those who will meet you in the future.
For the longest time you have been a key part of my life: my existence, my core, my all. I became dependent on you in my time of weakness, of need, of vulnerability, letting you in and giving you that freedom to roam around my world. You did, and you were a lovely contribution to what was once a monotonous and decaying life.
You were a rainbow, a sunshine, one of the brightest lights I’d ever seen, especially on my darkest days.
But you also came with collateral, one that I did not comprehend until much too late. The collateral that did not explode or destroy upon impact, but slowly imploded, leaving the toxins to seep out of the crevices of a cracked shell. You were that destruction I needed, to slaughter my demons and fight through the pain. You consumed the evil in my life, and I let you.
They feared you, but they loved me. You were my protection, the blazing amour of a knight in the night. They were apprehensive around you, but embracing of me. They blamed you for the pain in my life, not realising that you were the one protecting me from them in the first place.
Nay, their egos and self-centredness I could not fight…but you could, and you did. You brought out the sides of them they always feared the most, the sides they never wanted (me) to see for they stupidly believed they could escape pain.
My friend, you were the best and the worst thing that ever happened to me — the best, because I learned how strong I could truly be if I let the right people stay by my side. But the worst, because you had to wear me down completely until I accepted my limits. Not simply understanding limitations, but a full-on acceptance that I am fundamentally a flawed human being.
Just like the rest of them.
You showed me how to stop caring about what anyone else thought, that if people had anything bad to say it was generally a projection of insecurity and not a justifiable validation. You showed me that if people truly did care, they’d communicate in a sincere way rather than lash out based on emotional impulse.
You, my friend, you showed me the difference between emotions and excuses.
For this particular reason, I thank you for all that I have learned, all that I have seen, and all that I have become because of your persistence.
You taught me that, too. You taught me that it was never about being the biggest, or the strongest, but rather the one with the most endurance.
Thank you, my friend.
I don’t want to let you go…and by the looks of things, maybe I don’t need to, either.
I’m sorry for being wrong, and I’m sorry for thinking you were the cause of my destruction.
I’m still standing.
Sincerely from the heart,
Self-hate looks a lot like self-love.
And the only one who truly knows the difference…is…
The only ones who truly know the difference…are…all the ones around you who can feel what you feel.
Here’s to all who’ve ever said that I couldn’t, shouldn’t, and wouldn’t (and meant it).
To those who said I couldn’t, I appreciate the projections of self-doubt you placed upon me. You’ve taught me what it looks like to pass on insecurities that were instilled in your childhoods. From you, I’ve learned not to stunt people’s growth, you’ve taught me not to constrain them into walls, boxes, or categories.
To those who said I shouldn’t, I sincerely appreciate the caution and concern. There are some of you whose warnings I did heed, and for my own sake too: you were saving me from myself. But to those who were self-centered and not self-experienced in this regard, I appreciate how blatant you were about the lack of effort you were willing to make for me. It made it easier to gauge how much I’d exert.
To those who said I wouldn’t, it was always for one of two reasons. One, you thought my ideas too farfetched and overreached, didn’t believe that I would come up with a way to make it happen. You projected your insecurity onto me, and only challenged my intelligence to see if I’d push. The arrogance in me caved, at one point — always had to be right. Always had to have an answer for everything. I’ve learned, now, that when you properly define the problem and get to the root of it, the solution presents itself.
Second reason would be that you did believe I could come up with a method, but also that you could foresee better than I could how much effort it would truly take to convert certain dreams into reality. Thank you for humbling me, and keeping me grounded when I flew too close to the sun. Thank you for allowing me to soar, but not to get burned.
All of you, lovers and haters, makers and breakers, you’ve inspired me to be authentically me. I got caught up in the mixes of each and everyone’s insecurities, the empathy in me went mad with apathy until eventually I just reached an overload and shut down. I’m sure many of you can relate to this, we’ve all been in it together. We’ve all been running around in the chaos just trying to survive, figuring a way out, a way in, a way forward, a way backward.
But what if…what if we just…embraced all of it. It’s not about changing, friends, it’s about expanding.
My darlings, I tell you this from the heart.
You’ve come this far, not just to get this far. I did, I do, and I will do, again and again and again until it gets better and better and better.
“It’s time to more than just survive. We were made to thrive.” (Mark Hall)
(Disclaimer: If this post causes emotional discomfort, please confront your demons by heeding wise advice.)
I was spontaneous yesterday.
Now, for those of you who know me — it really does depend which era of me you know, now, doesn’t it?
Let’s try this again. For those of you who have known me in the past couple of years, maybe three, you’ll probably gasp when I, of all people, say “spontaneity”. And I know exactly why; I know the reasons for your surprise probably better than I let on, as I do with most things in life, to be honest.
So why was being spontaneous a big deal for me?
Because, mates, it’s good to be back.
You look at me and think, “but you didn’t go anywhere”. Physically no, but in the past two years I did go down a path I once promised myself to never venture. I promised myself I wouldn’t because of how many people I lost to it — the cancer of the mind, eating away at the soul, leaving behind a mere shell of a human body to remind us that yes, this living, breathing, entity is our responsibility.
So I left. I couldn’t leave physically — I had too many commitments out here in the city, a life I’ve spent a decade trying to build and am still dissatisfied with my efforts, knowing how far I’ve fallen when I look at how much I achieved once upon a time.
I couldn’t leave mentally — no, my brain is generally over stimulated due to intelligence, which, unfortunately for a lot of people, means I have no off-switch. I notice things. Then I understand concepts because I’ve seen it somewhere before, so I associate that and make a connection. That link tends to be more logical than emotional because I like being objective, studying the facts, understanding the patterns.
Logic is my comfort zone.
But I left, emotionally. It was one of the longest journeys I’ve ever taken — to be completely void of emotions and shut down, tuned out from the world around, still hearing details but feeling like everything is meaningless. Sometimes, this can be a good feeling, like if that emptiness is actually contentment and peace. If that emptiness is actually silence and solitude. What I felt though, was far from that.
It was a lonely emptiness, where not only did I feel like no one could relate to me, but that I hadn’t found a way to relate to myself. I was so far gone, so different, so…unfamiliar to myself. Most people think I had it done to me, that I was a victim of victimless crimes; that I was subject to whatever abuse had led me down that path. But it was my morbid curiosity, because I chose those situations knowing that I am entertained by aggression.
Aggressors find my amusement annoying. It adds fuel to the fire, pushes their limits; unable to laugh at themselves, the angry flip from aggression to full on abuse.
Of course it’s fun, it’s like that predictable explosion, a controlled avalanche.
And it’s what I do, I laugh in the face of rage. I laugh, because I understand anger, I know rage, I terrorized them a long time ago, and they are now subservient to my control. I don’t avoid it, but I generally don’t project it either. So yes, watching each and every single one of you flip out in vengeance does entertain me, because I remember what it was like to be immature.
I remember what it was like to be insecure.
But I also remember…what it’s like to be fearless in the face of insecurity.
My darlings, like I said, it’s good to be back. Oh, how I’ve missed you…
I entered the Dark Side
Leaving a crack for your light
You didn’t shine
And for the first time
I saw not with my eyes
But with my heart