I haven't honoured myself in a long time.. I wonder if I'm the only one?
Whilst I have been living a 'perfect' life, a life many might envy or admire, I have in tandem felt a growing uneasiness and unhappiness settling within me. For what reason, at times I can't possibly understand, but understanding, you see, is a privilege you only become privy to when you take the time your soul is begging you to take to look within and admit to your shortcomings from a loving space.
I find it incredible that our lives can equate to perfection from an outside perspective, but when you're fully immersed in a situation, your mind can get the better of you and unhappiness and anger can dominate your emotions, rising to the surface regardless of how many times we choose to turn a blind eye. Such powerful emotions don't lie dormant for long, even if you can quiet them for a matter of minutes, they will make sure that you listen to them - whether you want to or not.
And this is the space I've found myself existing in. Knowing that my life emits all kinds of perfections (for lack of a better word) and yet failing to understand why I'm struggling in myself the way that I am.
It's a very difficult space to live because in so many ways so many of my prayers have been answered; so many things exist now that didn't then; in so many ways I am living the life I have always dreamed about, and yet those dark forces have arisen once again. This phase of my life is the most aligned and beautiful, and yet this uncertainty and this unhappiness feels stronger than it has at many other points, too.
What a contradiction.
I find it difficult because I feel selfish, I feel ungrateful, I feel like a person who is taking everything for granted and appreciating nothing. These thoughts give life even more to the self-loathing demon I thought I had slayed long ago. But as it turns out, sometimes the monsters that live within us are able to resurrect themselves exactly at the point they know they will survive. Much like a disease that needs a host - intelligence is key. Knowing when to pounce so that your victim has no defence is a vital part of survival. My self-loathing is an expert.
So the last few weeks I've screamed and I've cursed and I've blamed and I've cried. I've given into the powerlessness that accompanies these dark feelings and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of hurting the person I love the most, of continuing to let myself down in ways I vowed I never would years ago when I finally found the peace that lives within me, and so that leaves me here. Sat in a bar, taking a deep breath and reminding myself of how fluid and fragile and mesmerizing this life truly is.
The fears i have for the future, the uncertainty that is colouring my life, all of it is here to do just that - to give me life. Without pain, without struggle, without always striving to better myself my life becomes meaningless. I know I have been half the woman I know I am recently. I taste nothing but anger and frustration when I speak. Bitterness is all that I leave in my wake because I feel broken, and I am deeply aware of the unhappiness I feel within my soul at this point. If I've learnt anything over my short time on this planet it's that I am standing on the edge of a crossroads and that where I go from here matters. And as is the case with any of us at any point during our lives, this place holds all the answers. There are a million roads to go down, but I am choosing now to follow the one that leads me back to myself. To the life that I deserve. I have forfeited any responsibility for the way I feel recently; blaming it on working in a hospitality job (which is not conducive for my mental health), for putting my own needs at the bottom of the pile in the name of love (when really it's the furthest thing from it), for not having time to do yoga or to meditate or even to call home. Excuse after excuse after excuse. How long can you lie to yourself for before you decide internally that you have no choice but to make a change.
To change your life is never as difficult as people talk about. It's actually the easiest thing in the world. You make the choice, and you commit to it. And when you commit to a decision you've come to all by yourself, you realise that the world opens up to you; for you. In a moment, your life changes. You can become who you are in the space between an inhale and an exhale. How wonderful that the world, and you especially, are so adaptable, so empowered and connected, that in the space between breaths you can literally decide to become the greatest version of yourself that you've ever been.
And that's what I'm doing now.
This is the beginning of the end of my failing to honour myself. To trusting that space between breaths as I re-learn what it means to love myself, so that I can in turn express the love I have always felt for the people who mean the most to me.
When we take time to understand how we can change our lives, we realise that it really is very simple. You just start to make different choices. You start telling yourself that you deserve better; that your loved ones deserve the best you - even though you know they would put up with the very worst. You remind yourself ever morning of why you're grateful to be alive; why this life and these moments are feeding your soul and encouraging your to transcend further into welcoming in all that you deserve.
Life is so fragile and it is so short. What a waste it would be to not do everything we can to ensure that we love the life we are living every single day. Because the truth is perfection doesn't exist - and we all know this. Yet every single one of us is guilty of fantasizing and imagining another's life based on photos or stories and assuming that it does. It doesn't. We all struggle and we all suffer; some of us more than others. But regardless of the phase of life we are in, one thing that unites us all is that we've all been there. We know what it means to laugh, to cry, to hurt, to love.. and if we can do anything, for ourselves but also for the world as a collective, it is to honour ourselves. To give life to genuine happiness and peace within so that we lead by example; we can inspire and give hope to those who might be traversing that space of unhappiness.
So if you're the same as me and you're ready to change your life - despite how perfect it is - then raise your glass with me and make yourself the promise that you will love yourself now and forever so that you never have to jeopardise your own quality of life. Fuck, man, life is so fucking short. Please don't become complacent with your life. Live it as fully as you can; and if you catch yourself falling short of that remember that you can change. You can change right now. All you need is the space between breaths. Believe in that; know that everything is coming together for you right now and this time is just proof of the beauty of all that you are.
It's time to take a leap of faith, a promise of commitment and to spread a great big smile across your face; a reassurance that everything is going to be okay.
Because it will. No matter how you feel now or where your life is taking you, no matter what your personal reality is and how you feel about it, everything is going to be okay.
My favourite quote that I've ever read, that I stumbled across in my early teens, is 'everything will be okay. if it isn't okay, it's not the end,' and I think that is just the most powerful and life-changing collection of words that really speaks volumes. Because it's true. Anyone will tell you. We've all survived our own tragedies, we've all experienced heartbreak and pain and moments when none of it feels worth it, and for the most part, we're lucky enough to continue on for the sun to rise again and again and again, and we find meaning, we find value, we find love - and the simple act of living heals us in ways that can never be paralleled.
So wherever you are, don't give up now. Trust that this is just the beginning of everything that is waiting for you. Love yourself, keep on loving yourself, and always ground yourself in how lucky you are.
Thankyou for loving me through my down days, for your patience when my tongue spits fire at you even though you don't deserve it. Thankyou for loving me and trusting that your heart is as safe with me as mine is with you, because it is. It always is. You are the love of my life, my soulmate and everything in between. I will never be able to express my gratitude for the person you are, and that you are the man I get to love everyday.
Waiheke, I'm also grateful to you for the life we've been able to live here. A space in my heart will always be reserved for you and this time in our lives.