There’s nothing more heartbreaking than rejection. I know that feeling. I know what it’s like to feel invisible, insignificant. Realize how irrelevant you are to someone else.
I know that feeling of putting your heart on the line; opening yourself up, exposed for the world to see, only to have it handed back to you on a silver platter by someone who was supposed to mean the world to you. I know the pain of hiding parts of yourself away; distancing yourself out of fear of trusting the wrong person again. To live with a newfound low self-esteem.
I know what it’s like to have your spirit broken, praying to a higher power to take the pain away and make everything better. I know what it’s like to find out you’ve been lied to, betrayed; blindsided by the only person you ever trusted because you were sure that nobody else would understand your problems. I know what it’s like to go to bed every night and cry yourself to sleep and hope to God that one of three things happen:
- I wake up in an alternate reality where everything is backwards.
- I wake up to realize it was just a bad nightmare.
- I don’t wake up at all.
I also know what it’s like to wake up the next morning realizing that none of those options had happened, and go through the same feelings from before all over again, day after day. I try talking things out with friends in hopes it’ll make me feel better. It makes me feel worse. So I start to avoid it completely. I know deep down that ignoring it will only make things worse, but the fear of emotion is much greater than the need to be comforted. And that’s the problem with today’s society.
Some people live every day in silent, heart-wrenching pain that just keeps getting worse until they feel the need to escape their situation; to do something, anything, to forget, even if only for a moment. Their moods start to change, they snap at people they love, throw things, lose themselves in vigorous workouts, starve themselves, drink. When someone is in pain, there’s only one thing that matters: stop the pain.
Humans are built to avoid things that may cause them pain and automatically seek relief. It is second nature. The pain is so much that we’ll do the first thing we can think of that will give us peace of mind, even for just a second. That was me for a time. And that is thousands of other people in the world who may experience some form of mental health issue, be it anxiety, anger, depression, eating disorder and many others. So why are we in pain? Why do we seek to avoid our pain?
We do these things because there is a gap inside, we feel empty. We try to fill this emptiness with insignificant and materialistic things: money, food, knowledge, the love and acceptance from others. We selfishly stuff ourselves with anything we can think of. And it works, for a little while. But then the old empty feeling comes back. Nothing will ever help, other than the one thing that everybody, no matter who you are, desperately craves.
That gap inside every one of us is, ultimately, self-love sized.
It’s the genuine, unconditional love that everyone craves to feel. It’s that feeling from within that validates that we are beautiful; we are capable; we are powerful. This is real love. It is a sickness that I like so many other people in this world, suffer from. Love deprivation. We do not love ourselves because of moments in the past, so we either seek love from others or block it out completely. Where people are unable to define who they are on their own; they don’t know how special they are; they don’t know just how strong they really are. If you are strong, you won’t have to hurt yourself or others. You won’t feel the need to put others down, to lie, cheat, or steal. Only a weak person is capable of doing those things.
Having that unbreakable inner strength and love is how someone like Nelson Mandela was able to spend 27 years in prison and come out with no bitterness. It is how someone like Jesus Christ was able to ask for forgiveness for the people who beat and humiliated him. They know what their self-worth is.
Pain eliminates any trace if rational thinking from our bodies, and we as humans are in so much pain because we crave love. We crave self-knowledge, inner strength, something that feels true and real.
We live in a world filled with unattainable standards of perfection, and many of us strive to achieve it anyway, which only leads to great disappointment. No one knows how to be truly happy. No one knows how to happy with themselves, accept their strengths and weaknesses; accept their physical scars created by ourselves; the mental and emotional scars left by those people we thought cared for us and would never do anything that would break us, those people who were and are too selfish to care about anyone but themselves.
That hole inside of us is, therefore, self-love sized. We must learn to love ourselves, accept our imperfections, our inherent humanity, before we can love others. Nobody is perfect. We each have parts of ourselves we are afraid to show others, petrified at the thought of showing what our weaknesses are in fear that it will be used against us once again. We must embrace every scar we’ve ever endured, look at them with pride as not only a symbol of the pain and loss we’ve experienced in life, but also a map of where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, and the inner strength we possess to overcome these moments.
So are you willing to accept your flaws? Are you willing to embrace the cracks that exist in your heart and soul, and just be happy? I hope so, because we all deserve that kind of acceptance, that kind of love. I know I do.