soulsearching

so lately, i’ve been feeling kind of down.

there’s no logic, no rhyme or reason, but i’ve been drawn to sadder, softer songs (check out my break playlist on spotify) and it’s made me very contemplative and reflective. i was recently hurt by someone i trusted deeply, and at first i tried to brush it all aside, forget the pain, and bounce back immediately. that soon proved impossible. i’m good at getting things done, at putting emotions on the backburner to take care of imminent responsibilities. however, as a writer and a creative individual, i realized that i need to stay in touch with my heart.

society defines strength as independence – yet sometimes, i think our independence, our glorification of “staying busy” and constant productivity prevents us from processing past events and moving on. we are stuck because we run away from anything that makes us sad or uncomfortable, prioritizing mundane tasks to avoid facing the pain in our lives. i think that true strength is being brave enough to sit alone with your thoughts and allowing yourself to feel whatever you’ve been suppressing. true strength is facing past wounds and choosing to forgive. true strength is sharing openly and vulnerably because you never know how many are going through the same struggles and how your story can remind them that they aren’t alone.

for awhile, i did try to suppress everything. ever since last summer, i packed my schedule with gym sessions, long work hours, countless social events, and time spent with friends and family. none of those are bad things, but i wasn’t doing them from a healthy place. i was terrified of being alone, because that meant that everything i was feeling would rise to the surface, all my haunting thoughts would be inescapable, and i would drown in a pool of indecisiveness, heartbreak, and regret. ok, maybe not that dramatic. but in all honesty, i surrounded myself with people and kept my schedule packed 24/7. that’s what they always tell you to do, right? surround yourself with good people, choose happiness and positivity, and live your best life? for awhile, it was easy to get caught up in life’s rapid pace, and i experienced genuine happiness. there were just a couple things i hadn’t dealt with yet.

today, i am learning to face my pain. to leave pockets of space in my schedule to rest and think and enjoy my own company. to stop and examine where my emotions stem from – joy, despair, anger – following all of them to the root instead of suppressing the ones i wish to avoid. yes, i’m not always happy, but that’s okay. artificial happiness isn’t healthiness. today, i’m learning to be more honest with myself and others, cherishing the little and the big things, and finding joy in each moment. most of all, i’m learning to embrace authenticity as true strength and consistently walk in that truth.

-a.j.

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