"Like a wild flower; she spent her days, allowing herself to grow, not many knew of her struggle, but eventually all knew of her light." --- Nikki Rowe
Just like a flower, we, too, grow through - Jae
A few months ago, someone asked me to verbalize my biggest fear. My response was "losing myself". For so long, I navigated through life passively. I was what any and everyone wanted me to be. I was liking things others liked simply because they enjoyed it. If it pleased those around me-- it was great. I didn't give more effort than what was required to please. Never tapping into my full potential. I was voluntarily boxed in. If someone had asked me what I wanted or what I liked, I'm not sure I could have verbalized it with 100% certainty. I was uncertain of self. Just out here serving happiness to others at the expense of my own.
To transition to a place of self assurance, I had to become self-aware. It was a requirement. The process was and still is uncomfortable, eye opening and mentally taxing. I have to face my shortcomings, question my beliefs/morals and ask myself “how do I grow from here?”. Getting to know self beyond my circumstance is scary as hell. For the longest time, I found identity in the loss of my mom. I was ok with blaming her absence for all of my problems and lack of growth. I thought I needed a mother to develop certain skills, to provide guidance to reach my full potential and for counsel.
Now, don't misinterpret what I'm conveying—mothers ARE important. However, her absence should not stunt my growth.
In my line of work, physical growing pains are experienced by the skeletally immature and exacerbated by stressful events. It is usually advised that the adolescent avoids activities that place high demand on the musculoskeletal system in an effort to decrease pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, there is not a quick fix, but with time, persistence, a good deal of stretching and low impact movement symptoms improve.
Healing is such a hard thing to do when your entire identity is centered around trauma and drama. I was walking around oblivious to the fact that I was broken. I was emotionally immature. I allowed immature reasoning to dictate how I felt about myself and how I believed I was responsible for how others perceived me. I carried the burden of needing to fit-- somewhere-- somehow. I needed validation for my existence.
I know you may be thinking-- Jae, you were young.... No, I was old enough to know better. I just didn't care to do better. I didn't want to self evaluate and find out why I believed such nonsense. All I knew was I was motherless and wanted someone to show me how to get through life. It wasn't fair, so I deserved a handout and pity. I thought the world revolved around me; my mother died and I needed others to accommodate.
Reality politely tapped me on the shoulder and informed me otherwise.
One thing about self-reflection is that it forced me to stand face to face with the Jae that I never cared to know. This only happened when I was pulled from the shadows of those I aimed to please. Similar to the treatment for physical growing pains, I needed time, separation and persistence .Growing in the knowledge of self is like an observational study where you attempt to understand cause-and-effect relationships. The only difference is that this study is never ending. With persistent observation, I'm always learning something new about self and using the information to make behavioral changes. I learned what I liked, what I didn't like, the type of people I enjoyed sharing spaces with, developed new hobbies, and made it my mission to submerge myself in positivity. I traveled so far into the depths of my mind unraveling emotions and processing fears that growth became inevitable. I could not process that information and remain complacent and passive. I started to take more responsibility for my actions and reactions.
I worked so hard to reach this girl-- that I fear losing her. Taking responsibility for who you are despite what happened to you takes courage. It takes absolutely no courage to remain stagnant, hopeless, and content. If you're not happy with who you are or where you are, don't be passive-- take action!
"sometimes she'll push away what she wants because she wants it too much. and too much scares the hell out of her. because sometimes people lose themselves in wanting too much." --JmStorm
"Balance isn't found; it's created" -- Unknown
Have you reflected lately?? If so, what did you discover?