That was what I did wrong, my anguish, my complicity in the world’s pain. I increased the world’s guilt and anguish, by doing violence to myself, by not daring to walk toward my own salvation.
— Hermann Hesse, Wandering
No matter how many opportunities you decide to create or partake in, how you view yourself determines whether your ideas will come into fruition. Who am I without the opinions of others? Must I exist to conform to the gaze of those around me? Do I exist, if at all, beyond another’s perception?
It is difficult to see beyond yourself, the self which has been formed by the people and memories you were surrounded with. All those years, spent adapting to who and what I should have been. Only to unravel it all, and unlearn those thoughts which have been ingrained into me. My mind, once a wreckage cast ashore, was built by emotions and actions of those who were never capable of unlearning toxicity. They could not grasp the importance of accountability, the need to better themselves. I could never see myself past expectations, believing that I could not afford to love myself more than the amount I was shown or given.
The actions and words of those around you are not a reflection of who you are. Each person is a product of their own experiences, molded by traumas, stitched together by words. Often, are at the brink of their own self-destruction. To believe that you are always the reason behind changes in their behaviour or mood, is detrimental to your self-worth as well as their own.
There is a limit to which you can help another realise this truth, without it breaching the capacity to support yourself. In understanding that you are worthy of love, in all forms, regardless of its impermanence – only then will you find the courage to continue. Courage cannot be tamed, as it disappears and returns as it wishes. You are in control of when and how often it returns to you. Remind yourself of the value you behold, and protect the self you are exploring – for the future is yours, and only yours, to find.
How will you choose to perceive yourself? Will you manifest the changes you need to become the person you want to be? Are you willing to be held accountable, for every word said and every action taken?