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You’re a Lot More Than What You Allow Yourself to Be

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I didn’t really know what to write about today. Again, I have a few drafts saved that I could publish, but none of them seem good enough – real enough – to upload right now. Maybe that’s just where I’m at in life right now. Give me the gory details or nothing at all. That sort of thing. I don’t know. I’m having trouble keeping up with it all.

I’m drowning in it, to be honest. But graceful drowning, because this may be the first time in my life I’m starting to become okay with the chaos. Just ‘rolling with it’ has been a skill that’s largely escaped me for the majority of my life.

And maybe that’s what I want to talk about today, that sort of acceptance and peace within the absolute anarchy that rages around you in life. Or maybe not.

Something you need to know about me is that I’m a dreamer, okay? I’m a hopeful optimist, Disney Princess, believe-in-the-world’s-good-no-matter-how-dark-things-are kind of person. Which is awesome, and I wish it was a quality that more people had.

However, I suffer from depression. It’s been getting better – some days are worse than others and all that. But I also have a heck ton of stuff going on in my life right now – what with roommates and breakups and all that. I guess life is always chaotic, and I always say that I have a lot going on. Maybe that’s just the nature of life.

It’s just that I always fought against my depressive side. I buried it down, ignored it, tried to run it out of me with my optimism. I felt like there was a constant battle raging inside of me – the miserable and the person I actually am. I saw my depression as something to wage a battle against, something to be conquered. And I think that’s where I had started to go wrong.

I’m not two people in one. I don’t have two personalities within myself trying to fight for residence over the other. I am not a battle ground for these conflicting forces. I am two sides of the same, the emotion and the logic, the pessimism and the optimism, and they both come together to make up who I am. I can exist as both at the same time. 

I guess that’s what I’m trying to say here: you can exist as everything at once. You aren’t so simple to be broken down into individual pieces or labels. You’re far more than that. It’s entirely possible to be at peace and stressed at the same time, to be happy and sad, to be depressed and excited – the opposites aren’t mutually exclusive from each other, and the more we see ourselves as separate parts, the more we’re going to struggle with who we are.

I love fantasy. Lord of the Rings is my favorite, and I’ve been watching it a lot recently. By that I mean at least once a day or something. And you know, I’ve been thinking – human beings are worlds wrapped up in flesh. They’re universes, huge and diverse and dynamic. You can spend a life time exploring them and still not know everything there is to know. We’re huge.

And in that, everything exists. Like in Middle Earth, you get your gorgeous places – your Shires and forests and Riverdells. That’s the happy you – the you that you like, okay? And then you have your Dead Marshes and your Mordors. That’s like the depressed and dark you. And somewhere in the middle of that you have raging battle fields of all the things you’re struggling with, huge glorious cities, quiet spots by the lake, storms and sunshine and rain – and it’s all happening simultaneously. You exist as everything at once. 

And that’s okay. You’re not at war with yourself, you’re not struggling against multiple personalities, trying desperately to ‘stick to your guns’ or act out of your own self. You are complete in your everything, it all wrapped up into one massive, messy world, and that’s beautiful!

Depression and darkness is hard enough to handle without turning yourself into an enemy too. Fighting against parts of yourself, trying to ignore or hide them, covering them up with pieces you think are ‘more you’ than others – it’s just doing more harm that good. It’s only when we can start to find that balance between the two extremes, to let ourselves become a walking contradiction of opposites, that we’ll be able to truly find freedom within who we are. No darkness can be defeated unless we learn to accept and acknowledge it first, and being okay with yourself – all parts of yourself – is the first step to healing.

Shoutout to the friends who taught me this when I needed it most.

I find balance in admitting my emotions. In having a good day, in being productive and getting things done, while still being aware that I’m sad at the same time. I find balance in being able to say ‘I know I’m being a bit ridiculous right now but I’m really feeling my Mordor and I just need to cry it out.’ I find my balance in taking things as they come, working with what I have on any particular day, and stepping back enough to know that the tools I have and what I’m equipped with does not define me as a person. They’re there to enhance my life experience, not who I am. And I’ve been learning that a lot recently. I don’t always like it – I hate just being sad without trying to shove it off – and it hasn’t been easy, but it’s been good. 

How do you find your balance? As you go through the next few days, I challenge you to start looking at yourself as a dynamic world, and find your place within that.

 

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