Sometimes I feel trapped. Trapped inside this body, trapped inside the external factors of my life. Has my life been bad? No, not by a long shot. I have endured lots of physical anguish from various operations throughout my life, I have even experienced long dark nights of the soul, and felt as though life was filled with meaninglessness. On the other hand, I have always been known as one who “bounces back” after appearing to be on the verge of defeat if you well. I often find myself straddled between both these worlds, between optimism and despair.
I can go several days at a time thinking life is good, and then somehow my thought process changes for the worst. Maybe you can relate, I often feel trapped in this CP body, covered in scars and my own insecurities about myself, wishing that I could walk/run like everyone else, wishing I could drive like everyone else. Wishing I could work like everyone else.
(on a side note, I work from home and earn some income via online coaching, but it’s not a lot to actually prepare the future) . Actually getting to work is complicated and uber rides can add up quickly.
Being that my family is full-time care providers can also make it difficult to and from work if I was to make that a method of transportation again. Because this is so complicated from an external standpoint, then the thought of being a burden creeps in quite heavily. Which follows the questioning of my own worth as a person, my purpose in this world and if I’ve made all the wrong choices in life.
Moreover, I feel like an imposter at times, telling people that there is hope for their lives and that their lives can change. And yet when the war overtakes me I myself don’t even believe my own words. Again, maybe you are like me, and you feel as though you are caught between a war of worlds. How do we begin to live within this tension? And how does one even begin to combat the darkness that plagues our minds? In light of the first question, I believe that everyone lives within the same tension that I have expressed above, it might not be as extreme or as much. So we have to boldly and honestly admit that they exist within us.
We have to boldly and bravery understand that this world has always existed in suffering and hardship. This world can be unbelievably cruel and not everyone will understand or know what it means to live in the bodies we do. But we should not let that disqualify us from revealing our light to the world, our hopes, and dreams. Rather we should be able to take all our hopes and dreams and crash up against the darkness, why? Because life is too worth it not to stay silent about who we are, what we want and who we want to be. We should as Jordan Peterson would say, stand up straight with our shoulders back, or head up high with your shoulders back if you cannot stand up. This is how we begin to combat the negative moments, the dark nights of the soul.
We start by remembering the simple and powerful truth that we are loved beyond our wildest dreams, that we have value and purpose in this world. Even if you might not believe it on a given day, it still holds true. When these truths begin to download into our lives, we have more joy and less trouble when hardship comes our way. When we know, understand and believe that we have value and person, it is easier to set aside ourselves and extend the same love and compassion that we have in ourselves. To make these truths more real, write them down over and over, like a kid who writes his spelling words over and over. Say them over and over in your mind, aloud chant them if you have to. Your life, my life, the lives of those around us matter too much not to know and claim these precious truths. Otherwise, we will be swallowed up by our own darkness.
Image credit: Brandon Ryan