What hurts is often hidden so deep in our souls that we no longer realize it is decaying there. It is a disease slowly taking over our bodies without our knowledge. It is poisonous, yet we do not even realize it is there. This is why it is so important to know yourself. Floating along in a crazy society will do nothing for us. If we cannot catch these demons in our minds, they will slowly kill us. They may not take our bodies; however, they will take our hearts, our passion, and our lust for life. They will creep up and make us numb to the world. They instill fear and anxiety in us, while we continue to blame others for our unhappiness. If someone else seems to be the cause then remove them from your life. Ultimately, it is your decision to be the person you are and these extraneous demons are mere catalysts for the pain we feel in our souls.
Saying this, I would like to add that if anyone is guilty of allowing these demons to affect them, it is me. I put too much trust into the wrong people in the past and not enough into the right ones. I have allowed anxiety to control me, crippling me to a point that I know longer knew who I was. I entirely shut down and based all of my happiness on people who had long ago given up on me. I allowed them to make me feel as though I was not worth their time or their full commitment.
If at any point in my life I was disappointed in myself, it was during this time. I was always in control and had always been proud of my achievements. How had I let others make me feel as though everything I did led to failure? I let this hurt sink in, and that was the best decision I could have made. Instead of being numb, I finally felt the poison and discovered the source of it. It was not other people, or even the situations I was in. It was the fact that I felt I had let myself down. I had lost my passion, my drive, and my independence. I had let these manifest into anxiety, a “disease” that I purely believe resides in our minds. I had let myself succumb to this unhealthy way of thinking.
It would have been so easy to continue to blame others for my pain, but it became so much easier when I accepted this as my fault. This may sound contradictory but there is one thing you must remember: You cannot change anyone but yourself. Once I realized that I was the only one letting myself down I realized I had the power to change. I had the choice to be happy and to rid myself of this hurt. No one outside of myself had any control over my life and certainly did not control my levels of success. Once I realized this it became a lot easier to start living in the present instead of living in a state of negative nostalgia.
Photo | Kevin Ward