Underneath

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“I never loved myself, until I finally realized that all I ever had was only myself.”

Underneath what are we truly? What do we envision ourselves to be? Everyday we see who we are. We see our reflection in the mirrors in front of us. I saw myself back then. I hated the person staring back at me. Her soft blue eyes and the pain that filled them. The loneliness and heartbreak that rolled down her cheeks within a single tear. The feelings of loss and failure as she looked bigger than she had the week before. Who was this? Was this really the same girl that everyone saw within the halls of school? The same girl who rolled a cart down along the hospital wings to give drinks to dying patients. The same girl who gave them a smile and who people thought was also supposed to be happy? I didn’t believe so. I didn’t believe anything. I only believed what I saw and in front of me was an ugly fat monster that couldn’t stop eating and couldn’t find anyone to love her. The feeling of being beautiful never entered my mind. I couldn’t even fathom the word, for all I saw around me were others who were better and more beautiful than me. In my mind, everyone was. I would cry every night, drawing a face in my journal, a face that looked different and that gave me some peace. I wanted to be her. I wanted to be anything but me.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”
― C. JoyBell C.

As the days progressed into weeks and then into months and soon years I found myself alone, trudging along and being overly nice to those who would be around me. I always figured if I use myself that way I would have friends and people would like me. I hated myself. That much was clear. I loathed my existence and always thought why is it fair that everyone else had someone and I had no one? I would watch my beautiful mother become a goddess to the men around her. My brothers were small and beautiful and everyone always said how gorgeous they were. I got a smile. As if they pitied me for being fat and ugly. This was in my mind. This is what I saw and what I felt. People would say otherwise and try to tell me differently but nothing would ease my suffering about myself except food. It was my only friend. Underneath I felt a comfort as I ate, almost as if the fat was a shield guarding me from the pain and the beautiful people who were all around me. I was blinded by it, numb and devoured.

“Dare to love yourself
as if you were a rainbow
with gold at both ends.”

One night I remember lying in my bed. My eyes filled with watery warm tears. I was having trouble breathing and needed to sit up. I looked down at myself and saw nothing but hatred. Had I hated myself so much that I wanted to turn myself into the monster I always thought I was? Yes. Was I slowly killing the monster? Yes. I sniffed and looked outside my window. It was winter and the snow had just fallen blanketing the dead grass with its shimmering white glitter. Above the stars shined so brightly in the sky, I wanted to be one. I felt as though I didn’t belong here with these beautiful people. I shouldn’t even exist. I cried and felt my heart again break. I was tired and worn out from crying. I didn’t want to be this way anymore. As I looked at the stars behind blurry eyes I thought of a word, a word that has stuck with me since that night. CHANGE. I can change it all. I can change myself. I didn’t have to be this way. I could change my mindset. Why not think positive instead of negative? Why not try loving instead of hating? Why not? I didn’t have anything left to lose. I had already lost myself. I was buried deep underneath. I remember swallowing and having a new feeling that night before I closed myself off from the world and entered the realm of my dreams. I had finally had HOPE.

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“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!”
― Charlie Chaplin

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I Wrote Them A Letter

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“When her pencil touched the paper she knew she had found her true calling.”

Writing letters has always been a safe haven for me. Which is one of the reasons why I love writing so much. Words can sound so beautiful when placed together in the right way. During the holidays I hand out random cards to people in stores and on the streets. Each with a little note telling them to have a beautiful day or how special they are. A random act of kindness and a smile can go a long way I have learned. I write them all the time, to people who deserve such beautiful melodies of letters and to those who don’t.

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I wasn’t perfect growing up. I didn’t make the right choices or hang with the right people. I was always used. It wasn’t like I wanted to find these people, they just happened to always find me. No just wasn’t part of my vocabulary. I think it was due to my lack of confidence with myself, both inside and outside. I was overly nice to those who were the BIG CHEESE because I wanted them to like me. I didn’t consider myself pretty or nice looking. I always saw just a fat monster with eyes staring at me in the mirror. Because of this I would let them copy my homework and get their drinks at the pop machine. Each favor or service ending with, “Aw you’re so nice.” Little did I know I was the laughing stock of the inside crowd. “Oh that Sunny, she’ll do anything for you.” I remember the boys would pretend to like me and place their arms around me as their cheerleader girlfriends snickered. There was however one boy who meant something to me. He would be sweet to me in order to get what he wanted such as homework for the class or a pencil and paper. Afterwards he would stick his finger in his mouth and pretend to gag. I acted like I didn’t notice, but I did. I spent countless hours in the girl’s bathroom crying, splashing water on the mirror in front of me so I couldn’t see my reflection. Why did I like him? I couldn’t tell you why. I look back on those days now and want to slap myself for how much of a coward I was. No I didn’t get teased out loud or made fun of on a regular basis. I wasn’t bullied to an extreme, not like the kids today. But what I got didn’t feel too good. They didn’t deserve my kindness or my time. I know that now.

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” –John. F Kennedy

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I only have a few friends from school that I stay in contact with, only those who really ever meant anything to me. It’s hard growing up. The heart breaks so many times for all the wrong reasons, which seems to be right at the time. As you get older you look back and see what happened to yourself and ponder what ifs? And the whys? I don’t blame any of them. They weren’t bad people. They just took advantage and because of that I learned a lesson. Do I have regrets? I have many and as I sit here tonight filling out cards to some beautiful individuals I think about those who did wrong by me. I can’t help but wonder what they are doing, how their lives turned out. Some I know not so well. So I wrote them a letter. I sent out a card, a couple cards, to those who never speak to me anymore. Maybe it’s a waste of time, but I don’t care. I just want them to know that the person they could care less about…cares about them. Another lesson I have learned is to always forgive your enemy. It doesn’t always work for people, but forgiving them and learning from it made it easier for me to get on with my life. In the end none of us are perfect creatures. We are all just pieces on a game board waiting for the next turn to collect and hopefully one day wins.

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“Love your enemies, for they tell you yours faults.” –Benjamin Franklin