Being constantly strong, putting on a brave face and 'pulling it together' is a gift to those around you, never to yourself. We aim to make those around us as comfortable as possible, to inconvenience them as little as possible with our pain.
To me, my dreams and passions are real enough to warrant any level of upset and change. It took me until embarrassingly recently to realise that not everyone was willing to be so drastic.
Yet here is what I can do; I can remind them that they are magic to every life they touch. This is a shout of love into the void of pain, reminding you, my beloved friend, that to feel alone is but an illusion. You will never stand alone, you always have me. I will be your fortitude, your crutch and your cheerleader whenever the need arises. I cannot solve your problems, but I will ensure that you do not face them alone.
‘You are meaner than your demons, colder than your pain and braver than your last thought.’
If we accept that fact, that We Are All One, as true then another intrinsic truth arises that we cannot ignore. If we were to live as though no one, even those who wrong us in the worst ways, were a part of how soul in need of love rather than condemnation, then we would never lack. There would be Enough.
I understand something I didn’t as a teenager. We can be on anti-depressants or in therapy and still experience moments so sharply brilliant that we laugh until our chests hurt. We can fret over living with our parents until our thirties and still receive a hug from a friend that is filled with such love that life is, momentarily, fixed and whole once more.
To my playschool kindred spirit whom I will never do the disservice of forgetting. To my primary school best friend who indulged all of my creative whims with a beautiful, open mind. To my secondary school brother-in-arms who gave me permission to present as exactly myself each day without exception. To my university soul sister, who breathes glitter and electric love to this day. To the friends of old, who’s imprints do not fade.
As a child, I was always one to feel guilt quickly and regret often. My mother uttered; 'Just let it go, Jen' more times than I can remember. Now, with a somewhat genetic complex for guilt and anxiety, I have noticed the toll that 'cancel culture' and social media is having on my own mind.
I don't remember the first time I thought that I would die from this sickness. But I do remember the first time I hoped I would.
My journey of acceptance and relationship with my body has been, like so many, a very hilly ride where the depths have sunken to lows I can barely think of and the highs have offered breathtaking views of glory of Self.