A New Phase: Quiet City

Okay folks.

It’s time to share this thing I think. I’ve been working on it long enough.

Be-loved was the first time I put my thoughts to words and shared it consistently. It was a beautiful process of connecting with others who felt similar things I did, and just getting those things out in the open where they needed to be.

Be-loved taught me to be honest, even when it’s tough, because someone might benefit from it.

And now we have Quiet City. You can see for yourself, but if you were a consistent reader of be-loved I hope you will see the same person, continuing to learn, make mistakes and ask questions. I hope you will connect with some things on there, and I hope you’ll connect with me!

Anyways, I don’t want to ramble too much about it, go check it out!

quietcity.space

As for be-loved? It will serve as the foundation of my creative work going forward, but don’t hold your breath for more posts on here, this stuff will be shared through Quiet City moving forward.

Peace, thanks for reading 🙂

img_0422

Advertisements

About Be-loved and other musings

 

Okay, now write something inspiring. No wait, just be real. Right… that’s the point.

seaotter

The best creature that exists. totally unrelated

For whatever reason I landed back on an old video poem thing that I created a couple years ago. After the first few seconds of cringing at something so vulnerable that my slightly younger self had revealed to the world, I was startled to feel the emotion of it. I felt where I was when I made the video, where I was when I started this blog. And suddenly I realized that this blog was not as selfless as I’d like to have thought it was. It wasn’t just about trying to help other people feel loved. It was also about some part of me searching for something better. It was me expressing myself instead of keeping everything bottled up. It was a chance to be vulnerable. And it was an attempt to convince other people of a reality I was trying to convince myself of. That I was loved, that I was valuable, and that I mattered. For whatever reasons those ideas seemed ludicrous to me at the time. The blog was a way to start putting myself back together again, bring out the darkness in me and force it into light. It has been a painful, terrifying and extremely rewarding process to have this ol’ blog, and I’m so glad I did it.
Posts are getting fewer now mostly because I seem to have just enough time to pull myself together, and not so much contribute to this wonderful process that I often convince myself isn’t important. Also I think it started to get stranger and stranger to tell all this deep personal stuff to the Internet, even though it seemed to yield positive results.
I don’t really know what this blog is about right now, but I know these words are some of the few things I can find these days that isn’t trying to be perfect, or look it.

All I want to say is, it is cool to see how this blog helped me grow, learn, and come to love myself in the ways I have learned to, although I learn more each day. I guess maybe I’m not sure if I have as clear of a direction, or if I know what I have to tell lately. But maybe something will come to me. Or maybe whoever reads this could give me some advice on what I should write about. Or that my consistent rambling about life is something that I should keep doing. Or maybe I’m just tired and emotional and I’ll regret posting this in the morning.

Authenticity is hard to find these days, but I think we all know that it’s still important.

Peace and Love, thank you for reading to the bottom of this post during your likely busy day. I Hope you feel loved today

Emily

I Need Connection

7647489500_0a9d581a66_k.jpg

It’s so much easier to write the resolution than the journey. But sometimes, in the moment of clarity you can see in retrospect what you needed. We continue forward, with the idea that we know what we’re doing, but often we don’t know what we were looking for until we find it.

This past week was difficult. With multiple final papers due, my schedule is wiped clean so I can sit down and write, research, repeat. I have a mixed relationship with writing essays. On one hand, there are great things to be learned in forming an idea using other people’s ideas. But mostly, this week I have denied myself most of what makes me feel whole in order to meet deadlines. And sometimes, that’s life.

This week, and many others, I forget how incredibly important it is to simply connect with another human. To be able to express the confusion and sorrow that we are feeling, and to hear that someone else feels it too. To my dear friend Anna, thank you for reminding me of what I had forgotten.

I hate loneliness. I hate it because it fills so much of our lives. It’s the reason I’ll have music playing wherever I go. It’s the reason there is always a tv on, a phone in hand, or a computer screen open. We live in a way that praises self-accomplishment, and individuality. We pride ourselves on our uniqueness, but at the same time we are terrified of being different enough that people won’t want us around. I try to find the balance everyday of satisfying the parts of me that want to be expressed fully, while trying to be normal enough so as not to stick out too much. And it’s not because I don’t know who I am. It’s because sometimes I’m not always sure who to be in the world.

But I live within this paradigm as if I understand its purpose. To achieve, to succeed, to compete, to be the best.
Because nothing, absolutely nothing is more satisfying to me than sitting across from someone who says “Yeah. I understand. I’ve been there” Nothing beats revealing the parts of you that are scared, insecure, overwhelmed and exhausted and for someone to recognize that within themselves. To be with someone in the depths of life, not just the surface. I’m so tired of walking around acting like i’ve got my shit together, like I’m on a train of amazingness and there’s no stopping me!
Or, on the other hand, connecting with others only by means of complaining. Of how life isn’t giving me what I wanted, and how I’m annoyed, angry or indifferent. When I am unable to express my real feelings and experiences with others, they get bottled up in my head and I begin not to trust myself. With no affirmation, no outward processing, no connection, I become the enemy of my own mind. I think that I must be doing something to feel this way, or else I blame the only good things in my life that I could place blame (aka my partner). I’m left up to my own devices, and let me tell you they are limited. Because I am just one experience. I am just one perspective. And I can’t fix everything myself.

I want to re-label “anxiety” with “need connection”. Because then I wouldn’t be able to cut myself short by saying “I’m going to stay in because I’m feeling anxious”. What’s really happening is I desperately need connection, but maybe i’m scared to be vulnerable. Maybe I’m convinced that I’ll figure it out on my own.

No. That’s not it Em, stop trying to be your own therapist.

I NEED CONNECTION. I need to joke about the ridiculousness of trying to write about the history of a marginalized group, as if “they” have one, a complete and documented story that can be told within 500 words. I need to talk about how I can’t stand walking into a classroom to sit beside one another to learn about how to show “empathy” when we could be connecting with one another and actually experiencing it. I need to talk about how I’ve been so emotionally overwhelmed that I try to control it by telling my partner he’s being selfish. I need to talk about how I want community, how I want to know people. I need to talk about how I don’t know how to navigate a world of “how are you” “fine” because all I want to say is “I am so freaking overwhelmed right now.”

I need connection. I need people. I need someone to say “Hey, it makes sense that you’re feeling that way, sounds like you have a lot on your plate”. Because yeah, I have a LOT going for me, and life COULD be worse, BUT THAT’S NOT A REASON TO DENY YOUR FEELINGS.

Because I am feeling. I am always, feeling. And I’m tired of just thinking about it. Labeling it “in my head” or “my mind is racing” and trying to push it away. Maybe our erratic minds and constant need to be doing something is because we are terrified to face the fact that we are lonely, and everybody else is busy.

I know people make a lot of empty promises these days. We make plans and cancel, we put that we “might” go to things on Facebook, and we settle for harmless, easy, conversation. But if you feel like talking about what’s really happening in you life, or what you’re feeling, or what you just realized, or what you’re really excited about, and you don’t know who to tell, I would really love to hear it. My email is emily.scott93@gmail.com, and since I am a university student, my computer is open almost all hours of the day. Feel free to email me the real “how are you” and I’d love to chat.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel like talking to me because a. you don’t know me b. you don’t want to email your feelings to someone on the internet… then please, if you need connection like I do, find the people in your life that care about you and let them know you need them. I don’t think we are good at needing people these days, but I’ll be the first to say that I do. And every area of my life starts crumbling down when I forget that.

Battling anxiety: facing fears

back in the day when I wasn’t afraid of anything

“Let Life race you out beyond your own boundaries over and over again until you are comfortable with watching the map of normal’s edge disappear behind you.
Let Life show you that it is safe to exceed your own expectations and reputation and prove that the only danger in following her into the wilderness is a loss of your own fear.
This is when we gain the warrior’s heart, the master’s eye, and the student’s mind. After that, Life holds our hand in every adventure and shows us things not possible before.”
– Jacob Nordby

The first time I talked to a therapist she basically told me I needed to confront my anxiety or it would continue to get worse. I thought she was crazy and had no idea what she was talking about. I wasn’t there to be challenged, all I wanted in that moment was to be told that I was important and my problems were valid. I wanted her to give me an answer for why I was struggling so much. Her suggestion seemed offensively simple, and impossible at the same time. I believed that instead what I needed was a diagnoses, maybe some medication, and a lot of solitude. I continued to opt out of social events, maintain minimal communication with those I lived with, and went on living life according to the roller coaster of my emotions. I let a negative voice boss me around, telling me that even eye contact with a stranger on the street was not something I could do. I convinced myself that I had just become someone who needed to be alone a lot, that my environment was toxic, it wasn’t what I wanted, it was all wrong. I let myself believe that when I didn’t hear from someone for a while, it must mean they weren’t interested in our friendship anymore. Bumping into familiar faces meant I would shuffle through small talk like it was a four-piece puzzle. Ask about school, midterms, offer some light compliments and depart.

I am aware that everyone sees anxiety a little differently, and each of our experience is unique. If it is causing significant distress in your life, please seek out professional help. In no way do I assume that my experience will look like yours.

I hate to say it, but I think she was right. Maybe she could have waited until a little later to say but it was true. I needed to face my fears. I just didn’t want to hear that yet. Because it wasn’t the fears that were the problem, I believed that I was unable to face them. I needed to challenge the negative, and question its validity. Was it providing support, or simply sorrow? Was it enlightening me, or just preventing me from trying? I can see a pattern that my mind follows, one that has led me down dangerously lonely paths. I enter without hope of a light at the end.

1. I get invited to an event, to a party, or I think of someone who I really want to see. A quiet voice states the possibilities, the opportunities within the invitation. But a louder, more familiar voice says “no”… it always says that. It grabs hold of each positive thought and twists them until all I can think of are excuses for why I can’t go. So I decline from attending with some sort of justifcaiton, or I refrain from even responding, shutting out the opportunity at the source.
2. I affirm the belief that I’m unable to go out, by not going out. By not making the first step, by hesitating. The hesitation only builds with more thought, more reasons why I was justified in saying no.
3. Anything that creates discomfort is met with agreement, and arrangements are met so those discomforts are dealt with in solitude. In an attempt to stay safe, I also manage to avoid connection.

This path is a familiar one, but I am realizing it’s never too late to change it. You can always stop, get off, and have a look around. Maybe analyze the scene a little more, maybe begin to look for something different. Maybe decide that you are worth the effort and discomfort that comes with risk.

So this is a new pattern, something that I challenge myself with almost everyday. It can be exhausting, and there are many days when I don’t have it in me. But more often then not, I am met with a reality that doesn’t match the anxiety story in my mind.

1. I think to myself, I’d really like to get to know people in my classes.
2. As I sit down next to a stranger, I’m met with familiar discomfort, an inner critic saying “don’t say anything, it will be awkward”. But this time I don’t listen, and before I have the time to build up an imaginary scenario in my mind, I start with something simple, small talk, “How’s it going?”
3. The conversation usually progresses just fine, names exchanged, and sometimes small connections are made with interests, other classes, or shoe brands, who knows.
4. The fear of introduction is no longer present, because I acted on it and demonstrated that it was not enough to stop me from living my life. It has no place anymore, it has been conquered, even if just for that single moment.
5. The next time it arises, I have a past experience to draw from, knowing that in reality I am in no danger, and I will most likely be just fine. Once again I take power away from the voice that wants me to be safe, and not to take any risks.

I never wanted to believe that the way to conquer my fears was to actually conquer them. There must be another way. Maybe I’m just not meant to be social, or to achieve the things I thought I wanted. Maybe I need to look for other options. I wanted a way out, but I didn’t want to think that the way out was the way in. That everything I have told myself I couldn’t do was only doable when I… did it. It still seems too simple sometimes, too obvious to be a real solution. But as I say yes to opportunities, as I engage with people and lean in to the discomfort, I can see a difference. Instead of trusting in the fear instinct, I trust in the one that wants more. I begin to see that I have a choice in every situation, not of my circumstances, but of my perspective. I can choose to see the possible catastrophes, or I can choose to believe in success. I can choose to believe that I am capable of whatever I want. I can choose to focus on other people, rather than fearing their perception of me. I can do what I want, and not be filled with “what-ifs”.

It’s exhausting sometimes… okay lots of the time. But as long as I remember how exhausting it is to see the world as a terrifying unpredictable place, being exhausted from taking risks is a better option.

I recognize that this has been my experience, and your story looks different. But we all have fears, and sometimes they are what hinder us the most. And the worst thing we can do is simply dwell on how much we fear them. So maybe we can begin to face them, one thought at a time.

“We change our behaviour when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.” – Henry Cloud

We are all creative

Creativity.

I love to ask people what they love to do for fun in hopes of indirectly sparking conversation on creativity. See, many people will tell me that are not creative if I ask about art or personal creative interests. Receptive of many creative forms sure, but not producers of it.

I do not for a second believe that there is any person that is not creative. So if you tell me that you are not I will always disagree.

As Jason Silva talks about in the video above, I really believe that there is something inside of you that you don’t really understand. Something that is begging to be recognized. Something that fills you with a sense of accomplishment and harmony. Creativity is something we all have the capacity for, and when we fulfill that we are met with a peaceful contentment. One that is quickly replaced by the desire to continue the process, to break the ceilings of what has been done before.

Creativity is both personal and shared. It is an expression of you that you can choose to give to the world, yet at the same time it is a development of yourself that will propel you forward. Creativity is doing something where you don’t know why it is right, all you know is that it is. You don’t know the answer, but creativity is the search for it. It is always crossing the line, it is always expanding. Creativity is growth, stepping out into the unknown. It is confusing, it is mysterious, and it is misunderstood. But creativity is what gives us life, and it is in the moments that make us feel alive.

Maybe you are not a painter. Maybe you are tone deaf and would never be caught dead in front of a crowd. There are forms of creativity that we commonly consider “artsy”, which I believe is a massive understatement of the concept.
Creativity isn’t just being “good” at something, it is just doing something with purpose and always striving to improve. It is expressing the energy that is inside of you, about sending out the signal from within.

It is about living with abandon, not knowing what you are doing but knowing that you are fully immersed in it. It has been described as the “flow” state, where all else falls away. You are completely absorbed, completely present. In a world where we are constantly fearing the future and dwelling on the past, I can’t think of anything more magical than being fully absorbed in the moment.

I think if we redefined what creativity is, we might see that part of being human is being creative. The ability to solve problems, adapt, move forward and overcome obstacles. Sometimes we just need to find the obstacle that we want to break through.

For me, creativity begins with believing that I possess it, that I have something to create. Then, it becomes about an exploration of a practice, any practice. Writing about what I think about the world, in ways that are deeply personal and unique to my experience. Singing in a way that makes me lose my sense of self and just float above it in a state of pure enjoyment. Making random things from an idea in my mind. Going somewhere new without having anything planned. Cooking something new, meeting someone new, trying something new. It always requires effort, but the reward is always worth it. Through creativity I discover the infinite nature of life, and a limitless number of possibilities.

206016_10151269983052897_1378535309_n

No two people are creative in the same way, so creativity must never simply be about competition. It is authentic, true and honest. The best part about true creativity is that nobody has the right to criticize its merit, so long as it is true for you (and not harming anyone else…).

We often let others create for us, so we can reap the benefits. Music, technological innovation, science, movies, the things we’d be lost without. But nothing compares to being lost in a creative moment. Knowing that you are contributing something absolutely unique to the world. And that’s a beautiful thing.

You are creative. I can promise you that. If you have discovered ways in which you have recognized your creative ability please do let me know, I would love to hear! If not, keep searching, I believe in you!

Sending vibes of love,

Emily

Changing Perspectives

485504631_f743212a70_oYou are on your way to a family gathering. As you stare out the window wondering who all is going to be there, the ones you know and the distant relatives you’ve never met, your sibling pipes up with their shred of knowledge,
“Agh, Susan is going to be there. She’s the worst, all she ever does is talk about herself.”
You consider the statement, not having any prior experience with Susan, you side with this story, and plan for a meeting with your “self-centred” cousin.
When you are eventually introduced, all you notice are the things Susan does, particularly her choice of conversation topics. As the evening moves along, you now have a reservoir of all the things she has said about herself, further confirming your hypothesis about her, though based on outside opinion.
Now what if someone had told you that Susan was the most fascinating person you will ever meet? What if they said she was funny, interesting and caring? Maybe you would have looked for those things, maybe you would have something to support that idea.

We all have a perspective. We have a way that we are interpreting our world. A way that we see the past, present and future. Just like someone who colour-blind sees a banana differently than you, so everything in your world receives a similar variance in interpretation. Sometimes our interpretation comes from our curious interest, like a child discovering that the hot stove is red for a reason. Other times, our interpretations are shaped by what others have told us about life.

Regardless, there is a reality inside of our head, all of what we believe to be happening. This “reality” creates experience, memories, regrets and ideas. Sometimes, the reality that we see isn’t so favourable to us. Like when you walk into a room and it seems like everyone is staring right at you, sending mind bullets of disapproval right into your brain. When everything in your day seems to be going against you, or you are lost in the confusion of what to do. When pain arrives, when pleasure dissipates. When your heart beats faster, and your lungs expand quicker and quicker. When the noise is loud, and the lights are bright.

You are always experiencing something in a certain way. But when you are certain about how it is being experienced, then life seems to only have one hand of cards dealt for you.
So why do we often believe only the negative things about ourselves and our experience? Why do we allow our perspective to be one of guilt, anxiety, fear and insecurity? Somehow we have been convinced that the way that we see things must be the way that they are, but maybe they are not that way at all.

What if we could see our perspectives for what they are? Simply…perspectives. One side of the story, one flip of the coin. One grain of sand, a drop of rain in a thunderstorm, a star in the sky. Believing this, could we decide that we want to see things differently, and allow the flow of infinite sight into our lives? Could we set ourselves free from the traps of “this is always the way it will be” and open up to a “how will I see this?”. What if we questioned everything, especially whatever it is that tells us we are anything but amazing?

People will always tell you what is. Because, as A. Hughman would say, “It is the certain who stop searching”. And maybe a lot of us don’t always want to be searching. It is scary territory, to say the least. But when you search you have agreed that there is more, you have decided that what you know now can’t be all there is. And maybe we need to remind ourselves of the uncertainty of all that we think we know in order to let go of the ways that we are stuck. All the ways we let ourselves think that we are not capable of seeing more.

Are we only seeing one side of the story, yet writing the script like we know it all? Everything we do is from our perspective, and our perspective shapes everything we do. Why not change it for the better?

Photo Attribution

Love Yourself

4857141834_b3c10afa3f_b

First.
Before trying to fix.
Before you return.
Before the repair.
Before the journey on.
Before you take one more step.
Please, love yourself.

Love the legs that got you here, and the ones that will
step bravely into the wilderness.

Love the heart that did not give up, the one that beats to a song, your song.

Love the eyes that trusted beyond the darkness enough to go without for a little while.

Love the body that grows, the one that will one day perish, for now it holds you, and you have it, it does not have you.

Love the mind that examines this landscape, constantly learning and responding to endless mystery.

Love the pockets of memories that it holds, and the ones that it will one day let go of.

Love the infinite consciousness that your soul holds in a cosmic embrace, love the fact that NOBODY can truly tell you who you need to be, because nobody really knows.

Love this moment, because it’s all you will ever have. It’s all you ever needed.

Love yourself as a companion, one that will never leave your side.

Love your fear, enough to know you can conquer it.

Love your ability to decide, the one thing that can never be taken from you.

Love yourself for all of this. Love the self you have been and what you will be.

Love.

Now carry on.

Photo: Justin Kern

Labels Part 1: Tomboy.

photo

Just my monday best

Tomboy.

Labels are useful. They help us to navigate our insanely complex and diverse world. Without them, well, how would you describe to someone that you wanted… that… hmm… how do you say it… see what I mean?
But labels can be limiting. Because they can begin to describe us in ways that we fail to realize, and sometimes it just seems easier to go along with it.
I’m calling this part 1 because hopefully that will force me to come up with lots more labels, instead of putting out one blog post every six months. Also because I think it is an important concept that greatly impacts our lives. Yep, just thought of another one, sweet, that means I’ll have a part 2.

Okay. Back to labels.

You could say it is because I grew up with three older brothers, or because I’ve always liked playing sports, or because I never really understood how to put make-up on “properly”.

Aside from specifics about my childhood, my whole life I have been a “tomboy”. The girl that gets along with the guys, that likes to play soccer at recess, wears her brother’s old sport shorts, and chooses sneakers over flats (that one just makes sense, “girl” shoes are not made for comfort).

But this is not about me complaining of how that label ruined my life, or how it is wrong or misleading. Because sure, if you want to put me under a stereotype, I am someone who might fit nicely into that narrow category.

No, this is about how when you accept a label, you can fail to see beyond it for fear of breaking the mould that has been set for you.

To be honest, I don’t understand a lot of what it means to be a “girl” in this society. I don’t feel comfortable in heels, I don’t like wearing a whole bunch of stuff on my face because then I have to wash it off at night and I have many more things I’d rather be doing… like sleeping. I don’t understand why my legs are supposed to be clean shaven, when the hair on my head and eyebrows and eyelashes is perfectly acceptable. I don’t understand why girls have to fight for lead roles in society, and I definitely don’t understand why I’m supposed to have a different dress for every occasion. I don’t understand why boys clothes are made better, while I try to stay warm in a see-through sweater. I don’t understand why style can be used to assign sexuality or gender. Most of all, I don’t see why any of those are relevant to the fact that I can bear children and my older male siblings cannot (at least that’s what they told me in sex-ed).

I don’t understand a lot of things. Mostly I don’t understand why not understanding should place me into a specific category.

At first I fought that label tooth and nail, afraid of being an “in-between”, afraid of not fitting in. Eventually I accepted it, and tried to fit every corner of that label.

Now, well now I just try to live.

See, when you accept what people say you are, you stop progressing beyond it. There have been so many times that I have been afraid of doing anything deemed “girly”, because people don’t see me that way, and I knew I would be pointed out. I acted like I didn’t care about being different, until I started to think that all I would ever be was different.

Truth is, I will always be different. As different as everyone else I guess. But when we get wrapped up in trying to match a label we end up being the same, all trying to fit into something that makes sense.

Yeah, sometimes I want to act like a “girl”. Sometimes I want to act like a “boy”. But mostly, I think those labels have been set in place so there is an easy, predictable path for us to take, not because it is who we are.

I am a diverse, multifaceted person who likes to do what makes sense to me in a confusing and unpredictable world. And if that makes me a “tomboy” so be it, but you will never ever know who I really am if you settle for reducing my individuality to one simple category.

And so I challenge everyone reading this to think about what labels have been ascribed to you. What do people tell you that you are? Do you really feel that way? Or do you have other dreams and visions that don’t fit as nicely into categories?

You are complex, and will probably always be somewhat misunderstood. That’s okay, let your true colours shine whether or not anyone else can make sense of it. Because you can live your life being told who you are, or you can go out and figure it out for yourself.

Speaking of being loved…

You could say this is related, seeing as love sometimes leads to marriage. And that’s a beautiful thing! Anyways, this is a shameless plug for my wedding video service! If you are looking to hire a videographer for your upcoming wedding, I would be honoured to be your pick! I love telling love stories just as much as I like writing about love in all its forms 🙂

Check out www.emilyrosevideos.com for more info!

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 10.02.52 PM

Have a great day!

Letting Go of Bitterness and Facebook Friends

6856181503_5b87b73925_o

I never thought clicking ‘unfriend’ could be so liberating. Until I understood why.

Sometimes, when there isn’t much else to do, I will scroll through Facebook, as many of us do. Over the past little while, I began to notice how many unfamiliar faces were popping up, and eventually, I began to recognize an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. Seeing faces of people along my journey, I could feel a ball of negative energy building up inside of me. For a long time I never understood it, nor did I give enough spotlight to deal with it. I had had a few casual conversations about the amount of “friends” I had accumulated on Facebook, and how I wished it wasn’t such an arduous task to whittle it down a little bit.

Nevertheless, one night I took to my Facebook page, and began scrolling through this 900+ list of people that I shared my internet self with. What I thought was going to be a quick clearing of old acquaintances, turned into something remarkably liberating.
As I began scrolling through images of familiar faces, I started to feel that familiar gut energy bursting with negativity. A face from high school, a face from camp, a face from an old job, a face matching a friend of a friend that I met at a party one time. Seeing all these faces at once made me feel one thing: bitterness. But how could I feel bitter toward so many people? What if they knew I felt this way about them? Had they really done anything to harm me, or create this ugly sensation in my mind?

Once I started the train of questions there was no turning back. What was happening?

I was matching faces to my own life experience. When I was in a period of doubt, confusion, and anxiety, anyone with a shred of certainty around me earned the privilege of deserving my emotional weight, all the stuff I never said out loud. When I was insecure, the people I was surrounded by became confident, and I hated them for that. Now hate is a strong word, and often we don’t want to admit to ourselves that we hate someone or something. So I would justify that bitter feeling by putting an easier term to it. Thinking to myself “I hate them for being so certain, they’re so full of it” or “They only THINK they’re happy”. As much as I don’t wish to admit it, the amount of bitterness I could simultaneously hold for various people was astonishing. Even worse, these may be people who see me positively, yet I would never be able to believe that behind my thick wall of blame.

Think about how you can listen to a song that reminds you of a certain time, and before you know it you are met with the same emotions you had once felt.  the same thing happens with people, but we fail to label it as the feeling and instead we label the people as the source for our hurt.

I saw pictures of different people, I also saw pictures of my life where I was lost. Finally, I stopped ignoring the truth that was staring me right in the face.

First, I began to feel an immense amount of guilt. How could I blame all of these people, as if they are the source of my problems? I desperately hoped that my internal resentment had not reached the surface and made its way into anyone else’s consciousness. But I couldn’t be sure. Though I feared the thought of someone feeling rejected by my ‘unfriending’ I put aside my own pride, and took to unfriending like it was the last thing I would ever do.

I will not deny the reality of betrayal, lies, abuse, all of the things that do occur. The times where we need supernatural strength to forgive.

Yet, there is a kind of bitterness we (I) hold on to. It’s the one that makes people raise an eyebrow as we vent about all the ways the world is against us. Its the gossiping and the insulting and the anger that we attribute to all of the people who, as we believe, are causing us pain. It’s the blame we place on authority, institution, religion, systems and people. Not because what they are doing is wrong (though it happens), but because we are convinced that they are hurting us intentionally, and we want them to feel the pain that we feel.

We just don’t want to feel how we do, and so we try to project it onto other people, hoping that they can bear the weight of it. Most of the time we don’t intend to actually communicate this, or else we fail to recognize the problem, and allow a face to bring up all these emotions. Instead of seeing the pain we see a criminal, someone who played a part in life being difficult.

You see, I realized that there are a lot of people who have been in scenes of my life. The good and the bad. And it just so happens that some were there when I needed a hand but couldn’t ask for it. Eventually, it took a Facebook friend purge to help me realize that there was no one to blame for it all. And the more I held onto that blame, the more I would cause old wounds to resurface.

Healing has begun to take root and change the way I see my relationships. The more I can see someone as their own person, trying to find their way through life, the less I need to place on them the extra burden of all the ways that my life hasn’t exceeded my expectations.

Are you holding on to bitterness? Does it surface when you see your old high school friend, your old teammate, your uncle, classmate or co-worker? Do you let yourself shrink back into safety mode every time you see someone who was a bystander in the chaos of your life?

There are enough things in life that we cannot control. There are times when we will get angry, when we will feel betrayed. But if we let our skewed perspective of other people build a mountain of bitterness inside of us, something needs to go.

I get it, we don’t want to carry that weight ourselves, we want it to go away. But it’s not an effective strategy, and you will pay the price that you think someone else is supposed to.

Let go of bitterness, because it’s not doing you any favours.

To anyone that I may have blamed for my own battles, whether you could see it or not, I am sorry. And if you got unfriended, all clichés aside, it truly is not you, it’s me.