Found on Pinterest on 10-25-15. Jackson Kiddard
When I was young, I believed true courage was accepting whatever life threw your way. That life was filled with good experiences and difficult times, and a brave man suffered in silence, did not complain, or let the world know his fears, his hurts, or disappointments, but rather he kept his chin up and showed the world a calm, confident, humorous face. I believed that one should always be aware of his blessings, think positive thoughts, and fight his battles alone.
I believed stories should be kept secret if they contained elements of violence, emotional abuse, or had subject matter that had a tendency to make people feel uncomfortable, anxious , or depressed. I felt my job was to help others, and bring joy to the world by not needing anything, not burdening any one, but rather live a life of self-sacrifice.
I was young, full of enormous strength, a strong will, excellent health, an analytic mind, and I was a problem solver. I had developed the face of a poker player. My feelings, thoughts, my life belonged only to me. There was nothing I couldn’t learn or handle. I had a good job, made a decent salary, was able to buy some things I wanted, and I had a family of my own. I thought I was invincible. The years passed. Life happened.
I experienced loss after loss, and kept my sadness, sorrow, and grief hidden. I found new ways to cope. Some worked and some did not. I entered therapy and learned to communicate more effectively. I learned a lot about myself and other people. I confronted my fears, my grief; processed losses, became more aware of my strengths and weaknesses; was able to share my stories; and learned how to talk about my own emotions and thoughts.
I found out emotions don’t last forever and they change; thoughts and perceptions change with experience; and that if you think a thought, you are not that thought. Feelings won’t kill you and expressing them to others can heal you. Secrets have a tendency to pop out when you least expect them to. I learned you have to confront the past to keep it from controlling you; and relationships take hard work.
I found out the world heals when stories are told, and barriers can be torn down when differences are understood and accepted, and similarities are embraced. People need someone who knows where they are coming from, and who has experience and knowledge about what is happening inside them. People need feedback when they are trying to find out who they are and what they are. People need genuine caring from others; and most important, people need to be accepted and respected when they are going through difficult times as well as good times.
Life is a mixture of joy and sorrow, courage and fear, closeness and distance, hope and despair, faith and uncertainty, anger and love, venting feelings and taking action, and life and death. The world needs people who can be honest about their feelings and thoughts, and who can relate to others as human beings with the same weaknesses and strengths. It takes rare courage to share your real self with others, but growth can come from doing so and others can receive healing from your stories and experiences.
Written by Sue Monk Kidd.