It’s been about a month since I launched my blog. My initial purpose was to find an outlet to express my creativity; a platform to get out my thoughts and feelings; thoughts and feelings that I would otherwise keep bottled up inside.
And for the past four or so weeks, I’ve felt a huge weight lifted, a whole new sense of clarity. But I was naive in that I assumed I had my life – well, me – figured out. But today, at the one month (ish) mark, I’ve realized that I still have so much learning to do, and so much progress to make.
Earlier today, I was skimming through social media, and came across a bunch of articles about Jay-Z’s new album; not just about Jay-Z’s lyrical and musical artistry, but also about his ability to come clean about past actions in order to move forward.
My favorite line: “You can’t heal what you never reveal.” This hit home for me more than you can imagine, as I’m the type of person who tries to pretend past events didn’t happen in an effort to protect myself; a self-defense mechanism which rarely proves effective.
Instead, this type of “coping” forces me to push things that have caused me to feel ashamed, scared, embarrassed, etc. to a way-way back section of my mind so that I don’t have to think about them or face them. And it works for a little while. I continue with life and hope that my past demons don’t resurface.
But there’s an interesting thing about the human mind (or maybe just my mind; caveat: I’m in no way a trained professional in this area) – the feelings and thoughts we block out or repress almost always end up coming back to haunt us in other ways.
I know everyone’s different, but for me, these thoughts and feelings manifest themselves in self-detrimental and destructive ways; think the occasional emotional outburst, panic attack, or excessive drinking episode.
And for me, the scary part is that I can’t predict when it’s going to happen; when I’m going to break. But when I do, those haunting thoughts are so far repressed that they become difficult to identify; difficult to address and heal in order to prevent future incidents. And so my “healing” process is a much more complicated (and longer) one than it ever needs to be.
But I’m finally ready to change that.
And so, I’d like to share my key takeaways from today’s one month self-reflection:
#1. Just like Jay-Z said, you can’t heal what you never reveal. If there’s something bothering you, or a mistake you made, understand that this is part of being human. We all do dumb $hit sometimes. Own it, recover gracefully, and move forward. Talk about it. Don’t push it to some unknown section of your head because, I can guarantee you, it will inevitably creep back up on you. And most likely, when it does creep back up on you, it’ll be amplified.
#2. Understand that you’re a constant work in progress, and no matter how much progress you’ve made, there’s still room for improvement. Because we are all human, and we’re bound to &$@! up sometimes. Again, own it and move forward. Use it as a life lesson, and truly learn from it. Make a conscious effort to not repeat past poor behaviors, and when you wake up the next morning, tell yourself, “I’m going to be a better ‘me’ today.”