Although I was taught that everybody is equal and should be treated the same, what I saw around me was completely a different story. I observed and saw that people were treated and respected differently based on age, gender, religion, race, education, sexual orientation, material wealth, weight, physical appearance, choice of clothing, relationship status, career choice and the list could go on and on. There is this imaginary box that one must fit in in order to be acceptable.
I found out very young that who I was deep down inside was not what was accepted in my environment. I was torn inside, I felt like the people around me could not love me if I were to express myself fully. I felt unworthy, alone and abandoned. So I went on living a double life, where I was putting on a mask for all to see and releasing it all in the loneliness of my room. That led to more and more isolation. The person I saw in the mirror was perfect to me but not enough for the world. I had to be "more", what "more" meant, no one could explain. To the outside world I was perfect and successful it would have been a sin to complain, I would have been ungrateful. I was living a life where everybody was happy... but me. In the pursuit of what I believed to be respect, I was disrespecting the very core of who I was. This illusion that I had created was the silent poison killing me inside. I was told that I was loved unconditionally but yet there were so many conditions to that love. For the longest time I believed that I was the problem, that I should modify myself as much as I can in order to be loved and I did. I no longer wanted to be with myself. There was a great deal of pain inside of me, i was alive but not living. I did everything I possibly could to numb the pain. I truly hated myself for everything that I was. I was lost in the darkness.
Then one day I got tired. At the end of the day, deep down, people did not care. It was my responsibility to be happy. I noticed that if there were ten people in a room looking at one situation, these ten people would have ten different opinions. I realized that I was wasting my time, energy and life catering to each and every person's state of mind which is in itself limitless, beautiful and temporary within its own right. The only person's opinion that mattered, was mine. This journey has not been an easy one, but well worth it. When I began to step into my own self love and decided to honor myself. I had lost the respect that was once given to me, I was being called names, stereotyped and hated. I was hurt but more than anything I was proud. Proud that the I was silently standing up for myself, defending myself and honoring myself, when no one would. I was waiting for someone to save me, here I was saving myself. One day at a time, one breath at a time I was moving towards the light that is so rightfully mine. The best part of all that was that it was not dependent on anything or anyone. I was the one who decided. It was still a lonely journey but this time towards the greatest love of all, self love. I can be with myself again, and deliciously savor each and every second of it.
I believe that each and every human being goes through similar circumstances on different levels. There is no shame in not being okay. Loving myself unconditionally, made it easier to love others. Accepting myself unconditionally, made it easier to accept others. Being selfish taught me to be selfless. This whole experience taught me to love and accept life as it is in the here and now as everything is so temporary, to enjoy every dimension of it. Even in the bad times there is always something good in it. Today, I choose to love unconditionally, I choose to love life, every single thing about it. I am grateful for the darkness, it showed me the light, the first step was to acknowledge the existence of the darkness and the road towards the light automatically showed itself. It is my deepest wish that whatever it is you might be going through, you find the road towards the light and peace you so deserve, no matter who you are, where you are.