Chapter 5: 5 Harsh Truths About Life You Will Need to Know
I need to be honest.
I get the impression that these chapters have been pretty misleading, and I apologize. I make everything seem very heartwarming and endearing, which is a good thing. But while that could be a good thing, I learned that to be a good mentor (which I hope to be to some people one day) , you have to learn how to candor with compassion. I'm failing you as a person who cares about you by not telling you what you need to know. You need people in your life who will correct, encourage, inspire, and humble you WHENEVER you need to be corrected, encouraged, inspired, or humbled. I would never admit this to them in person, but I have my sisters (Yolande & Christine) to thank for shaping me into the young man I am today. I'm still a work in progress, but my sisters will let me know when I'm slipping up without cutting corners. Out of love, they will tell me about myself (good, bad, ugly, pretty, exposed, hidden, etc.) & help me discover ways I can improve my character. Hopefully, people will include me in their lives to be that person to them because I've been getting better at this. To prove it, I'm dedicating this chapter to five harsh truths about your world and the world. I'll elaborate on each one, so don't worry. However, if you are in a depressive mindset, please take these quotes with a grain of salt. This is in no way to attack you or your character.
Remember, the truth will set you free. But first, it'll piss you off. Let's begin:
"I can very well be the problem."
Okay, this may hurt your feelings. Believe me. It hurt my feelings. However, really think about this one for a minute. When people talk about "cutting toxicity" out of their lives or "dropping people", it's pretty rare that we think that they may be talking about us. It's very strange to think of ourselves as the source of someone else's problem. We don't even like to own up to our screw ups. It's a touchy subject, but who's going to tell you if I don't tell you. Everyone's life is story and they are the protagonist. Did you ever stop to think to yourself "I just might be one of the antagonists to their story"? Did you ever consider that you may be the issue in someone's friend group? Is it purposeful? Is it unbeknownst to you your impact on someone's life? I'll tell you what: it doesn't matter how you're described by someone. It matters more how people react to hearing your name. That may be one of the biggest eye opening quotes I ever had laid on me, but it's true. You can easily be the problem in someone else's life. But listen. This isn't a time for you to be like "Well, damn. Let me just stay away from people altogether." Knowing this now, reflect on who you are as a person and the energy you give off. Think to yourself "would I want me as a friend" and go from there.
"I can't love anyone without loving myself."
This may have been one of the hardest lessons that I, personally, had to learn in my life. I'm still getting the hang of things. There's a lot of debate in defining what "love" actually is because people like to get super melodramatic and cathartic (me being one of these people). According to Google, "love" is defined as "an intense feeling of deep affection". That's it. That's all there is. Notice how this definition doesn't tell us who to direct intense feelings of deep affection to. It also doesn't tell us how much love we are physically able to give another being, thing, idea, etc. There are literally no rules, regulations, or tips on how to love & there is no proper way to execute it (maybe that's why we're so bad at it...sorry, wrong chapter). One thing that would've been nice to learn about love before fully immersing myself into it is learning how to love myself enough to fully function without needing anyone or anything else. Time & time again, I would put my ALL into a person who failed to give me QUARTER as a bare minimum. I would be looking for people to fill me up in places I left incomplete, and that was the problem. I lost so many friendships and relationships because of that. Remember this next part if you don't remember ANYTHING else from this chapter: In order for you to ask someone to love you a certain amount, you have to have more than DOUBLE the amount you're asking for for yourself. I reiterate (just in case that didn't make sense), love yourself more than TWICE as much as you want someone to love you. ONE MORE TIME for those in the back, YOU CAN'T ASK ANYONE TO LOVE YOU IF YOU DO NOT LOVE YOURSELF. The moment we learn to love and cater to ourselves first, we teach other people how to love and cater to us properly. We teach people how to treat us. Those who have become comfortable with feeding you their B.S. will wonder why you changed, but that's okay. Once you know what you deserve and settle for nothing less, you will find those who are meant to be in your life and it'll be wonderful IN TIME (I say "in time" for a reason. It takes time. Be patient.).
"My feelings are valid, but are subjective."
This truth right here is a little tough to write on because I find myself guilty of not remembering this for myself. I was talking to one of my great friends, Marco, about harsh truths we learned in our short lives so far & he brought this up to me. “Everything you feel is valid, that's very real. However, it doesn't mean how you feel about something is the truth.” The truth in that knocked me to my knees. It’s true. Don’t let anybody tell you or make you feel like what you feel isn’t valid. However, don’t let people convince you that your feelings, alone, are able to cover the whole canvas. Like I mentioned before, our lives are our stories. We all have a story, and they are different from everyone else’s. I could go through something with four other people and everyone is going to walk away with a total of five stories. It’s not that we are not telling the truth, but it’s because we all see things differently. If everything was to be videotaped, you’ll be able to see what occurred physically. However, the cameras don’t capture the feelings we feel and keep inside until it’s time to say what happened. Think about it.
"My momentum is not my purpose"
Let me explain. I was talking to one of the greatest men in my life, Tim Hagan, about this topic on harsh truths & he was kind enough (after bothering him) to give me one to write on. Momentum is easily confused for purpose. Just because we have been doing something for a long time, we may carry on with said thing because we believe that we have a passion for it. That’s not the case. I think it has to deal with being comfortable in the position we’re in & not wanting to change directions because it’ll cause friction and discomfort for ourselves or other people. I don’t know if Tim meant it this way, but I took it in terms of relationships we keep. I think one of the issues with the toxic relationships we may keep is the concept of time. The fact that we have loved/known the same person for the longest time, we ignore everything toxic about them. We think that we’re meant to be where we are with them and that’s it okay, when it isn’t (I hope this is what Timmy meant). When you have been involved in lots of things, and when you stop something and start something else, you realize what was just convenience or circumstance and what you are willing to work for or go out of your way to make happen. It’s okay to move on to find your purpose elsewhere.
"I am not perfect & neither are the people around me."
Honestly, I think you'll be fine with the first part of this one. However, I think that you may be reluctant to accept the second part. Hear me out. We often find ourselves giving people second chances, but then third chances, then fourth, then fifth, then tenth all the way until we forget what we're even fighting for. We have to understand that we, along with everybody else, are made to disappoint. Yes, we are made in God's image & likeness, but we didn't pick up "perfection" at all. People suck. As soon as you get that, life starts to suck less. We start to go into anything with little to no expectations so we can come out with no disappointments. But understand that the people that genuinely love you and care for you try REALLY hard, especially after they fall short. We can't keep dismissing people after the first slip up. This doesn't justify people treating you poorly at all. In fact, if people constantly put you in positions where you have to prove your worth to them, you've already forgotten your value. Save yourself the trouble. (Shoutout to my queen, Nina, for this one!)
This was a lot, I understand. But this was supposed to be TEN. I’ll save the next five for later. You will thank me later.
(Shoutout to Tim, Marco, and Nina for helping me out with this chapter & thank you to Rory and Tristan for giving me ammo for PART 2!)
Sincerely Yours Sometimes,
PS: SONG OF THE WEEK: Alessia Cara - Growing Pains
(Every time I post, I will include a song that may or may not correlate with the topic I write about. This is me thanking you for reading my posts by gifting you with good music.)