This evening, I would like to talk about something very personal to most of us, and that is insecurities: We all have them, we begin accumulating them from a very young age.
People who know me, would never say that I was an insecure person because I don’t project that image, not anymore. When I was younger, around the age of 7-8, I first started noticing that I wasn’t like the rest of my friends. I didn’t share their confidence. I was extremely shy, very sensitive and remember never feeling as good as my classmates. I carried these insecurities and piled on many more of them as continued to walk the journey of life.
I always remember wishing to be somebody else, because if I were them then life would be great and I’d be happy. When you’re so young you don’t have the emotional maturity to understand that amazing quote by Will Bowen, ‘hurt people, hurt people’. I never saw those who had hurt me, through cruel/ careless words/ actions, as victims of possibly the same treatment themselves. All those years, I had taken on other’s hurts and made them my own. Instead of feeling empathy, an intense dislike grew inside me towards them and it festered for years. It’s amazing how we can often remember certain instances in our lives when we felt pain – I remember the craziest things about being in those situations. The person, where I was exactly standing, what they said, the entire scene going on behind me and at times songs, which were playing while the incident occurred. Still today when I hear those songs they bring back feelings of sadness. The most insane thing that I’ve experienced is meeting ‘that’ person again years after, and when introduced they have no recollection of ever meeting me in the past, let alone about any incident. All this time, and through all these years I’ve held onto those painful emotions when in truth, beside those words being a lie (hurt people, hurt people), I’ve blamed and demonized a person in my mind who has not a trace of memory of any of it. Yeah, did I mention sensitivity? It can be a beautiful trait but a cruel master if you don’t learn how to ‘balance’ it correctly.
Life for me, to everybody else, seemed normal. I came from a good family who loved me very much, but unlike my siblings, I felt things on a deeper level than most. Comments or actions, which would pass over one person and not bother them, never passed over me. They stuck with me. I truly took them to heart and internalised them and in doing so I began to believe that I just was ‘not good enough’. We’re all guilty of saying or acting in ways that hurt others, intentionally or not. I know I’ve done it. I can’t decide which is the worse of the two these days, being hurt or feeling responsible for hurting another? However, in the moment I realise that I may have said something that could have hurt another, I immediately try make it right and I apologise. Most of the time they say, I’m being too sensitive and to chill out, but my motivation to apologise comes from knowing that there are many other people like me out there who, just as I front, act like it doesn’t bother them but inside it really does. I don’t want to be responsible for hurting somebody else. At times, it’s insanely hard to apologise – that ego jumps in so quickly and takes over in a ridiculous attempt to ‘save face’. I’ve learnt through my experience, that in those moments I have to practice one of the hardest things in life – humility.
So what are the lessons that I’ve learnt, and carry on learning from my life experiences so far?
– Always be grateful for not just what you have, but for who you are. There’s only one of you in the world and there will never be another
– Remember that ‘hurt people hurt people’ – don’t take things so personally. 99% of the time when people say something that hurts, it has nothing to do with you but everything to do with them – realize that.
– Try to learn to forgive, and if that doesn’t come easily at first, then practice acceptance. What’s done is done, leave it in the past where it belongs.
– Be careful with people. As humans we’re fragile beings – remember that, always.
– Allow yourself to be humble and to apologise when you’re in the wrong. Know that it is an incredible sign of strength and the most admirable quality a person could possibly possess.
– Most of all, always remember that you are loved by others, accept that love and start to love yourself
With much love and kindness, the AOHBL