My Self and My Reflection
Sometimes I face myself in the mirror and speak to my
"I don't know you, you are not me, you are not the person that I feel I should be."
I do not know myself, I don't know how I really act, how I really think, the shell I created around myself is so thick and so hard that even I cannot reach inside, I have been wearing this shell for so long that I have even forgotten how I used to be, how I used to feel, what I used to do.
We are truest to ourselves when we were children, when we act like children. Why DO we act like children?? Is it because we feel bad that we didn't have as great a childhood as somebody else? Is it to make up for a lost childhood? Or is it that we miss the freedom that we used to have? The freedom to be ourselves, to do what we wanted to do, to mess up and make mistakes. The adults would teach us, or leave us, saying,
"They're still children, let them enjoy their time." Or something like, "the innocence of a child is so wonderful."
A child's heart is so pure, the emotions are laid out for everyone to see, no need to pretend when you are a child. If you hate someone then your parents tell you to be nice, if you love someone you'd smile ever so warmly to their faces, and if you're happy you'd laugh and jump and shout. No one said it was easy being a child, everybody faces problems during their life, no matter the age, but children get to look at the world with eyes of wonder and curiosity, and they'd see beautiful things. Only a few of them would see the gruesome reality of humans at that age, though that is slowly changing, unfortunately, for the worst.
Now...now that I am looking a little deeper into my reflection, a little deeper into those eyes, a little deeper into my shell, I begin to recognize something. There is someone in there, trapped as it seems. I believe… that is me. Now I remember…who I was. I am fragments, and my pieces are scattered throughout the layers of my shell, and as I go deeper, I can see my true self more, I can remember who I am.
I am the small little thing that is living inside this vessel, a vessel that is so big but can contain so little. I am a being that has endured this small living space, developing mental and physical claustrophobia. I am the weakness living inside, the fragment that cries to be let out, the fragment that strives for freedom, wishes for it…dreams of it.
I am the fragment that suffered suppression, forcefully
hidden from the world around me. Forced, by none other than myself, to flee the
surface and enter the depths, to protect myself, to forget. I am the fragment
that, even after all those years of suffering, hate no one, because who can
hate after being hated so much?
All that is left in me is love and sympathy. Love for life, love for joy, love for the people who know me even when I never knew myself. I feel sympathy for those who act like somebody they are not, because by that, they are burying themselves away without them even knowing it, one grain of sand after another, and soon the hourglass would be empty, like a flash.
I feel happy when I see children, I feel happy when I
see someone laughing from their heart, because I know that they had broken
through their shell, and I cannot wait until I break mine. I once read a poem
that started by saying repeatedly, "by doing 'something', I learned to 'something'",
and my favorite line was "From grieving, (I learned) how to laugh from the
belly." It was weird and funny and wordy when I first laid eyes on it, but
then I understood. "Grieving" isn't meant as the physical action, but
as the sadness, hardships, and suffering that comes through life. Those who can
pass through those tests in life can really smile, those who can break this
shell can truly laugh, because they had found their true selves again, no more
pretending, no more masks.
Soon, I, too, will break free, and I'll enjoy my life, I will laugh like a child, run and play. I will work and live. I will live, until I die.
Why do we create such shells to begin with? I honestly don't know, the reasons may vary for every person, and, then again, they may not. I know mine came from being hurt too much, not necessarily physically, but emotionally as well. I stopped trusting people and started labeling them as enemies before I even talk to them. Another way one might look at this is that these walls or shells that we create are made to be created and then broken, like setting a barrier or a limit and then challenging yourself to surpass it. It is one way of making yourself or your spirit grow. Or it's like experimenting, "what would be the results if I changed my behaviour for a bit?" But isn't that how it all starts anyway? Life is a circle, it has no beginning and no end, and it’s a forever going curve in the sidewalk, a frequent change. It is a change that we must undergo, and emerge from as we were, but with a stronger will and power.