There are many moments in my life where I have observed the process behind my actions or words. When looking inward, I find myself digging deeper and wondering why I think a certain way or why I react in that manner. After sitting in my counselor's office, she put it all into perspective. She used the term "tip of the iceberg," as she described the person that everyone sees. My personality, my mannerisms, my physical look is just a small ounce of what people see.
As I have made it a point to look inward and put a reason to my thoughts and actions, I found that through my life, I have given a piece of myself to others. Whether it was the moment my father chose addiction over family or me deciding to put a sugar coat over people's perceptions of me and my family, I gave up a little of myself. I gave up the childhood innocence, the worry-free nature of an average teenager, and the life I had always fantasized about. My deep feelings came from fear. Fear to the point of me breaking down and realizing I can't do it all--that I can ask for help and I don't always need to be the helper or the person to have it all together. I say in my blogs that life needs to be lived to the fullest, but most of the time I fear that very statement. The expectations of my greatest life scare the living hell out of me and the opportunities out there are endless.
The quote, "courage, dear heart" could not ring truer to my life at this very moment. Courage, I believe, is one of the most vulnerable and truest actions a person can take in this life. I have learned that taking large leaps and bounds strengthen me as an overall person. I realized that I had courage when I finally faced my past and the underlying "iceberg" feelings--digging and digging for answers to my instilled thoughts and actions. I had courage when I finally embraced my sexuality. I had courage when I learned to love myself fully. I had courage for saying "no" to people and experiences that did not serve me. I had courage when I applied to college as a first generation student. And I have courage every moment I choose to write a blog post.
The concept of "we are all just tips of an iceberg" embraces the very nature that we only choose to show a piece of ourselves to others and only share certain, non-shamable facts about ourselves. When I finally got to "dig" into these uncomfortable feeling about myself and put the "why" to certain mindsets and actions, I finally felt free. Everything finally made sense and the steps towards courage became easier. I believe, once we share the parts of ourselves that are messy and uncomfortable, we, as humans , connect. We can finally put a face to humanity and empathize with others' experiences. Even though everyone has a very different and diverse story from our own, we learn what it means to be human. We learn that we are not alone in this crazy life. We learn that no one is getting out alive and that we must trust and love one another to get through those tough, growth-inducing experiences.
My dear friends, I leave it up to you. I challenge you to "dig" into the iceberg, that is you. Ask yourself: "Why do I think this way when this certain instance happens?" Once you can do this, I believe, you will feel free. As Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, "Embrace the glorious mess that you are." We are all human. We all have a story. So embrace everything and be courageous in just that.
Be inspired. Stay Positive. Love Yourself.