I?ve been struck reading so much from the minds of my friends about relationships and need and desire and trying to understand. Figure that I will try to describe as best I can with what I have, but twenty-six keys.

It seems as though we are so often trying to gain understanding to why we feel something or to be able to control our emotions. The culture we have been brought up in wants us to be strong, to be you, and to let other people realize how amazing you are. They have totally missed the point. I spent five years of my life depressed because I was trying to attain that very thing, thinking that if I could just fix this about me, or change that aspect of my personality I would be the best person there is. If I could only write better, draw better, relate to people better, THEN I could be something that society would marvel at, who would turn heads when I entered a room, and whose presence was unmistakable. Five years of Hell I endured to attain that reality that was to be my future.

Trying so much to get there, reading philosophy books, dating the best people I knew hoping something would rub off, taking challenging courses, pushing myself whenever I could and only winding up more drained and empty. Because the little that I was hanging onto, that was keeping me going, I had just divided so many ways that I couldn?t even see what was left for me. I was emotionally bankrupt and starving for the ability to feel real again. I didn?t understand how the people I looked at, who had it right, the right that I couldn?t achieve even if I put all my heart into everything I did. It only left me with nothing to give myself. Some would call me selfless, from where I am sitting it?s called empty.

Then something I read somewhere got me to thinking about what I was feeling, I believe it was in Aristotle?s ?Ethics? but it doesn?t really matter, and I realized what I really wanted. I didn?t want to draw better, write better, and relate better or even fall in love, I wanted to smile with all of who I am. It took five years of going through this hellish state of never being good enough for myself, let alone anyone else, to realize all I wanted was to be able to smile for who I am. The relationships I had and people I dated made me feel great about who I appeared to be, the poems I wrote let people know there was love there (though if I was able to give it or not I don?t know), the care I showed people was only a reflection of what I so desired in return, taking a chance on giving so much hoping for something in return.

It took a long time of distance from what I had known for me to get the social ?norms? out of my being, and to be able to look into the mirror and smile because today my eyes were open. Open to be able to look into and back at me, open to see others who felt the exact same as me, open to understanding that I wasn?t alone, open to realizing my problems no matter how hard they hurt. Being able to sit and reflect and understand why I needed to date, why I found such comfort with her in my arms, was it because I felt as though she cared when I didn?t even? Yes. I wished I could relate to people better because then I could stop feeling as though I was ?not lonely, just secluded.? Or maybe if people would open up to me and tell me their problems my life wouldn?t seem so outlandish and dissimilar from others. Everything that I felt I was getting any sort of fulfillment form only returned back to an unfulfilled desire to understand who I truly was. The only way for me to get there was for me to face my greatest fear, to look into the mirror and realize that it was him who held the key, that if I wanted to smile because there was a disgusting day outside I was able to experience, I had to discover myself.

Now don?t go thinking I?m some hippy because I?m talking about self discovery, I?m anything but a hippy (quite the conservative Christian actually) I just ask that if you?ve read this far you hold on for a couple more minutes.

The mind is the most powerful thing someone will ever possess, because what you think is who you are. I took a break from everything that used to sustain my being, I stopped dating, I stopped skiing, I stopped writing, until I could understand how to do it for myself. To sit down and write a poem of how I felt, till I thought through what I didn?t understand about myself and didn?t like about myself, until I learned to accept that and realize that other aspects of who I was made my shortfalls so insignificant. We all have our gifts, it took time for me to find what some of mine were and even longer to realize how I was to use them. Once I had taken that time that I dedicated to myself and trying so many things even within my own time and studies. Focusing upon the dreams I remember having; be it to experience nature, to take photos, to express myself in writing where others can read it and become engaged, to have a relationship with God. Those where only some of the things that I had wanted to do but never had taken the time for myself to experience and try. There were some that the passion didn?t grasp and I let them go, but others were so intense with passion that I keep doing them.

With more time I was able to attain levels where I felt pride in what I had done, maybe not because the piece turned out how I wanted it to, because when I look at it I see the journey it took to get there and saw how far I had come in something, in this thing. Filling myself with accomplishments that were unique to me, because I was the one to do them because I wanted to. Until that point I couldn?t understand how people stood tall, or commanded presence, it?s not because of who they appear to be, it?s because of who they know they are. They may not have everything, but they have something and the progression of it gives them only more passion that others can sense. At this point you can truly come into your own, and be the person that before has only lived within closed eyes and a dark mind.

I caution you from getting into a relationship before you have reached that point because they are crutches; I?ve been in my share to realize that. You will define yourself as us, changing yourself and molding to the frame they present, instead of complimenting each other and being who you are for them (compared to being who they want you to be, because if this was true any relationship would work).

Sorry for becoming so long winded with this post but my heart was not content to conclude until this point. I hope this makes sense; I?ve been doing my share of thinking on this subject over the past months and finally reached a point where I could compose my thoughts for others. I?m always here for anyone.

In the next couple days I’ll write some more about this.

Take care and God bless,