Over the last couple of weeks, I have taken a hiatus. Friends, students, my blog, social media all took a backseat while I focused on the war raging in my mind. At first, I felt incredibly guilty about withdrawing from the world- like I was letting down the people around me by not giving my time and energy away. This is a feeling that I often struggle with, but have learned to manage. However, this time was very different. No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to pull myself together and turn to face the world again. I felt like a fraud, like a failure. How could I possibly call myself an advocate for mental wellness or promote the concept of “being unapologetically you” when I was stuck in a cycle of self-criticism and shame? I felt like an imposter, pretending to have everything together when, in actuality, I was crumbling inside.
It took a very real conversation with one of my most beloved students- a conversation in which she became the teacher and I became the student- for me to realize that I had forgotten the single most important piece of advice that I can give to anyone struggling to find the light they need to push on in this crazy, difficult, overwhelming world…
It’s okay to not be okay.
A little louder for the people in the back- IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY.
Every single one of us is fighting a battle, struggling to keep it together, simply going through some shit. There is no shame in that- it is a part of the human condition. It is easy to fall into the mindset that you must be perfect or at least appear perfect- this is my personal Achilles’ Heel. But you will find that there is so much freedom in the moments that are messy and imperfect and real. Those are the moments in which we can be ourselves- unapologetically- with flaws and off days and problems and bad eyebrows. Because, regardless of what the little voice in your head tells you, it is okay to not be okay.
Now go out there and kick some ass. The second step to getting better (after you forgive yourself for being so hard on you) is remembering the brilliant reasons why you are on this earth. You are important, you are deserving, you are wonderful. It may not feel like that today- and that is perfectly okay– but trust me, you are worth it.