Sometimes it feels as if I’m at war with myself. I can think and act in ways that seem counterproductive to how I’d like to be, which doesn’t align with who I ‘think’ I am. After having spent some time contemplating the different aspects of myself, I’ve broken it down into two major sides that I can feel are at odds with one another. The first one being the part of me that’s confident, self-assured, and optimistic; the second, the part of me that’s unconfident, lacking in self-esteem, and kind of a pessimistic weeny.
Over the years, there have been times when one side has been more dominant than the other or there’s been situations that have called for one’s presence instead of the other's. Although there has been a back and forth, the unconfident side is the part that I’m most familiar with. For a long time, I assumed that it was my default way of being. I have bursts of confidence that allow me to soar up above the clouds where it seems like anything is possible. However, after I'm up there for a little while, my wings begin to quiver and falter - what if I didn’t know how to fly after all? What if my wings aren’t as developed as everyone else’s? Soon after, with this in mind, I make my way back down to earth, sad and defeated.
When this happens, it causes a fair amount of frustration. For some reason, I don’t think that I can go for the things that I want. There’s a piece of me that holds myself back because I’m afraid of what will happen if I fail or what will happen if I actually get the thing(s) that I desire. At this point, the inner battle begins to rev up again as the confident part of me grows tired and angry of the unconfident part’s insecurities and fears. And it’s at this point where, after years of feeling as if I’m fighting a losing battle, I’ve learned that practicing self-compassion and gratitude is key if I ever want a peaceful state of being.
My confident side shows me glimpses of how strong and capable I am, and the many astounding possibilities that are at my fingertips if I decide to reach for them. It’s easy for me to want this and to end up bashing my unconfident side. But I’ve realized that I need to show gratitude and patience with the side of me that’s scared. It’s this part of me that does most of the hard, tedious labour that allows for personal growth and discovery. It’s this part of me that shows up day after day and trudges through the trenches of the dark corners of my mind, slinging shit and stringing up lights to help me find my way out of the darkness. The truth is, I would be incomplete if all I consisted of was limitless confidence.
I love how much I cry and how vulnerable I let myself become. I love how dedicated I am to doing the hard work. I need softness to match my hardness. I need compassion to match my self-centredness. I need love to match my cruelty. I need laughter to match my pain. I need understanding to match my need to be right. I need it all in order to be the best, well-rounded version of myself.
Now, instead of wishing for one side more than the other, I practice gratitude for both. Each one has much to teach me about myself, the way I experience my reality, and the way I interact with others. There is beauty in balance and in allowing energy to move naturally, especially in the ebb and flow of day to day life.