A Reminder To Everyone Who Has Been A Victim of Self-Doubt and Self-Hatred: Who You Are and Who You’re Not.

Oil on canvas by Maria Kreyn

Oil on canvas by Maria Kreyn

I think most people forget that anyone in their life, including themselves, are capable of completely changing into a different person, overnight or say, in a year or some people never change. But nothing is sudden. No change happens suddenly, a series of activities lead up to it. Most people see the signs early on and get ready for it subconsciously; some don’t and feel the change overwhelm them like a reap tide.

Gradual changes are everlasting because they’re a part of the process. You can change everything about someone except their nature. You can take away their identity, their dreams, their memories, but you’ll never take away who they are inside. And, after all, who we are is all that matters in the end and we see that all that ever happened to us was just a test to discover who we are. That’s what keeps us moving.

You know who you are inside after all the illusions, the praises, the criticisms, the expectations, the insecurities, the betrayals, lies, heartbreaks, failures and disappointments fall off you, like you’ve been undressed by the rough hands of the truth and you finally see who you really are and who you aren’t and who you’ve been told to be by the society and who you really want to be and most of all, you finally see who you’ve always been.

So, you accept who you are and are content with it or you start getting into the gradual process of changing yourself to be someone you will be glad to have been after everything that you aren’t is shed off. It gets easier to accomplish goals when you become sure of what these goals are and what you are and ANYTHING that isn’t relevant to either of those things cease to matter; be it others’ opinions, criticisms, jealousies, envy, or pettiness.

Change is shedding away things and people that don’t matter, that don’t help you grow, and that don’t help you in the process of changing. It is shedding things that hold you back from being who you are, that you start recognizing aren’t what you need. All that matters is who you are and that belief becomes this unbreakable armour you have against the world and the ones who threaten to destroy who you are so that they can tell you who you’re supposed to be so they can feel comfortable controlling you.

You are your own army, your own world, your own universe that started with an explosion and is constantly changing, challenging , striving, thriving, falling, getting up again, rising…shining. What you thought was your death, was in fact, your beginning.

You are in the middle of the process right now; your beginning is not when you were born, it’s when you’ve felt you had died but then you started to feel alive after some time passes. You die many times during this life and you’re reborn, after each storm you go through. The only part of the process you or anyone has control over is this, not over what happens, but over who you are and how you decide to act when something happens; it’s about how you go through the storm and who you are on the other side of it.

There are various ways to define who you are but as you grow older, the way you view yourself and the way others view you, changes. The question is: How do you identify yourself? By your name? By your nationality? By your passions? By your gender? Is that really who you are? Is that all you want to be? Is that ALL you are?
I can’t tell you who you are or who you’re supposed to be, but I can try to tell you who you’re not.

You’re not the opinion of others.
You’re not the bad things that happened to you.
You’re not the sky that never sees the light of the day.

You’re the song that you secretly love to sing when you’re alone in the house.
You’re the calm that enriches one’s soul when one hears raindrops crash against the window.
You’re the sigh of relief when you make it in time when you were convinced you wouldn’t.

You’re not the hateful comments jealous people throw your way.
You’re not the bad luck that follows you like a lost puppy.
You’re not untalented or a waste of space. (No matter how many people try to convince you that you are.)

You’re the sunshine that peers between the curtains that makes people smile.
You’re one of the unlimited stars that never fail to illuminate a pitch black background.
You’re the invaluable product of a mother’s love and sacrifice.

You’re not unworthy, you’re patient.
You’re not damaged, you’re hurt.
You’re not a loner; you just don’t mind your own company. You have the strength to wait for the right company.
You’re not what your mind tells you when you’re feeling low; listen to it but don’t believe it. You are the moments you smile, the moments you cry when you’re feeling sentimental, the moments you feel alive.

You’re the heart-wrenching silence of a forest in the dead of the night,
You’re the smile that brightens someone’s day and pisses off someone who hates to see you happy.
You’re the candle that shows people the way, but can light the entire nation on fire if threatened.

You’re the book among millions of books, with your own story and plot-twists. Every failure and setback you face is a plot-twist; don’t think your story ends just like that.

You’re not boring; you just don’t share the same interests,
You’re not unlovable; you’re just cautious and shy,
You’re not the poison that kills off every good thing that you begin to care about.
You’re not a broken record; you grow more beautiful as years go by. Make sure you get kinder and more thoughtful as you grow older.
Be a song that can lighten hearts and minds for generations to come.

You’re the elixir of life, someone every living being needs,
You’re courageous, because you’re alive right now no matter what happened,
You’re inspirational, because you know you’re more than what people think of you.
You’re a mirror that reflects your soul; make sure the image is real and true,
You’re the painting that nobody knows the worth of until the painter passes away.

You’re the main lead in the story of your life; don’t define yourself by thinking of yourself as a supporting character in someone else’s life.

You’re not the opportunities that passed you by,
You’re not the regrets you carry with you like loose change in your back-pocket,
You’re not the number of rejection letters you got,
You’re not the empty apologies you received,
You’re not the harsh secrets that you keep hidden from the world.

You’re the infinity of numbers,
You’re the missing puzzle piece, without which the puzzle of the world would be incomplete,
You’re all the chances you take,
You’re the smell of winter,
You’re real. You are.

Quoting Dr. Seuss here, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than YOU.”

No matter what, don’t forget that things happen to you on how you interpret them. Don’t define yourself by the wrong things. If you change your outlook on the things that happened, the things that are happening, you might surprise yourself. ‘Cause life isn’t that difficult or harsh or difficult. It’s all in the ‘eyes of the beholder’. Make sure you clean your lenses before you look at the world again. Okay?

Oshin Ahlawat is a young poet and writer based in New Delhi, India. “I believe people who write are like tornados and cyclones. We wreck a lot of lives; for better or worse. It all depends on the people who read our work. They decide where the damage is going to be; the heart or the mind and whether it’s going to be for the good or for worse. I wish to give them the choice to decide that. I’m just going to focus on doing what I want”, she says. 

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