Another reason for my always acting like I was fine is this, and it is not a bad thing, my mother is a worrier. I knew that she didn't sleep most nights because of worrying about her kids' and the things that they had told her they were struggling with. I felt like if I could hide that I was hurting, frustrated, tired, or any other less that wonderful feeling that she would get more sleep, that she could focus on the others, that she wouldn't worry about me. I know, it was a ridiculous thought and she has always, and will always, worry about me.
This worked for years, and believe me when I say years. I would bottle up my emotions and let everything go through reading, writing (both journal writing and just for fun/school), sports etc. Anything I could find to use as a release then I would. But eventually I couldn't hold things in anymore. I didn't know how to handle my own emotions, whereas I was pretty much an expert at handling other peoples'. I would just start crying for no reason, anytime, anywhere. And I never understood why I was crying, just that I needed to cry. The smallest sad moment would set me off, like sitting in a lecture on the Revolution and talking about a battle that a relatively small amount of people died and I would start openly weeping and would have to leave the class as quickly as possible. I didn't know how to take it anymore. Then I found my new favorite song:
"Carry On" By: Fun. This is my favorite part:
"...You swore and said, 'We are not, we are not shining stars.' 'This I know I never said we are...' If your lost and alone or you're sinking like a stone, carry on. May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on, carry on...Cause we are, we are shining stars, we are invincible, we are who we are..."
I had just been talking to my Bishop when I went to walk home and pulled out my iPod. I had recently put a couple new songs on it and wanted to listen to them. I had never actually listened to this one but I was glad that I did at this point. The whole song is wonderful and has changed to mean different things to me in the past year. It helped me so much because it helped me to understand and internalize the things that I had just talked to my Bishop about. I felt like I was sinking, that I was losing myself and I didn't know what to do.
He told me this: "You are not losing yourself, you are developing, becoming someone more. You just need to accept who you are. You are becoming that person for a reason and you need to pray for acceptance of that person and what you will accomplish because of being that person."
Needless to say I started crying at that point because of the spirit I felt. I realized that maybe it is a gift to feel, and that I could accept it, and myself. My family have joked that I have the "gift to weep" I always took this as a bit of an insult. But I have come to realize something. Most of my frustrations have been about not knowing how to help someone else. So maybe it is a gift, to weep for those who will not, cannot, or just need someone to weep for, or with them. It is not a bad thing to love, love deeply for that too is a gift.
Life is hard, and it will only get harder, but we must carry on. Here's a little lesson on love and life from First Corinthians 9:24: "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain."
I love this, it doesn't tell you that it's a leisurely walk; It is a run, it is often hard, uncomfortable, annoying, and tiring, but it is worth the prize of eternal life at the end.