The clouds— ever-changing—shape-shifters gaining bulk then losing weight, then drifting high above the atmosphere into the ether. Imperfect beings made to perfection. Imperfect to any minds with no space for fluff. It’s bound to bump into someone who sees it as imperfect, deems it as imperfect. But imperfect belongs not to it— a title, a label, put on it by another who’s clouded in the mind. A puff without integrity or a billow of full potential? As it glides across the sky—my pocket of sky framed by the window—it boasts its full glory, baring its shadows, taking up space, un- reservedly, un- hurriedly, un- apologetically filling the sky, blanketing it. How splendid this perfect being dons its imperfections.
I write to you from the other side (if there were even sides to begin with.) But having been where I was, I am guessing that is how you might see me, as the other who will never comprehend your pain. Not wishing to see you wear a smile to dismiss me, I rather name it upfront. As the wise poet, Rilke, once shared, “Don’t think that the person who is trying to comfort you now lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes give you pleasure. His life has much trouble and sadness, and remains far behind yours. If it were otherwise, he would never have been able to find those words.”
Dear one, there really is light at the end of it all. It can come, if fortune permits, in the form of another who sees you and accepts you for who you are. Or it can come, with all the blessings you have already been bestowed, through you. You may be walking through darkness searching for a mirror to help you see the light you carry within, and you know what, the light you seek is in you right from the beginning. Yet, being the modern humans we are, we have been too used to seeking over there instead of here. Here, in you, do you see the light? Perhaps it is dim, faded, shying from the unfamiliar attention, but it is here.
You hold the power to heal your own wounds. You can seek support and help, but the healing is yours to do. You have to be willing to look—at your own light, and at where it hurts. Because dismissing or ignoring it does nothing, akin to putting a blindfold on yourself and insisting you see no wound. Yet, the throbbing persists. The occasional pangs in those serendipitous moments where tears wet your eyes and you know not why.
You need time to heal. But time does not heal. Time does not have the power, but you, my dear, you do. Reclaim your power, live your responsibility. Do not let how others see you direct how you see yourself. Seek your own truth, see your own light, then help them see you.
Nurse your wounds. Heal, and regain your wholeness. You are not alone. I am here doing the work with you.
I am a developmental coach who helps people embark on the journey towards healing and living a life true to themselves. I can provide you with the safe space and the guidance to do the Work, let’s have a conversation.
I woke up from a nightmare, sobbing, smothering my cries with my blanket, I never dared call for Mum.
I never dared tell her some girls on my school bus ganged up to taunt and scorn me. I never dared tell her, one of them was a neighbour’s kid, that neighbour she smiles and greets in the lift. I never dared tell her, a teacher chided me to reflect on my character in my unsuccessful attempt to borrow a piece of craft paper from my classmates. I was only eight, did I deserve such hate? I never dared tell her about her colleague, “She lied! It’s not about the candy, I’m not greedy! She said she wasn’t going to friend me, and she was your friend. I…was scared.” I never dared tell her why I acted out on one of our road trips, jealous of my cousin sitting on her lap those few hours. I never dared tell her how shocked and afraid I was when I encountered the flasher, and how much I wished she’d pick me up at the bus-stop after that event.
I never dared tell her many things, afraid she wouldn’t take my side, afraid she’d shame me or be ashamed of me.
Then, she left. Like me, she never dared tell or ask for help.
I never dared cry to Dad. I never dared tell him the first piano teacher I had gradually idled away during our lessons, and wasn’t teaching me much. I never dared tell him another neighbour asked me to stop my piano practice so her daughter could get her afternoon nap after school. (Oh wait, I did let him know, jokingly,over a decade after I parted with the keys) I never dared tell him of the nights I was trembling under my blanket, traumatised by the presence prying and staring in through my window slits. I never dared tell him of the accident I was in, where the car was flung across four lanes of the highway, landing on its top. (With God’s mercy, I was carried out of the smashed metal, unscathed) I never dared tell him how terrified I was of whom I was once engaged to and why I broke it. I never dared tell him how upset I was when he disregarded my offer to invite his friends to my wedding. (I had wanted him to share his joy and pride.)
I never dared utter a word when my heart shattered, when I screwed up in life. I wish I had. I wish I felt safe. I wish I was assured. I wish it was different, and I will make a difference, starting from this piece—
One word, two letters; the former with sharp edges, the latter, a smooth, round body. Paired with different punctuations, each No its own entire world.
NO! with an exclamation— outright rejection of what we don’t want, the emphatic expression of our displeasure. One of the first words uttered as a child; short, easy, straight to the point as we push away that disgusting broccoli or pea or medicine our parents try to stuff into our mouths.
no…with trailing ellipses, drags along uncertainty or worry, a sign of holding… back.
NO. Period— stands firm and steady, resting in its own ground, gently yet powerfully asserting its disagreement with whatever came.
And of course, there are many more.
Matched with a comma, quickly followed by a But; a combination often heard. The No in this trio is brief, almost inaudible, swiftly propelling its energy into the But, negating everything with the new proposition.
There’s also the semi-colon, a favorite in academic literature, hinting there’s more to the argument that’s coming, as demonstrated in the preceding example.
NO— how amazing this one word is. What worlds might open and close with this singular utterance?