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8 Destructive Thoughts

On the outside, most people think I’m a self-confident individual. In fact, I once did a Johari Window test with the closest people in my life and the top characteristics they agreed upon were ‘confident’, ‘bold’, and ‘self-assertive’. Perhaps it has something to do with the way I speak and carry myself around the people I’m comfortable with. But on the inside, I’m not as confident as I seem. I’m just like you—I drown in insecurities. I struggle with doubt. I read too much into situations because I hope… I hope I don’t suck. And, there are times where…

1. I don’t believe I will ever be good enough—no matter how hard I try, I’ll be decent at most. It might sound strange, but receiving compliments make me a little uncomfortable because I find them hard to believe.

2. I’m insecure about my appearance—I judge my reflection every single day. There’s always something wrong with this body, and it doesn’t help that others have something to say about it too.

3. I question my personality—am I annoying? Am I insensitive? Do I make others uneasy with my straightforwardness? Am I a bad person for not caring enough? Why can’t I be more outgoing?

4. I wish people noticed me—if only I wasn’t invisible. If only I was an option.

5. I wish people cared more—I can always celebrate the ups publicly, but it seems I have to go through the downs alone. And if I do share my struggles, will anyone listen?

6. I am aimless. Directionless. Clueless—I wish I had more clarity. I wish I knew where I’m going in life. I wish I could see what’s coming.

7. I feel left out—I’m always a second thought.

8. Everyone else seems to be doing better—why am I left behind? There must be something wrong with me—what other reason could there be?

Recently, I began to realise how these crippling thoughts can and will destroy me. So I forced myself into a session of introspection. I looked at every single one of my insecurities and… I found reality:

He made me good. Not ‘good enough’, but good—I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I have the power to define what I see in the mirror—I am a work in progress and I can achieve whatever I set my mind to. I have weaknesses, but I have strengths too!

My personality makes me, me—there’s always room for improvement, but I shouldn’t try to be someone else. I’m not a bad person, but I can be a better person.

People do notice me—more often than not, it is I who don’t notice them. I don’t make them an option.

People do care—I had and will always have support. All I have to do is open up and share more.

For He knows the plans He has for me—it’s a promise. And He never breaks His promises.

I’m not left out—I choose to be. The choice has always been in my hands.

I’m doing better than I think—there’s nothing wrong with me. I’ve done some pretty awesome things and I shouldn’t forget even the smallest victories. I might not be succeeding in a way others are, but I have my own journey and my own story to tell.

I don’t know what your thoughts are, but I have a feeling we share some of these. And I want you to know that all these destructive thoughts are nothing but myths. None of them are true. We are our worst critics. We judge ourselves more than we should. So don’t buy into these lies. Rather, choose to believe in the truths—we are flawed, we can be better, but there’s nothing wrong with us.

YOU are worthy. YOU are amazing. YOU are unique. YOU are stunning. And YOU are, most certainly, meant for greatness.

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Posted by on November 1, 2018 in Writing Journey

 

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In The Between

in the between

“Let’s play a game.”

Those were the four words that started it all. It was not a brain game of chess or a tickling game of twister, it was something I wish I never played.

“It’s simple.”

“How simple?” I asked sceptically.

Greg was an old friend who had a doctorate certificate hanging in his bedroom and a strange concept of games.

“We will see who can stay in the between for the longest.”

“Speak English, Greg,” my other friend said.

“You know the moment when you’re about to fall asleep? The moment when your mind gets clouded with strange thoughts that overlap and make no sense? The moment when your memory fails you even though you still have some control over your consciousness? That’s in the between.”

“I bet you made that up,” I said with a chuckle.

“The term, yes. I just thought it sounded cool,” Greg replied.

“Right, so how do we stay in the between? It’s not like we can stop ourselves from falling asleep,” my other friend asked.

“I have these things that would keep your brain active,” Greg said, as he placed two little round patches on his temples. “Don’t worry, they simply send magnetic pulses periodically to stop your brain from resting.”

My other friend picked up the wireless patches and examined them before asking, “So what does the winner get?”

“Bragging rights.”

I laughed and shook my head. It was stupid but the game sounded interesting.

“Fine, whatever,” I said.

Taking the patches and placing them on my temples, I followed after Greg as he lied down and shut his eyes. I didn’t expect it to work so quickly but that Friday was a busy day for me, and my body accepted rest almost immediately.

As my mind drifted in and out of different thoughts, I found myself questioning everything in my head. But as I tried to find the answers, I ended up forgetting the questions instead. It was odd just to be lingering in the between, and when I finally stopped I felt even more tired than I was before.

“Not bad,” my other friend said.

When my eyes opened, I found Greg with his eyes shut while my other friend chomping down a bag of chips.

“Enjoying the show? When did you stop?” I asked.

Just as I did, Greg opened his eyes and stared at the two of us. It took him awhile to fully get his brain aligned with consciousness, and when he finally did he asked, “How long have you two been up? Can’t believe you guys started the fun without me.”

“Your idea of fun is not fun,” my other friend said.

I nodded in agreement and checked my watch. When I saw that it was almost 7 a.m., I was rather shocked. I was in the between for eight hours but it felt like minutes. After that, I excused myself and was called a party pooper.

Exhaustion was heavy on my shoulders and I desperately needed sleep. So by the time I entered my apartment, I was ready to hit the sack. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and all I wanted to do was sleep, sleep without dreams and without interruptions. Unfortunately, I had none.

My bed was cosy, the curtains were drawn, and a soft relaxing melody was playing from the speakers. I would have fallen straight into a deep slumber any other day, but that morning I was stuck… stuck in the between.

I drifted in and out of thoughts, memories, and ideas but could not slip away from them. When I gave up trying and opened my eyes, my room was already dark. I checked my temples to see if the patches were still there, but from my memory I knew they weren’t. Something was not right and I called up Greg immediately.

“I can’t sleep. Your little game messed with my brain,” I said the moment Greg answered the call.

“What do you mean? I just took a nap and my brain rested fine.”

“Your brain is fine, but mine is not! I can’t sleep, I’ve been trying but I can’t,” I replied with a hint of exasperation.

“Calm down, alright. Try to sleep tonight, and if you can’t, give me a call tomorrow. I’ll come over,” Greg said.

I accepted his answer and decided to give it another shot. Maybe it was a temporary side affect? After fixing myself dinner, I took a shower and headed straight to bed. I also popped a sleeping pill just in case.  But as my head hit the pillow and my thoughts began drifting, it happened again.

I was semi-conscious in my head and I continued to stay that way. I tried to empty my mind, but every time I tried more voices and images appeared instead. I was stuck… stuck in the between.

When morning came, I rang Greg up and told him I could not sleep. He said he would come over after he ran some errands at his office, but I could not wait. So I headed to his office as quickly as I could.

By the time I reached the hospital, I jogged to Greg’s office and burst in with the words lingering in my head. “I can’t sleep, Greg. What am I doing wrong? What did you do to me?”

I sounded unlike myself, the calm and collected self I had pride in. Sleep depravation had a strange affect on me and I had no idea why.

“What am I doing wrong?!” I demanded, just as Greg asked his colleague to excuse him.

“It’s not what you’re doing wrong,” Greg quickly said as he pulled me to a corner.

“What? What are you talking about?”

“You shouldn’t be doing anything,” Greg answered.

“You make no sense!” I shouted.

Greg reached for my shoulders and began shaking me back and forth. I angrily attempted to push his hands away but I failed. Moments later, I found myself lying on a bed.

“Are you alright?” Greg asked.

Greg was hovering above me with his hands on my shoulders.

“You were yelling. You must have fallen asleep,” Greg said.

I slowly sat up and gave him a questioning look.

“I’m sorry. These patches aren’t ready. Lunch is on me, alright? Thanks for being my lab rat,” Greg said with a chuckle.

When he turned his back on me, I saw my reflection in a glass panel and immediately remembered where I was. I was in Greg’s lab helping him test out a new device. And though I could not remember what the device was for, I could remember my ‘dream’. It felt so real and I was glad it was over.

That day, I told myself to never again dwell in the between. No one was meant to stay in it. Yet somehow, I knew I would be drawn to it again. Hopefully… not any day soon.

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Strange story, I know. It makes no sense. So let me tell you what inspired this.

In the between is actually a human emotion we have all experienced; the unsettling feeling of worry. When we worry, we place ourselves in a world where our minds are filled with questions we have no answers to. This world stops us from getting rest and leaves us wondering what we did wrong. We are distracted by it and we start acting like a different person. Worry is a place between reality and imagination, but a place that cripples us the moment we are stuck in it. To get out of worry is to simply do nothing, because in reality there is nothing to be done in situations we cannot control.

I decided to write about worry because recently I was worrying. I suffered the same effects until I decided to let it go, and my latest post on my personal blog helped me deal with that issue. So if you’re worrying about something, stop! It’s a waste of time and energy.

Anyway, let me know what you think of this story in the comments below! Don’t worry, I love hearing your thoughts no matter what they are 🙂

© 2014 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

 
23 Comments

Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Original Works

 

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