Don’t Shut Yourself Out

Whatever you’re going through, don’t shut people out. Self-inflicted and prolonged isolation is just the beginning of a spiral into the dark descent – a bottomless pit that drops further the longer you dwell. Healing begins when you open up and start to let others in. A journey of suffering is less of a burden when shared. Remember that it’s okay to let some light in even when your curtains are drawn.

We are stronger when united, warmer when huddled together for warmth, taller when standing together and braver when rising as one. There is a reason why one of the innate desires of being human is to feel recognised in a community that we belong in, and that’s because it empowers us to feel safer, better, happier and more importantly, recognised. We want to be recognised for our worth, for our achievements and for who we are. We want our individuality to be celebrated and appreciated by others around us and above all, we want to be accepted for everything that we are, including everything that we are not.

When challenges surface, many times it might not look pretty. Financial hardship, relationship breakdowns, mistakes that we intentionally or unintentionally make – these can cause our lives to crumble in the ugliest ways. When our pride is damaged and our ego is broken, the last thing we want to do is to ask for help. It’s easy to show off our joys and happiness when we’re at our highest; but during when times are tough, these days are just as important to stay connected with those who are invested in our wellbeing.

For some of us, it’s natural to seek a helping hand or two. For others, the natural response is to shy away from human contact, to slowly rescind into a sheltered state of isolation where you think that the less people who know about these darker days, the better. This is the beginning of a descend into a bottomless pit as you repeatedly begin to distance yourself more and more, and perhaps this is where the negative self-talk starts to become more frequent.

There has never been a single war won fought by a lone soldier. There has never been success by the feats of one man. There has never been celebration entertained by a man of one. There has never been a breakthrough of any kind by a sole genius. There is a reason why humans are gifted with the power of empathy. We are able to grieve with one another, and we are able to feel one other’s pain. We are able to experience what someone else may be going through and guide them towards the light at the end of the tunnel, or support them by lending a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on.

A journey of suffering is less of a burden when shared, because there is healing in the act of lifting each other up. There is healing in opening up to those who care about us, because the vulnerability and breakdown of our egos allow others a glimpse into our souls and for others to understand a slice of our rawest selves. Many times, our darkest challenges are what’s behind closed doors, hidden away and locked for no one else to see. It’s no wonder that suicides happen to those we least expect to take their own lives, because they felt compelled to hide the deepest layers of how they truly felt.

A lonely road of suffering is one full of chaos and mental demons that only serve as toxic constraints to those who want to give you the best of everything in this world. Sometimes, rather than falling imprisonment to these adversities in life, we end up becoming prisoners in our own dark minds and live within a shell of who we truly are.

Remember that it is important to reach out when you are struggling. It’s important to talk to those around you to tell them that things aren’t okay. Remember that it’s okay to let people know that you’ve made mistakes, that you need help or that you are uncertain how to dig yourself out of the rut you’ve fallen into. Sometimes, we need a little guidance in our walk of life and other times, we need to be pushed and shoved to continue moving forward in the right direction or we may get left behind in a self-inflicted retreat. Sometimes, when we build our walls so defensively high over the windows into our soul, we can’t wait for the Sun to shine on us because we’ve put up such an unyielding barrier. If your curtains are always drawn, the light may never seep in. Sometimes, we must let the light in even when darkness clouds our mind. Life is to be celebrated with an abundance of light, and when things get a little grey, it’s time to reach out and gravitate towards the beacon of light.

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