I used to be someone who wasn’t kind in the way I approach people. Harsh and frank, I felt I was being real by being as is.
Just blurting it out. I didn’t care about other people’s feeling. Thinking everyone else must toughen up. As I thought I was doing the same; being tough. Putting shields and layers of shield… It was my biggest fear to be being soft. For me, life is hard, if you are being soft, life will chew you up and spit you out. That’s how I saw it anyway.
I thought by being harsh and hard on myself, I was also being a tough woman. Strong and unbeatable. I clearly wasn’t being kind to myself. Needed to learn more about humility.
And then, boom! Life found a way to slap me hard. Shaking up my core, destroyed my layers of shield. So I could learn to be better.
It’s when I was at my lowest point, I met a woman 15 years older than me. I respected her view on life. I am grateful that she cared enough to gave me her time, met me when she came to Bali, stayed over in my apartment and listened to my sorrow back in December 2017.
I was so fragile, grief took the best of me to the very end. I swear, I never spent a day without shedding tears.
But she was there, unlike everyone else. She was being an older sister to me. Gave me her advice and told me her opinions on the life scenario I had at that time. I have always been a good listener, so I listened to what she has to say about my decisions and my life. And then there was a moment in that morning, when I came over to her hotel in Legian, she told me off as she pointed out her finger to my womb, expressing her anger. I don’t even remember what she said as she did that. I heard only silence and my own thought.
She wasn’t there to support me for my sake, she was there to express her pain… She has similar experience years ago and she took it out on me.
That’s what you get when you pour out your sorrow to your relatives and not to a therapist. They have their baggage too. When you are strong enough to listen to what the other people have to say, it’s called sharing. But when you are as fragile as I was, you can’t have that, you can’t take that. It’s a full-on stab to my core, it’s beyond painful.
So all of a sudden I remember the drawing of myself, made by a Jakartan artist lives in Ubud with her husband. It was me, wearing my glasses with my short bob hair and my iconic style, along with my sling bag, punching my fist into the air, looking angry.
It was indescribably painful to see that drawing on her Facebook timeline. I showed that drawing to my ex-boyfriend and asked: “am I the only one who thinks that this drawing looking a lot like me?” He agreed with me then asked the artist through facebook messenger. Of course, she said it’s not me. But only her and my gut know the truth.
I was so proud and unaware of the way I carried myself. I wasn’t aware of how bad my words and actions were. I didn’t know that my words have been causing unnecessary pain in other people’s heart. Until I finally write this, I truly didn’t know how similar I was to the angry buffalo in the crystal castle. Broke everything near me.
If I could go back and meet my old self, I wish to hug that woman and say…
“Being gentle doesn’t make you a weak person. It’s ok to be soft. A person being strong by supporting another person, not by being mean or hurting one another.”
I bet my old self would be weeping on her knees and saying how sorry she is for unintentionally hurting other people’s feelings.
Now that I reflect on it all… I could finally understand that I was no more than a woman carrying so much pain from my childhood. I have never given enough space to heal from any of those mental wounds. I wasn’t aware that my mental wounds have been infecting someone else’s peace.
So I learned to be kind and to be gentle in my approach. Having a relationship with a man who was very nurturing and gentle towards me helped me see how it feels like to be loved. In the end, as a human being, all we need is love and acceptance. And only when we can give love and acceptance to ourselves, we could be a real person.