Saturday, March 2, 2013


You there. I recognize you. I could spot you anywhere. Yes you. I’m sorry, I didn’t meant to startle you. It’s simply that I know you, and I couldn’t help but get excited.

How do I know you? I can see you. I see the sadness you try to hide. I see your inner light being squashed by bad thoughts and negative feelings. I can see that you’re stuck in a depressing feedback loop.

And I know about the hole. Yes, the one you’ve fallen into and out of your entire life. I know all about it. I have one myself. That’s how I can see yours.

Yes, the hole. The hole in our souls, the space our parents’ love and affection was supposed to fill. That hole. The piece of our hearts that is missing, because it was never formed.

Oh sure, your parents loved you. Mine loved me too. But they didn’t show it. They were over-critical, and made you feel unloved and unappreciated. They quietly disapproved of your choices, only voicing their disapproval with furrowed brows, or a lack of excitement. Or maybe they were just terrible and abusive.

Whatever the case, I know things are not perfect. I can see it in the way your eyes are on the verge of crying, the distinct downturn of the corners of your lips, your hunched and slow moving posture. I know where you are, and where you came from.

And I’m here to help.

I’d like you to take a moment to realize that your parents, those giants of your psyche, are not perfect—no person is. They are flawed people, just like the rest of us. They have their own thoughts and feelings, and those feelings are not always about you. Their anger from work, or traffic, or from their own childhoods, does not necessarily have anything to do with you. So take their criticism with a grain of salt.

And go for a run. Running is incredibly freeing, and it activates the body. An active body leads to a healthier mind—it’s science. So if your thoughts and feelings are out of control, use what you can control: your body. It works both ways.

And talk to someone. Those feelings inside of you are not unique—in fact they are depressingly common. The silver lining is that you can talk to almost anyone, and they will understand what you’ve been through and will perhaps share their own experiences with you. You are not alone. Do not believe that you are alone, because that is a lie. You are not special. You are a sad person who needs to see the light. Do not hide from the light. It will be frightening, terrifying, but the rewards are boundless.

So try. Throw caution to the wind. Dare to do something different. And then do the thing that is simultaneously the easiest and the hardest thing in the world to do:

Be yourself.

There’s only one of you, and goddammit, we need you.