What we are




Imagine grief.

Imagine a funeral.

See the casket. Hear the words. Smell the rain.

White flowers. Dark ties. And the time refuses to pass.

Notice the tears of the woman at your side. Her makeup smeared down her cheeks. Bent over slightly. How this moment grips and overwhelms her. Cripples her. She wails without want. She sobs like she did as a child. She is overpowered by herself.

See the robust gentleman to your front. Grey of age. Astute. Struggling to keep himself from breaking. Keep from loosing his mind. Cannot let go. It hurts. Loss of words. Loss of heart. Lips trembling. Teeth clenching. Moisture seeping from those mature eyes.

How terrible you are, Grief, to rip my soul.

Candles flicker. Hearts bleed. Silence. We sing for comfort, but we are cursed now in this moment. Cursed by our minds to experience this tragedy in ourselves. We become grief. We die with you.

Can you feel it now? The nausea. The sting in your heart. Face contracting into itself. Quivering breath. Eyes shut. Heads down.

Our tears are love. Our losses refine us. We are grief.


Imagine guilt

I did it. It was me.

I’m it. My fault.

It’s because of me.

I’m just a terrible person.


Don’t say.

Don’t tell. Shut up!

Swear to me, you will not tell a soul!

I’ll kill you if you tell! I swear it! Shut up!

If they catch me, I’ll die! They’ll hate me.


I’m the worst. It’s my fault. It’s because of me.

I did it. It was me. I didn’t mean to. But it’s my fault.


I am a monster. I’m cursed.

Don’t touch me. Stay away. I will hurt you too.

You are better off without me.

I’m poison.


I don’t deserve you. I don’t deserve anything. I’m evil.

I’m garbage.

Don’t look at me!

Go away!

Imagine shame

I smell bad. That’s it.

My hair is all weird. My glasses are big. I’m fat. That’s why.

That’s why they laugh. They don’t even hide it. They think I’m stupid. I’m stupid.


I’m stupid and they see it.

I don’t fit. I don’t belong. Because I’m not cool. Or fun. I’m a dork.

It’s because I’m not pretty like them. It’s because I’m not popular like them.

Or pretty. I’m ugly.


They know. They saw it. That’s why they laugh. I walk funny. They know. I pretend not to know that they know. But they know.

That’s why they don’t like me. My nose is big. My teeth are crooked. I have freckles. My eyes are ugly. I’m fat. My face is stupid. I’m broken.

I die now. Because they know. Kill me now.


I fail. I just fail. I always fail. I’m failure. I don’t work. They don’t like me. Because I’m not like them. I’m stupid. I fail at things. Everything. Fuck my life.

I’m just stupid. I’m a faggot. A coward.

Just leave me alone.


It’s ok. I’m used to it.

I don’t belong. I know. It’s fine.  

I don’t need them. I’ll show them, you know. Someday. I’ll grow up and I’ll beat them. They’re stupid.

I hate them.

Fuck you.


Imagine fear


Don’t. make. A. sound.

Be incredibly still.

They can hear us. Don’t move an inch.


Maybe they won’t notice. If I don’t move.

What was that?

Who is there? Is someone there?

I can’t see. I can’t hear. Who are you?!


Stop! Please!


Don’t hurt me. Please!




Where did she go?

Is someone behind me?

Where is the door?!

Let me out!! LET ME OUT!!


Don’t touch me!

Don’t hurt to me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t love me!

Go away! Just stop! STOP!


Don’t go!


I’ll die!

I’m gonna die!

Breathe slowly

Emotions make up the foundation of our experience. They are the colors of our lives. We often hide or guard our colors to ensure politeness or to fit in. But our colors are who we are.

Our emotions are the reactions to how we are being cultivated both internally and externally. They are also reactions to those reactions and the ensuing effects they have on our behavior.

All emotions pass. Trusting that the experience of negative emotion will go away in time is key to a happy life.

If we accept emotion it means we display ourselves as who we are, to ourselves and to the world, and wish to allow the consequences. This is self-faith, self-trust, self-confidence.

Without this we hide, guard and pretend ourselves.

Accepting emotion does not require expression as much as it encourages it. But it is necessary to allow emotion to live, to welcome and embrace the way it flows and to allow ourselves to be human.

Our masked, suppressed or otherwise buried emotions remain as the poison in our personalities, the ghosts that haunt us and the things holding us back.

They provide our lives with procrastination, lies, excuses, evasions, illusions, dissatisfaction, ticks, apathy, loneliness, indifference, desperation, arrogance, narcissism, neediness, recklessness and all the rest.

Because these are the effects of unpleasant emotion.

This is how emotion guides our behavior.

To change yourself you have to change the way you are being cultivated. Inside and outside.

We are emotion. When it flows, we are free.

When you cry. Does it ever stop? Or does it persist inside?

Are you brave enough to display your mediocrity?

Can you stand the humiliation of being inadequate?

Are you able to talk about your defeats?

Do you have the courage to ask for help?

When we meet, is it you I meet? Or is it some version of someone else? Is that really your smile?

Are those really your opinions? Your words?

Are you self-confident enough to cry in public?

Or to kiss in public? Or to scream?

Do you have faith that what they laugh about is not you?

Do you trust that you are good enough as you are right now?

Do you have confidence that you can handle it when it happens?

Are you good enough for you?

The real questions are:

  • What are you actually experiencing right now?

  • What do you really need right now?

  • How can you better care for yourself right now?