First Steps // Notes on Regaining Autonomy
A raw and gorgeous piece from the very core of our dear friend Elisha.
Remember that your life is yours and yours alone.
Only you can see the picture clearly enough to fill the frame that is your life.
Know that when the picture becomes more visible, it is not a gift or proviso
Contingent upon any other individual than yourself.
Others can help you to arrive at your goal,
But you do not need anyone to provide it to you or dictate it to you.
Revel in that notion.
Reflect on the idea of building an infrastructure for your life, that is completely your own doing. Ruminate on the immense empowerment of this notion.
Do not settle for anything less.
It may feel like you don't know where to begin or that it’s an insurmountable task.
Take comfort in knowing that everyone else has felt this way at some point in their life
And countless others are simultaneously feeling it with you.
Reflect on the immensity of human consciousness.
Recognize that you are in control of more than you realize;
That energy spent on things that cannot be controlled is wasted energy.
This is energy better spent on actions which show the world who you are.
The only thing that you can change are the actions you put into the world,
And the steps you take to become the best incarnation of yourself Ask yourself, deeply and truly: "Who am I?" Do not allow yourself to give a shallow answer:
One which whittles your essence down to nothing more than content,
Befitting of the brief bios which we all carefully curate and present for
(the eyes and ears of)
People whom we don't trust with anything further
Than the most noteworthy segments of our identity. Do not relent until you feel the gravity of the question in the depth of your soul.
Do not stop until you come back with an answer that feels like taking your first breath of air,
After emerging from a body of water into which you swam too deep;
Deep enough that you feel the impending pressure.
And you realise just how integral oxygen is to your existence.
And you swim, clamorously to the surface, desperate for the comfort of light and air. Recognize that this is a metaphor for life if there ever was one.
Understand that we are all desperately clamouring for light and air, in our own way;
That people were not meant for pedestals,
Because flaw is more deeply engrained upon human existence than survival.
For this reason, self-loathing feeds nothing more than the deterioration
Of your identity.
Your flaws are a doorway, an opportunity to grow, not an intractable impediment.
Learn from them, grow from them, work on them.
Accept the ones which are superficial or truly cannot be changed: we all have them.
Find consolation in the idea that the human proclivity to err does not change or erase
Our ineffable proclivity to love.
People who truly love and respect you will only ever offer criticism with the intent of
Helping you grow and meet the picture you see for yourself.
In time, you will grow to know the difference.
Know that your identity and your time have value.
You owe this to no one and no one owes this to you.
Know that, ultimately, only you can determine your worth.
Others may add to this or detract from this, but nobody can assign it to you.
And you cannot change your value to certain individuals,
Though you are, almost inevitably, guaranteed to try.
You may try until it hurts.
And it hurts until it doesn’t.
All it takes is the first step.