My book ‘Finding Me’ explores love and identity in many ways but one of the ways I look at love is by looking at pain. The contradiction of life is that sometimes in order to understand what you do like, you have to know what you do not like. Like most (if not all) teenagers, my feelings and emotions were hyper sensitive: like become love, dislike became hate – love and hate two words I have grown to understand are incredibly strong and should not be used lightly. However when we are living in certain moments (especially painful ones) I have found that the way I see the word changes. I either start to look at things with a piercing clarity or get so caught up in the pain that I am unable to see clearly. One of the things I have tried to do with the book is show my readers how pain should not be ignored. Every feeling is so important and while we should be careful not to be driven by our emotions, we also have to make sure that we do not completely ignore them.
I learned so much about myself when I took the time to look past my emotion and try to understand why I felt a certain way. While I am no psychologist I have grown to believe that our emotions are indicators of underlying issues. What I mean by this is I used to lash out at people when I felt threatened, I had a fiery tongue and was never afraid to use it. However my negative comments was only a way of me building barriers to hide my own insecurities. I lashed out at people to put them on their guard and therefore feel secure knowing that they felt threatened. This is just one example. I know people who cry to bring attention away from the fact that they are intentionally spiteful people; there are those who sleep with people to feel loved. Things that we do on an emotional level point to the kind of people we are and the foundations we have.
The lesson in ‘Finding Me’ is that the only secure and unchaginging love I found was in God. I could go through all the rubbish in the world but as long as I was anchored in God, His Word and His Spirit then there is nothing that can consume and overtake me. The Bible puts it as ‘being pressed but not crushed and persecuted but not abandoned’. That is the attitude I have to pain now. I look for the purpose in my pain: what can I learn from this discomfort, how can I better myself through this time of poverty and frustration, is there a way I can find a solution to this problem. I look past the pain to see what the emotion is trying to show me and I sincerely believe that everyone can too.
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