I have inflicted far more emotional pain upon myself than any soul would dare do to another. With a wealth of objective memories of love, pleasure, and happiness to cherish, it may seem odd for my outnumbered experiences of rejection, criticism, agony and death to overpower the beauty of life. Yet, that’s what happens.
Happiness seems an ephemeral phenomenon. The pain I feel when treated as an outcast, dismissed, ignored, or when actively derided is felt because it’s my fault. It’s as if there is something inherently wrong with diverging from a faceless crowd. Our differences are often treated as objects of great shame—as if they mark us as inferiors.
As humans do, I bear a burning desire to be loved as much as anyone. But, I asked myself, how could anyone love a person without love for herself? With her only true friends in the pages of books? With a sadness she carries in her heart? With a history of skepticism and doubt about the hearts of others? And who has never known a soul to love her for who she is?
And so her heart atrophied in neglect. And in foul treatment.
Then, I asked myself another question: Should I ever love another?
Understanding the true importance of love and acceptance in life—the joy of the experience and the pain of its denial—who am I to withhold that?