I'm trying to look for the signs, trying to see what life really wants to tell me. I've learned a whole lot during my trip to Australia, but coming home as been a lesson in itself.
I returned to the same environment, to the same people, but things were different. I was different. Not radically, but definitely noticeably. At first I thought the things I saw in the people closest to me were newly risen, but I soon realized that the insecurities that they carried had always been there, and I was just too distracted to notice.
I had spent almost three whole months day in-day out travelling with Jen, my new best friend. She's smart, she's fun, and she's gorgeous... but she doesn't think so. And it killed me. It absolutely killed me that this beautiful person--on the inside and out--could not see herself the way I did. I had never faced anything like this in my life. All my friends are confident people, believe in themselves, and love themselves as I love them--or so I thought.
As it turns out, I was completely wrong. I came home to my introverted, self-hating friends. The same ones that make me feel incredible, worthy, beautiful are the ones who talk themselves down, lack belief in their capabilities, and deem themselves unworthy of love. And I was so torn.
How do I get people to believe in themselves? I could say all I want to them, I could give them all the self-help books in the world, I could send them links to inspirational videos... but there is no specific formula to light the spark of belief inside each individual. I spent my entire time with Jen battling with these thoughts, and when I came home I still found myself at the front-lines.
One day on the SkyTrain I was heading home from downtown. A man was standing while another man and his wife were sitting down. The sitting man, clothes rough and stained from construction work, noticed the standing man, donning an expensive-looking business suit, and gestured for him to sit in the available seat before him. They both smiled, and the standing man took the seat.
An act of kindness, so small and unnoticed in this world, and I had the honour of witnessing it. I was almost moved to tears. There is goodness that need not be searched for, but simply paid attention to. But we cannot recognize it if we do not know of it in the first place, and the only place we can first know it is in ourselves.
Love yourself, otherwise you will not know how to love others.