To find a way to express who you are is a beautiful gift that you can give yourself. I firmly believe we are all capable of finding what works for us, but we are also capable of keeping ourselves from discovering the gifts we possess. However we choose to express our character, may it be physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, we will be grateful for being ourselves. When we can slowly begin to accept our true nature and let go of the fears that are holding us back, we start to see ourselves for the first time. When this happens, there is no turning back.
Self-expression can be scary. It takes a certain level of vulnerability when it comes to opening ourselves up and accepting who we are. It is not going to happen overnight. It is more like a progression of testing your own abilities. Opening yourself up to rejection and criticism is the risk we take when choosing to express ourselves the way we know how. If we know that partaking in an activity or being a part of a specific community brings us joy, then we should not feel the need to fight that feeling. When we do what feels right for our life and find ways to express that, we should lean more into that thing and trust it.
I am constantly searching for more ways to express the world that I have internalized. What I love about each and every one of us, is that NO ONE can tell our own story better than we can. There is a lot of strength to be gained once we accept that. There is an endless amount of ways to show the world what you care about, and if you believe otherwise, it is because you are afraid of being rejected; I get it. I still to this day have that fear. I try not to give it as much power but it happens, and I am always going to be a work in progress; we all are.
There are many ways in which I already express myself. Since I have been able to get tattoos, I have been putting my ideas into the hands of tattoo artists and watching them appear in life through the ink in my skin. They tell a story and allow me to recall certain chapters of my life. They are an ink stamp in time and a reminder that time moves on with or without us. They hold meaning, purpose, and a backstory. My tattoos are a quick way of figuring out someone else’s intentions or harsh judgments. I wear my heart on my sleeve in more ways than one, and my tattoos are a piece of me that I wear proudly.
I have been expressing myself through athletics for as long as I can remember. Soccer was my first true love, passion, and teacher of what I am capable of from a physical standpoint. As I grew older, it was obvious to myself and those around me that soccer seemed to be a path I needed to pursue. It took me all the way through college, but once I parted ways with my soccer career, it was the need for any physical challenge that keeps me active to this day. I have learned that it wasn’t just soccer that I was using as a form of self-expression, it was my overall passion for fitness and love for competition. Not only does physical activity help me on my recovery journey, but it provides me with a strong sense of fulfillment that I cannot get from anywhere else.
Through writing, I can get in touch with my emotional side. By sharing my words with the world, I have been able to connect with a large community of people who are all working to better themselves. This form of self-expression has been the most important for my life. It allows me to get to know myself on a deeper level, and it challenges me to share my truth instead of run from it. I have also learned that when I am avoiding the work it takes to sit down and put my thoughts on paper, it is because I am afraid of what I need to share. My words and my work have been able to keep me accountable for my growth as a human being. It also warns me when I may need to get back on track or when I am putting off my life due to fear. To express myself through my own words has been so eye-opening, and I am a firm believer that you cannot help others until you have begun to heal yourself. I put my truth out into the world because once I can set it free, it is something I no longer allow to be used against me. I express myself through writing to understand who I am and find others who can relate to my story even though it is not their own.
To express yourself is to rebel in a world that is desperate to turn you into something you are not. Listen to your gut, follow your heart, and never be afraid to show the world who you truly are.
Thank you for reading.