Being a beautiful person on the inside has always been the person I am most proud of. It colors who I am more than any other aspect of myself. (That isn’t to say that I’m not as worried about outward appearances as the next person. I’ll take dozens of pictures of myself hoping for just one “good one.”) But no one will ever say I lack heart. In fact, my own heart is big. Big with kindness. Big with compassion. Big with concern. Big in a way that makes me highly sensitive and thus highly reactive to the world around me.
Yet lately, I’m realizing that in the long run, where my own best interests are at the heart of the matter, my big heart really may not serve me well. Perhaps if I had less of it, and was harder on the inside, and did not let my emotions run away with me at times, I’d be better off. Tougher. Stronger. Unsinkable.
So maybe the sight of slate green hills set against the twilight sky wouldn’t make my breath catch in my chest any more, flooding my senses to the point of being overwhelmed. And maybe that lost soul pair of Van Gogh eyes searching faces for someone to trouble wouldn’t break something in me. And maybe music would simply become background noise. Overly dramatic scenarios? Or too much black and white, all or nothing oversimplification? Probably. But you should see me in action.
Still, if I were to become a harder person, what would happen to me, on the inside?
I know I don’t want to have to mourn the passing of my inner beauty, yet I don’t want to keep falling apart every time life is just too much for me, or more to the point, I don’t want life to even be too much for me. The answer eludes me as of yet, but I recognize that if I am to survive, I have to find a way to be both, so that I can retain the self that matters to me, yet still embrace the self I have to become.
Horace (65 BC – 8 BC)