By Surabhi Kaushik
“What am I made of?” I wondered. The question did not pop in my head randomly. These words were a response to a prompt in my writing group, written by Hilda, one of my fellow writers. This simple question did not have any wrong answers, but it also triggered a million other questions in my mind.
For a long time, my hands held the pen and my eyes stared at the blank piece of paper. Usually, I do not take any more than five to seven seconds to start writing. Strangely though, when I was asked to write about myself, I was dumbfounded. Of course, there was so much that I wanted to say about myself. But I was overthinking, overanalyzing, micromanaging my own thoughts, cramming them all into a small jar and refusing to open the lid. Letting out a deep sigh, I mustered enough courage to let the words seep out of my mind and flow onto the paper. The answers came flowing out like a river.
I am made of faith that can move mountains, willpower as strong as steel, taking small steps to chase my big dreams. I am made of courage to rise like the phoenix from the ashes every time I feel burnt down by failure. I am made of teaspoons of humor and large scoops of trust, barrels of commitment, promises that I keep, raw honesty, loyal friendship and an overdose of positivity, even if it feels made up at times.
This list is long but fun to write. More importantly, during the process of building this list, I discovered a big secret about myself. The secret is that I do not give myself enough credit for who I am. I have taken for granted things that might seem like trophies to others. For instance, my ability to make friends easily or keep calm in situations that often cause most people to panic. My willingness to try repeatedly even when I have seen little or no result at all. This is particularly true when I submit a piece for publication and face rejections multiple times. The fact that I can never get tired of exploring new opportunities even when I see no light at the end of the tunnel and the stubborn Me, who NEVER EVER WANTS TO GIVE UP!!
Probably many of you reading this also experience similar situations or feelings. I think oftentimes, we are unable to see our strengths under the same lens as we see our lack of success. For some reason, it is easier to be hard on ourselves and wallow in regret, criticism or self-pity, as the situation demands.
To make it worse, we put ourselves on a chart of comparison with others and are eager to weigh our performances with theirs to see where we stand. I think we fail to understand that everyone is fighting their own battles and therefore there is no need for comparison.
We are all unique in our own ways. It is important that we respect our strengths and accept our limitations. It has to be a deliberate attempt to treat oneself with kindness and care, like we treat someone else we love, like a close friend, a partner, a lover or anyone we do not want to hurt. It’s time to promise to be kind to ourselves and nourish our true selves, because we are all made of incredible qualities that make us valuable people.
The next time you feel down in the dumps, less motivated or low in self-esteem, just make a list of all the things that you are made up of. You will automatically step up and show some kindness to yourself.
Words have always been my best friends, allowing me to find comfort and joy in playing the role of a copywriter, storyteller, poet or essayist, not necessarily in that order.
My blog https://surabhiwritersmind.blogspot.com has links to my work published in several websites in India and the United States.
Apart from being a writer, I am also a book addict, love learning new languages and a trained Carnatic music vocalist and binge watch or hike when I am not writing. I enjoy conducting Write to Move<>Move to Write workshops, a unique workshop where movement enhances creativity and writing ignites expression.
After moving to the United States in 2015, I volunteer with public libraries in Charlotte and have a close association with Write Like You Mean It, a writer’s group at Main library, Charlotte.