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The ugly parts of you will set you free.

Here's a common human thought. If I share this one thing about myself, others will feel that I am unl
The ugly parts of you will set you free.
By Jordan Brown • Issue #73 • View online
Here’s a common human thought.
If I share this one thing about myself, others will feel that I am unlovable. They will KNOW that I am unlovable.
This kind of personal crisis is at the heart of human existence.
But, funny enough, it’s not actually a personal crisis.
Because the parts that you feel you can’t share?
They actually bind you to others.

Peeling Away the Layers
It’s amazing to think that there was a point in my life when I was terrified to write about my mental health. And now here I am. Here we are.
The first time I even contemplated writing about my mental health, a thousand disastrous scenarios ran through my mind.
People will think I’m strange. They will no longer like me. I’ll be judged. They will think I’m, dare I say it, crazy.
That final one is a pejorative that especially hits hard for me. It’s probably because I know how often it’s used to hold people down, to put them in their proper place. It’s scary to step outside of societal norms.
Then I published my first story. And another. And another.
And you know what?
Nothing happened.
Well, not exactly nothing. Something did happen, but it wasn’t what I expected. Something happened inside of me. I got stronger. I started to find my voice. And, what may have been the oddest revelation, I started to feel less ashamed about who I was.
How could the exact opposite of what I thought might happen occur for me?
That is the secret right there. The beauty in the ugliness.
I thought the layers were there for a reason, for all time. But the layers were there to be peeled back, to be thrown away, discarded then and for good.
Self-Doubt is Holding You Back
Would you believe me if I told you it’s your own self-doubt that is predominantly holding you back? That’s what I’ve found to be true in my life.
I always thought it was other people. I thought it was society. I thought it was because, if I shared who I truly was, I would be unlovable.
To be unloved, that is one of the greatest fears a human can have–to be cast off from the universe and all the connections that bind us to one another.
Maybe that was the case thousands of years ago. Societies, to inflict eternal shame, would cast off the unwanted. It’s not the case anymore.
I still have layers to peel. We all do.
What are the layers holding you back in your life?
They could be relationships that don’t serve you. Or maybe your layers are limiting beliefs that you’ve had since you were a child. Often, limiting beliefs take shape for no good reason at all. Do you even know why you think the things you do? Usually, it’s from an emotional experience that no longer carries any weight in our life.
You might believe that the world is not a safe place, but is that really true?
Question everything. It’s by questioning even the most minute details that you start to pierce the layers of your life. It’s by seeing the layers that you remove the layers.
I leave you with this:
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today can be an awakening for you. It can be the day you start to see your worth–and that includes the parts of yourself that you don’t think are valuable.
Because those parts are especially valuable. Because they are what make you human.

Today, tomorrow, and the next day, think about your limiting beliefs. Ponder them for a while, and then try to let them go.

Jordan

P.S. Would you like to write your own mental health story? I’m accepting new writers for my mental health publication on Medium. I see it as a community place to share past issues, but also as a place to co-create a new way forward for mental health. Note: You have to be registered with Medium to submit an article.
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