You feel like your life is shattering around you, splintering in the wake of chaos. You feel like you are dancing on broken glass, shards jutting into the tender soles of your feet. As the shards of glass pelt the earth in a torrent, you feel like the damage to yourself — to your reputation, your psyche, and your life — is unavoidable. Inescapable. Irreparable. But you must remember that you are neither glass, nor china, nor clay. You will not be broken forever. Your soul is not permanently fractured. You can — you will — be made whole again.
You find yourself constantly, obsessively attempting to explain the unexplainable — wondering, worrying. Why me? Why now? What did I ever do to deserve this? You are a frantic sleuth in hot pursuit of evidence — desperately, rabidly searching for answers, fabricating false memories of your own wrongdoing and attempting to transform injustice into justice by blaming yourself. Your mind is a broken record, scratching its way through an endless loop of undeserved self-criticism. However, you must know — you must believe — that the very nature of injustice renders its recipient inculpable. You are faultless. You are blameless. You are innocent.
You feel exhausted, tired of preparing for a battle you have no business fighting. The desire to know why stirs deeply inside of you, then promptly dissipates, like a brief flicker of light in a decrepit building. Your fear of how others perceive you — of how they will somehow justify the unjust — manifests as apparent apathy. But you are far from apathetic. Your anger and frustration with the unfairness of your predicament sparks your desire to fight for yourself in the name of justice, fairness, and truth, then quickly gives way to an overpowering sadness, which causes you to crumble — to surrender the fight. As you struggle to fight through your emotional blockade, you desperately wish you could stop advocating for yourself in the pursuit of justice. After all, you reason, this never should have happened to me. And since this never should have happened to me, I shouldn’t have to fight it.
You are right — injustice, by definition, ensures that you should not be enveloped in your present situation — completely demoralized, whole-heartedly desiring a resolution, yet half-heartedly fighting for the truth to emerge. However, you must never stop advocating for yourself in the pursuit of justice. Self-advocacy is the most effective means to a desired resolution. Self-advocacy vanquishes voicelessness, drives out powerlessness, and paves the way for truth. Self-advocacy draws you closer to the unwavering beacon of light in the midst of the storm. Although choosing to fight for justice may seem to place a challenging, undeserved burden upon your shoulders, it not only validates the gravity of your emotions, but it also proves that your predicament is, indeed, unjust. It is wholly acceptable to acknowledge that you should have never found yourself in this position. It is crucial to recognize your sadness, your hopelessness, your anger, and your frustration. However, regardless of how you feel, keep advocating. Keep fighting. Your tireless, fearless pursuit of justice will ultimately be rewarded.
You find yourself rapidly losing faith in humanity, losing trust in others, and losing hope for the future. Your belief that people are fundamentally good is slipping away, like grains of sand sifted through your fingers. The soft whisper of your thoughts crescendos to a shout, roaring inside your mind. How could anyone do this? Why does no one think about the repercussions of their actions? Does anyone care about the difficulties I’m facing, the hopelessness I feel, or the lack of control I have? Clearly, there is no good left in humanity.
It is tempting to blame all of humankind for the attitudes or actions of a few, but to do so is to make a gross generalization — to ignore the kindness, care, and hope left in the world. You feel as though you are drowning without a lifeline, subjected to a jeering audience of onlookers watching you sink, but you must understand that someone will pull you to the surface. Someone will restore your faith. Someone will heal the brokenness you feel.
To heal from the injustice you have faced, you must recognize the benevolence of others. Seek out the good left in the world. Notice the small acts of kindness others show you. Look to those who fight for truth and justice.
Accepting goodness back into your life after your faith has been shaken and your trust has been shattered is not easy. It will be the most challenging step in the process of reclaiming your life and restoring justice. But once you begin to relearn the magnanimous nature of humanity, you will no longer feel like you are dancing on shards of glass. The torrent of chaos will dissipate. Your wounds will heal.
You will restore faith.
You will regain trust.
You will reclaim hope.
You will no longer feel confined, broken, or alone.
Believe in the benevolence of humanity and you will be free.
*Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com.