For some reason, I hold back.

I get nervous about posting…

What if they don’t like what I have to say?

What if I get no likes or comments?

Oh no…I posted and no one liked or commented,

that means they don’t like me,

I am unlikeable.

The story I have always told myself unfolds once more,

I spiral, down, down, back to the depths.

I search above me, I seek a way out, a way back up.

But this time, instead of struggling upwards, I stop still.

I examine the darkness around me.

I pull the words out from the depths.

Why, what is here?

What wounds have I buried, deep down below the surface?

When did this start, why does it continue?

Who were you, where were you when you wrote this story?

The answers race by me, hard to grasp, hard to connect.

I slow down, I stop, I allow them to come to me.

The story unfolds before me.

A moment in time.

A taunt or harsh word,

spoken in haste at the most vulnerable moment

and a seed was planted.

The unworthy seed.

The unlikeable seed.

The unloved seed.

The plant grew and wrapped my heart,

squeezing ever so slightly but not enough to constrict,

just enough to hold back.

As I acknowledge and accept them,

the tangles unwind, they let go, and

I can see them for what they are.

A beautiful garden, just waiting to be seen, waiting for visitors.

I acknowledge the pain, and I let it recede.

I no longer need it to survive, I can now thrive.

I float to the surface, light as a feather.

I am free.

As I turn and look around,

I notice tendrils creeping out of other’s hearts.

I realise they also have gardens waiting to be released, to be seen, to be visited.

I have the key to unlock their gate,

it must be shared,

so they can see what I have seen.

So they too can be free.