How To Live

‘Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.’

Iain Thomas, I Wrote This For You.

It’s hard to remain soft in a world that shows us its hardness.

It’s difficult to see through the pain that life gives to us, seeing the pain of other people, and the pain that may be yet to come.

There is bitterness in plenty in this world of ours, this big blue planet that spins and spins and doesn’t throw us off.

Grown adults find it hard to see the beauty around us, in the smallest of things: the dust motes in the sunlight, in the crackling ice of a still winter night. Survival requires us to dig in, and the buzz of a never switched-off world seeds anxiety into our days.

Is it just my autistic heart that wants to stop the world and get off?

Sometimes I swear I feel the dizziness of being on this rock. In the middle of the night, I’ve felt vibrations, feeling sure that the ground is shaking, but nobody else around me seems to notice. Or, if they do, they never say ‘look at the vibrations in that glass of water!’ – just like Jurassic Park.

It’s true that I feel worn down, some days. More often than not. I have felt the barbs of bitterness visit, have seen the depths of cynicism, and have felt myself hate. But I can’t stay there. I can’t live in those spaces.

There is too much colour and glitter in the world for me not to notice it. Too much warmth and possibility.

If I’m honest, softness resides right in the centre of me. Sensitivity is my core state, exposed and feeling.

I once knew someone who took immense pride in saying that their pain had made them grow a thick, impenetrable skin, but in the end, that trauma grew thick barbs that spiked everyone around them. That bitterness and hate spilled right out like lava and burnt like acid.

And yes, I grew some thick scabs after that encounter, but they fell off eventually.

Sometimes I feel the ghost of those scabs but remind myself that they are just ghosts.

When I’m reminded of the words Iain Thomas wrote, it makes me feel like it’s okay to feel. Even if the feelings are complicated and confusing. Even if what you are feeling seems at odds with how you want to live.

The world is painted in technicolour, shadows and stars, warmth and rain.

The entire planet is a contradiction and a study in contrasts.

I am reminded that I might sometimes feel heavy with sadnesses and fears, but that’s okay because more often than not, the joys and the incremental wins make life what it is.

This is all to say – I believe in softness and sweetness. I believe this world is still hauntingly, joyously beautiful even through the pain. It is a place worth fighting for, worth cherishing.


This post was inspired by a prompt from Promptosaur, How to Live.

This post is part of NanoPoblano, a Cheer Peppers production! If you’d like to see what other people are writing and sharing, please click the image below.

6 thoughts on “How To Live

  1. Life had left me pretty jaded and bitter, as well. It IS hard to find beauty in the world. Like trying to find color in a black and white photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard, definitely. But the colour is there even if it’s a bit faded sometimes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed reading your writing. Your style and softness is evident. Like you, I wish everything would stop and I could find a way to get a deep exhale, and really blub into the whole of the universe, or let go and fly through the sky from the safe space of my bed frame. Each day I rise, knowing that it could be another chance to be okay with not stopping, or finding a way to stop, while going– like become a ninja in my own life, living above the fray–dark counched up upon the ceiling, unseen–while still somehow being deeply participatory. I don’t think this is a contradiction, and though it might defy the laws of physics, I won’t stop trying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤ you're right, it's not a contradiction!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a beautiful post. We all need to be softer, or maybe we are and we just need to be more aware of that in ourselves and in each other. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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