I used to read about the impostor syndrome (IS) and last week I could not bring myself to publish a fully edited article that I had been excited about for a while. If you have been following my weekly blogs then you probably noticed we missed one, last Monday. Imposter syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. And because that is exactly how I felt, I could not bring myself to publish the article but mostly because it is about radical honesty, and it would have been hypocritical if I had published it then.
How can one day take away months of progress? I will tell you how, Denial and Fear! A couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about the poem, DEATH BE NOT PROUD by JOHN DONNE,I must have memorized it from one of my literature classes back in high school, so when it came back to me last week, I should have thought it a red flag. See, people remarkably close and dear to me have tested positive for COVID-19 back home and a couple of weeks ago someone died (R.I.P) and as an emotional empath I am trying to learn how to ground myself so that I can be there for my loved ones during a time of loss, but it turned out to be more challenging than I thought.
Before, I would avoid the situation as a coping mechanism (not that it worked in the past, but sure it was way more helpful than going through the whole emotional rollercoaster) or so I thought. I can handle bad News, but I am not sure I will ever be able to handle News that has to do with death, and I think this poem came back to me because I was trying so hard to cope and just be okay with going through the motions like a “normal person”. This poem strips death of all its power and maybe I was finding comfort and consolation in it. It is grief that scares me though. Death is just a trigger. I wish I could explain it more, but triggers are like grenades, just when you think you are in the safety zone, all you have to do is lift your foot off the ground and your life blows up in your face, literally!
Subconsciously, I must have been using this poem as a weapon to protect myself from my emotions because it depicts that Death has no control over us rather, it is just a miserable slave, an agent of fate, chance, sickness, and wars. Our souls are immortal, and death is not. So even after death, we still exist and live on so death has no reason to be proud because it can only make people sleep for some time and we shall wake up on the day of resurrection and live forever. It gives us hope just as in the bible: For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 1 Corinthians 15:21. Jesus’ death for if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. Jesus died and resurrected, death had no power over him and therefore it has no power over us. Thus, death’s jurisdiction comes to an end. In fact, death does not kill human beings; it is death which itself dies. The immortality of the soul ensures the survival of man.
It is not death that scares me though; it is the grief that overwhelms me. Death is just a trigger. For me to be able to come up with this analysis on my own shows me how much progress I am making in my self-discovery journey. I believe that knowing the problem is sometimes part of the solution.
So, what I derived from my epiphany, is that it is okay to not be okay. Life is full of ups and downs however; it is very important for us to get in sync with our negative emotions. If you need to grieve then it is what you should do at that moment, if you feel like crying then cry, if you feel like screaming then scream and if you feel angry then express your anger, if you feel sad acknowledge it instead of convincing yourself that you are ok when you are not.