Cannot find what is already present

Jess Russell
June 2017

Editor's Note: To aid the author in the writing process, this article was written in the form of a letter to the child she bore. We intend all to find truth despite the focused perspective.

My dear child,

As of now you simply exist. You put no value in worldly expecta-tions. You give no thought in tradition, or cultural custom. The only consistent habit you yield to is instinct, a force within every soul. A force we are taught to shamelessly ignore, disregard, and set aside. Instinct is not tainted with evil tendencies, but blanketed with unmistakable traces of light, love, and humanity—all God given gifts, inevitably here for our use. All this to say, your identity has been established. My love, you needn’t try to be different, because you, a child of the highest, already are. Your soul, a masterpiece from the heavens. Your body, a vessel crafted out of interstellar material. The marriage of that soul and that body, a gift from our Maker. And I, your earthly keeper, treasure you, not for your accom-plishments nor your abilities, but your very existence. Dear friend, in this life, you may be told that you must “find yourself”. You need not find what is already present. 

In that knowledge, I wish for you to know that I have found much disappointment and confusion as I, in my youth looked to the world in my pursuit for self expression, rather than looking inside my own soul. The world will have you believe that you must prove your uni-queness. This belief is merely conformity in disguise. Conformity hides in the most unlikely of places. In the world’s need for self expression, they create man-made labels so that all feel a sense of belonging. Meanwhile, they urge all to stop labeling one another, as it is dehumanizing and often inaccurate. They assign dark motives to all that disagree with pop culture’s preferences. Yet spread the word to love and accept everyone. Media screams “Be yourself!” just as they persuade you to make a change in order to stay on trend. In your youth you will consistently be told “Dream big”, “You can do anything you put your mind to”, “If you can dream it, you can do it”, only to later find that they lied. They did not say that your worth would be determined by a certificate of educational confor-mity, that you must “pay your dues” in order to someday do what brings you joy, that you must be overworked and underpaid, all because, that is what your superiors had to do. And when you find error in this miserable system, you will be accused of laziness. Yes, our culture is full of contradictions. No, not many wish to change this. It brings a heaviness to my heart as I see these wonderfully capable, unique, wise, kind souls put so much hope in these, our man-made cultures. True identity was established an eternity ago among the stars, before our world came to be. 

Now, I speak to all who read: We as a human race are remarkable. Our spirits filled with differentiating qualities, and our bodies, more unique than even we can know, give us, collectively, the enabling gift and opportunity of unity. You, my dear friends are not different because of the clothes you wear, the car you drive, the aesthetics you prefer, the music you listen to, the photos you take, the art you create, the topics you study. You are not defined by the labels you take on; hipster, transgender, feminist, gangster, nerd, world-travel-ler, humanitarian, fashionista, environmentalist, homosexual, rep-ublican, intellectual, heterosexual, introvert, skater etc. You are you because you are you. And that is that.