We all vibrate on certain gradients of energy. The world is spinning and here we are, buoyant with the currents of electric charge all varying in grades of frequency. Like attracts like and we are pulled to one another by this charged beauty, almost unexplained yet completely understood.
This is how I feel when I am reached by someone’s writing. They touch me in a way that’s goes beyond the surface and into much deeper crevices of my heart and soul. It’s not every day when this happens, but it is true that we attract into our lives what we put out.
I believe wholeheartedly that my intention in sharing people’s stories has sent this massive shock wave out into the world charging these captivating people with the challenge of sharing themselves with the world. I first came across Mitch Hankins from Instinctual Wellbeing.(@mightymorphinmitch) via Instagram and I was initially drawn to his contagious sense of humor and as I continued following him connected and resonated so much with his life journey. The way he shares his meaning is one of the most beautiful expressions I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. As I read his contribution, I cried. I sat with his words, absorbed their energy and thought, “How lucky am I, to be moved by something so honest it’s nearly tangible.”
I know you will feel the same, it’s truly an honor to share his words with you.
A Note From the Author:
This piece is about coming to terms with who you are, being happy with the person you see in the mirror, and seeing the beauty in your life no matter how chaotic it may seem at times.
So often (and rightfully so) we look to food and lifestyle to aid us in our healing, but in this, we miss another important piece of the puzzle, which is being able to look inwardly to cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself and your body, and accepting yourself and your story for what it is.
In being a transgender man who also deals with multiple autoimmune conditions, this has been something I have had to deal with first-hand, and in many ways it has been a far greater challenge than changing my diet or modifying my lifestyle ever was. However, although it has been challenging to embrace my own story, the light that it’s brought to my life has been far brighter and far more rewarding than anything I could have ever hoped for.
So this is a piece of that story. I hope that no matter what your circumstances are in life, that you can begin to dig deep and embrace your own story, and start to see your reflection as part of the whole, and as the wonderful mess that it is: beauty in the dissonance.
Beauty in the Dissonance
My writing chair sits empty, a cup of tea going cold at my desk.
I stand idly by, reflecting upon my life – its themes, its patterns, its lessons.
I see it, but I can’t quite put my finger on it: the thing I’m supposed to be telling you about.
The words fail me, just as I feel my body has failed me so many times before.
I think of those times that come to mind – being born in the wrong body, inflammation so bad I could hardly walk, brain fog so thick I forgot my own address.
Still, that doesn’t seem quite like what I should be telling you;
There’s something else – something more.
The sun sets, revealing the most brilliant sunset. Its vivid colors remind me of when I lived in Florida and we’d watch the sun set over the water each night, our reflections fading away.
I think back to the words you spoke to me – “Tell me who you are.”
I told you I’d tell you who I’m not, instead.
I told you how I’m not someone who gives up easily; how I’ve been tried and tested yet still I choose to stand.
I told you how I’m not someone who takes his body for granted, because I’m a self-made man.
I told you how I’m not perfectly perfect, but I’m also not perfectly not.
I told you how I’m not the person I once was, but I’m not yet the person I’ll become.
I told you I’m not a jogger, or a dancer, or a survivor,
And how I’m not my illness, my label, or my own victim.
I remember how you had stared back at me, and ironically I thought of how so many years ago I wrote in my notebook, “I hope I never meet myself, because if I met myself, I’d have to greet myself, and if that happened, I’m not sure I’d know what to say.”
But tonight, I saw your hazel eyes;
the blue, green, yellow and brown rings swirling together like an abstract painting.
I saw your face, plagued and matured by many struggles, yet clearly defined by deep lines of laughter and playfulness; a perfect juxtaposition of feelings and emotion.
I saw your body, carefully crafted by surgeries and hormones.
I saw your scars, symbols documenting who you once were.
I saw your lean muscles, kept slender by your limiting conditions.
But most of all I saw you – I saw a man for who he is and who he is not.
I saw the patterns and the roads that made up a life.
I saw the stories you’ve lived and the ones you’ve not yet told.
The room now glowed only faintly as the darkness bloomed across the sky.
You looked at me, and I looked at you,
and all at once it was like I finally knew what I was supposed to do:
To tell the man in the mirror that he is who he must be.
He must be scarred and battled and bruised;
He must be happy, sad and confused.
He must be ill and he must be in pain;
And he must be proud of the past from which he came.
For all those pieces make up the whole;
For all this damage only deepens the soul.
All of the parts and all of the plays;
All of the scripts and all of the names.
All of the “boo’s” and all of the “ah’s”;
All of the laughter and all the applause.
The role that we’re living, this play called Life;
It’s all about the lessons that come from the strife.
As I remembered, just what it all meant – I also remembered what I hadn’t said yet.
And as the last ray of sunshine beamed at the room,
I hopped in my writer’s chair and scribbled down what I couldn’t say a moment too soon:
“There is a certain amount of poetic beauty within everyone’s life story, but it is only in the acknowledgement of such, that you choose to let it live.”
So that is the message, the one I must tell;
That there’s always beauty in the dissonance, if on your own story you dwell.
And with that I closed my notebook and turned on the light;
Not afraid anymore of what I might find in the mirror that very night.
Maybe now I can tell you,
just who I am;
And maybe, just maybe,
You’ll see your own reflection,
and you’ll just understand.
Mitch is a courageous free-spirit, a culinary aficionado, a crafter of words, a lover of humor and music, and a self-proclaimed evangelist for the “real food” movement and holistic healing. He has followed the paleo diet for three years and AIP for 1.5 years, using them to manage his four autoimmune conditions. Mitch is also an advocate for deeper healing through self-love and acceptance, which he refers to as the “Other 20%” of healing. He lives in Kansas City with his girlfriend and two cats, where he works in advertising and tries to live “la vida loca” whenever possible. You can follow along with his antics on Instagram (@mightymorphinmitch), or on his blog, Instinctual Wellbeing.