You Have Choices

@photo by Chris Riley

by Jenn Marr

It is hard not to be consumed by blemishes when we are taught to strive for perfection and nothing else. Again, it is difficult to not place your focus on feelings of being insubstantial and flimsy, and that everything around you is collapsing, when all you want is to simply feel good enough.
    All the time you hear and see people preaching their plastic positivity on how they have it under control and you can too! They say all you have to do is follow this very simple plan that everyone else does and get inside the box and everything will be okay.
    How do you come to terms with the fact that, maybe, not all of us can fit inside of one box?
    Perhaps, one size does not fit all? It seems incredibly unrealistic that in this vast world we are to be contained in one way and on one path. Yet this is often what we are told.
    Apparently happiness is attained by reaching landmarks and not actually by feeling and following your heart. Isn’t that confusing? All these beautiful humans born into happiness and worth right from the get-go, but then we are forced to come away from that into places of uncertainty and insecurity just to fit into the masses. No one is taught what happiness is, let alone how to maintain it. Instead you are presented with endless examples of how to let go of feelings and sight, and told to just put one foot in front on the other to simply make it through the day.
    It is time to learn to differentiate the different types of discomfort and pain. Just like you, these feelings do not deserve to be stuffed inside a box where they cannot be noticed or felt. Despite what you have been lead to believe, those parts of you are worthy of being recognized and heard.
    Remember growing pains when you were a kid? Your body was then shifting from the inside and allowing your outer physical body to change. Yes, it was uncomfortable but you trusted this discomfort because you knew and understood that this growth was necessary to move forward into the next version of yourself.
    Emotional discomfort? You are taught to bottle it and save it for later; hell maybe even never if you choose. You are told to just push it down deeper and deeper into a place where you can no longer hear the cries and tantrums of your past self-trying to escape.
    How’s that working for you?
    Are you tired yet? Exhausted from holding onto everything that you think you are pushing away, you are actuality pushing down and creating an anchor of emotional weight that gravitates somewhere deep and dark wherever you go. You don’t even realize that is happening because you blend in seamlessly with the crowd surrounding you.
    What they don’t tell you is that you’re going to drown soon if you don’t start to letting go.
    You have choices.
    You can choose the discomfort of feeling and dealing to lessen the load so you can make your way back up to the surface of light and understanding, or you can hold tight to everything you know and gasp for air until there’s nothing left.
    Let go or be dragged.
©2018 Jenn Marr

Jenn Marr is an instructor at Studio 26 Hot Yoga in Winnipeg.

Chris Riley is a photographer and filmmaker from Detroit currently in the midst of creating a documentary web series about her city’s neighbourhood rebirth. You can find more of her work at

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