While in Japan during February, C, X and I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. I don't think I can articulate in words how it felt to be there.
It was like slowly uncovering all these awful things underneath something that you already knew was awful - the awful just got ten times worse every time you moved another object.
It was like imagining the worst possible thing that could happen in my world, and then making that explode into something that felt even worse.
And it was like learning. Learning through tears and sadness. And then seeing the determination of the human spirit.
Like when there's a bush fire in Australia and we look out at the desolate land and we wonder if anything will ever grow again. And then...shoots. Little green sweet things that look like they couldn't survive a gentle wind, let alone grow a new forest. But there it is, that determination.
At the end of the museum, they had a pile of copies of the City of Hiroshima's Peace Declaration, and I took one. It is now stuck up on the wall behind my desk while I write, and every now and then I look at it.
And I realised that if we are to fight for peace on such big scales - between countries, between ourselves and nature - sometimes it is important to start small. Really small. And I realised that I continue to fight a battle with myself on a daily basis - with my own mind, with my own body.
So here is my Peace Declaration.
I no longer want to fight with my own body and blame it for the pain that I experience. I do not want to fight with my mind, to try and escape the discomfort of depression or anxiety. These are things that I feel, and while I may be working to heal myself, that does not mean killing off the things that I feel.
I no longer wish to push away the scared part of me because she is irritating and represents all that is weak - she is part of me. I accept her.
I no longer desire a battle to rage within my own body and to speak to myself in a way that I would never dream of repeating to another human being.
I solemnly swear from this point on to love myself, always try my hardest to do what is right for me, and to accept the parts of me that may have been unfairly deemed as 'wrong'.
Love to all who read.