A Lesson on Life and Honesty

There is no reading more empowering, more inspiring and more thrilling than this one. Reading this piece feels like opening new doors and offers us to see life through a different, mind-opening and positive kind of light.

Jamie Tworkowski’s ‘If You Feel Too Much’ can be thought of as a life changing book. Every single human being on this planet needs to read it once in their life, at least. This piece of work is a tremendous reminder of the beauty of life. More than astonishment, I am feeling much gratitude towards the author for spreading such a beautiful message.



From the very beginning of the book, the idea of honesty was enticingly brought up. Surprisingly enough, I was marveled with the idea of observing the so-called truth of our feelings asseverated to others from this perspective.

We often perceive lies as mere products of bad intentions. We tend to understand them as grounds for fakery, which for that matter is all the way recognized to be negative. Nevertheless, let’s consider the boy in junior high who’s been pretending he was coming from a renown family. Or shall we take the example of the college student who’s been lying about travelling around the world whereas they’ve been working on a full-time job to pay off their student loans in order to attend university. When the truth comes disclosed, it is more likely that their comrades will be resentful towards them for not showing their true face. Yet, some questions might never be echoed. ’Why have they acted this way?’ would remain unspoken. Indeed, it may be easier to judge with a severe point of view rather than trying to understand the underlying meaning of such lies. But didn’t those people just wanted to give a good impression? Didn’t they feel like they weren’t enough so they had to depict a seemingly prettier overview in order to be accepted?

Most-likely the result of good will and low self-esteem intermingled, the acknowledgment of these factors remains rare in such scenarios. Whether they be positive or negative, lies can be discussed up to a certain point. Nonetheless, it is utterly important to note that as told regarding feelings they tend follow from good intentions. The sad and lonely person who keeps asserting to be happy is certainly lying, whether it be a result of fear of judgement or a plain wish not to annoy their friends. In this case, it is arguable that the lie can be justified, however honesty is still needed. And this is what honesty is also about.

It’s not just about avowing to whom we love of the great love we have for them. It is about being true to our own self. It’s admitting our true feelings without covering them with bigger and brighter shades. It’s reckoning whether we feel cold or warm. It’s confiding when we feel the need to. It’s raising our hand when need be.

After all, the sad person simply needs an enlightening presence of some sort and comforting words. ‘If You Feel Too Much’ is a lesson for the one who fails at reaching out.

Of course, it might take more or less courage but being human and belonging to a community requires honesty. This voiced idea strongly caught my attention as we tend to narrow the extent of the word’s meaning although we should not forget it. Indeed, freedom comes with honesty — being and feeling free of being oneself.





The even greater notion of life as a story struck me. It would refer to various elements such as an opening, several characters, loathed chapters, adored others and an ending. All of this is surrounded by fears, obstacles, hopes and love. It is a journey where ‘only you can play the part’, asserts the writer. The elephant in the room is allowed to exist. This is the reason why the journey has to be lived. There are struggles to deal with. These fights will engender strength and will forge characters. Those battles are meaningful. These humane feelings are experienced by thousands of people. And for the shadiest days and darkest nights, Tworkowski’s words are there to remind us that we are not alone. It is yet to be agreed that there are things to fear. Nevertheless, community was meant for it ; in order to accept them and make them vanish.

The journey must be lived with surroundings which must be taken into account. Raising hands. Asking questions. Aspiring to better. Tying up deep links with people. Not being alone in order to heal and grow stronger. Reaching out thanks to acceptance. The elephant has to be accepted. It has to be told about. It will change the matter in fine. There will be questions and solutions. The voiceless whispers will turn into confidences. And time after time, the suffering will eventually come to an end. Billions of stories have yet to be written. Each and every one of them is ‘unique’. Each ought to be lingeringly created with love and passion as Jamie Tworkowski’s is*.

You are more than your pain. You are more than wounds, more than drugs, more than death and silence.’ This sentence keeps calling to my mind. These words are powerful. They have left me with plenty to reflect upon. When it does feel too much, a voice inside of my head will be there to whisper them.


If You Feel Too Much’ is a lesson on being oneself — honest, always. It is a lesson on being human, loved and cared for.

Jamie Tworkowski’s words always echo so many deep truths. And the humbleness of the speaker is intensely sensed. An exceeding amount of bright thoughts arise from them. Magnificently inspiring and unforgettable, it reminds us that love is, above success and achievements, the ultimate purpose to a life fulfilled with beauty and wonder.

[ *Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of the American non-profit organization To Write Love On Her Arms, launched in 2006. ]


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