Hesitant Healer

When I was in my late 40s, I was looking at pictures of my younger self and I was suddenly struck with a question.

Where did my smile go?

As I looked at pictures of myself up to age 8 or so, I was always smiling.  A seemingly very happy child.  Then as I looked at pictures of me when I was older I noticed that my smile was less and less evident.

Now, I do have to say that I haven’t always liked to be on the subject side of the camera.

One year when I was around 6 years old my mother took my brother and me to a theme park. It was one of those western style parks that is more about walking around and learning than it is about rides and entertainment.  My mother wanted my brother and I to sit and have our photo taken with this new (at the time) technology that would take our photo and make it into a dot matrix photo (we still have it to this day).  I wasn’t having it. Having my photo taken was not something I was interested in. I will say this in the interest of time; I ended up with a new wallet with $2 inside. Not sure why that was my number but it worked out for each of us.

But that lack of interest in having my photo taken was not what was going on.  There was not only a lack of a smile from me in these photos but also a presence of sadness. One that I couldn’t understand at the time. One that I  struggled to figure out all those years later. 

It wasn’t until a few years after that first acknowledgment that something was off that I was able to figure out what was going on at that time. I hesitate to say that something was wrong; only that would actually be the correct word for what had happened. Something was different in my life and that was reflected in those photos. It wasn’t obvious to me or anyone in my life at the time. At least not something that anyone, myself included, would or could verbalize.

I had given up…

Given up on being my true self. Given up on working on figuring out how to walk on the path that was my calling. I struggled for so many years trying to figure out why I felt the way I felt about life and others and why I seemed to be so connected to people and their feelings.

I had to try to work out why I saw things that others appeared not to see. Why I heard and felt things that if I ever mentioned them to others I was told that I had a great imagination. I never would hear a word of encouragement, hell, to most it was seen as something to be shied away from.

I would occasionally hear comments like “Oh, he takes after Grandma” or “Yep, he has the Apache blood in him.” But that was the extent of it and then it would be dropped. As a young child that was struggling to deal with these things (at a time in my life when you just want to try to fit in as much as possible), it wasn’t something that I was too keen on exploring on my own and taking the chance of being called “strange” or being a kind of outcast to my family.

I had enough concerns already with being of mixed race and having to try to fit in with either one of them. I was not dark-skinned enough to be thought of as my Hispanic side and I wasn’t “white” enough to really be accepted on the other side.

Mind you this was my interpretation of growing up in a small farming town in 1970s California. Both sides of my family were loving and accepting and I love them all for that. This I can say looking back over five decades.

For that young boy that was dealing was something beyond these matters altogether, this just added more to his insecurities.  I feared my gifts (not that I would look at them as such or call them anything near that for many decades) and was sure that something was wrong with me.

As I went through life and the struggles that most of us go through at that young age I had enough.

I was afraid that I was crazy.

There it is.

There is the word.


Maybe that is too strong of a word at this point in the story. What is more of a realistic statement is that I was afraid that I would go crazy. Based on the things that were showing up in my life already it wouldn’t take too much to push me over the edge.

When you are sensitive to others’ feelings, thoughts, and emotions and you feel them deeply, it can be very scary.

Based on these feelings and everything else that was going on in my young life at the time, that is when I decided to give up. Giving up on my Path and giving up on learning to be my true self.

And that was the point that my smile went away. 


Jason Jurado
Jason Jurado
Jason is the owner of One Path Coaching where he works with clients to support them in designing and living the life they desire. Jason has had two major passions for as long as he can remember; supporting others on their personal journey and writing. Jason's earliest story was written about a trip his family took to visit his grandmother in the hospital when he was in the third grade. He has continued to write travel stories, fiction, and poetry throughout his life. Since he has gone full-time with his business over the past year he has been writing articles about mental health, wellness, and spirituality and posting them on his social media accounts.  Jason discovered meditation at a very young age through his martial arts practice and has continued to study and practice mindfulness and meditation since then. After graduating High School Jason joined the U.S Marine Corps and spent five years traveling the world. During that time he was stationed in Japan and continued his education there. After getting out of the Marine Corps, Jason went into Retail leadership where he was also an area manager, and trainer and worked as part of the regional HR team. The experience he gained in these roles supports his work in teaching others about leadership and how to improve their communication skills. Jason’s formal training is in Neuro-Linguistics (NLP), Hypnosis, Time Line Therapy, and Recently Polyvagal Theory. This year, Jason has done several podcasts and video interviews about stress management and anxiety relief and also talked about how people can use NLP to live the life they desire. In October of 2022, Jason will be part of the NLP Master Summit.

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