My whole life I have pushed and fought for wholeness and joy. For freedom. A sense that I am enough. Acceptable. Loveable as is. The belief that even if I am a little broken and fragile that I can still do this thing called life.

But there were many times in my past that if someone had offered me a little blue pill to help me escape, I may just have taken them up on the offer. I am no ashamed of that for its where I found my strength and motivation. I hated it at the time for my family’s sake and because it felt so weak, shameful and scary to admit. But I don’t think I am alone. So I share this FOR THE SAKE OF ALL – my family, my friends and anyone else reading who looks around and thinks everyone else but them seems to have mastered this whole joyful living business.

And there is hope – I have slowly learned that I have the ability to face scary emotions and fear head-on without falling deep and permanently into that abyss. I have learned to love myself – all of me, not just the glossier bits that are ‘holy and sanctified’. I have learned to offer myself kindness and respect and have developed practices that help keep me steady and sane. I am learning that one of the ways I heal and fight for wellness for myself and others is through the power of words. Talking and writing about things more comfortably swept under the rug.

You do not have to be prettier, smarter, or less emotional, stronger, take up less space, or be less of a hot-mess than you currently are to deserve love. To deserve life. To be treated with kindness. We all need to treat ourself with kindness. We each need fewer pat answers and more compassion. Everyone deserves safe space to ask hard questions and wrestle with things and admit that we doubt and fear, and that sometimes we all want to run away from it all. That is exactly where the learning begins. And I am learning to trust others more. To not judge them too quickly. To forgive and understand that we are all doing our best – that I may fail others at times; that I don’t always know the right thing to say or that I still don’t have the patience of a zen master.

What I do have is the courage to peel off the layers of self-protection, painful strip by painful strip, and let the chips fall where they may. Above all, I have the ability and understanding to keep moving forward on my journey to freedom, taking as many with me as I possibly can but also realizing that everyone must choose for themselves. Letting go of everything that shackles us is truly a unique and personal tasks that requires us to not fear our doubt but EMBRACE it for the tipping point it naturally bring to the attentive and understanding nature we all posses. Finally understanding that every one of my cracks and jagged edges allows light to spill out and over. To water another parched or barren human being.

So cheers to picking yourself up and continuing along the rugged journey to joy, hungry to finally, understand and arrive at the land of freedom.

Peace and Love, Jim

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