Journey Well!

I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery, a deep, personal, spiritual journey, for, well, many, many years, but on a different level–for over seven years now. Here are some conclusions I’ve drawn:

Nobody will every be their best until they take the time to do the work; unpack their baggage, face their demons. You can coast along, same stuff different day, until the day you die, but growth takes courage, time and the willingness to change.

People, by and large, believe that anything with the word “self” in it, means you’re being selfish. Self-discovery, self-esteem, self-confidence; but the exact opposite is true. All of these things are essential to be who you were meant to be, so that you can ultimately be a positive influence on those around you and accomplish all the things you’re called to do. Do the work. There are no short-cuts.  People may call you selfish, but one of these life lessons, is knowing who and what to listen to; don’t fall for it. People say a lot of things. That’s their limited perspective, not your reality.

I do believe there can come a time when it’s time to put away the self-analyzing behavior. You can get stuck in there, so be careful not to. Unpack your bags, figure yourself out, love yourself, then, after all is put away in its proper place, turn and face the world again, with newfound strength and abilities. There does come a time when you’re healed enough to be outward-focused without doing damage to those around you.

You never truly “arrive” because life is, after all, a continuing journey. There is no final destination; face each morning as it comes, prepared to conquer one day.

Journey well, my friends!

Me, then and now

Who’s this? Well, yeah… That’s a waaaaay younger version of me. I’ve found myself studying this photo and trying to get back there, to feel what I felt, remember who that girl was. I was so many things.

I was so very afraid of criticism and my peers not accepting me, I was a wall-flower. My family didn’t have a lot of money, especially in those earliest years, so we never had the coolest clothes, we weren’t the popular kids. My older brothers tried to look out for me a bit, but I very much felt alone a lot. On my own.

I won’t go into all of my issues at that time of my life, but suffice to say I had no idea who or what I was.  I never self-reflected really, just became sad, confused, angry, and I stuffed it all in. This girl watched a lot of friends come and go, chasing after things she often didn’t understand.

I want to talk about the good, though. She was so, so kind-hearted and empathetic. She loved easily and without question. She was hurt easily, but only because she wore her heart on her sleeve. Even then, she craved the connection I often speak of now, in my writing, She just wanted love and acceptance. She was a good girl.

Now, when I see this girl, I want so much to go back and meet her, give her a big hug and tell her everything would turn out okay. I get tears in my eyes thinking about it.

I would tell her:

You are good. You are worthy. You are beautiful. If others do not know how to see you, how to value you, that’s on them. You are stronger and smarter than anyone has ever told you. You can do great things, big things. You can change the world. You can make an impact. Chase your dreams, follow your heart, seek God but don’t let others think for you; not ever. Chase truth. Be YOU, the you that you were absolutely created to be.

And, girlfriend, don’t take 30 or 40 years to do it. Figure it out sooner!

I love you.