This is difficult for me to return to writing.  I have never established a writing habit outside of journaling and so it has never felt natural to write this way. I know I have a lot of hidden treasures buried deep within me. I just never give myself a chance to unearth them and see what is possible. I am not a good writer. I don’t practice enough really develop the craft. But I have for too long, felt the need write, to see what there is for me to say. We all have a voice, and we all have a unique way of expressing and communicating to the world what we have to say. The special voice of every unique person fuels me to live authentically and encourage others to do the same. How amazing is each individual human on this planet?! Seriously! The concept is too much for me. I just know I’m here, in this time and this place, with these specific experiences and my own personality for a reason. You are too. You are amazing. I know this because you are You.

My journey has been a long and painful one, as is true for most people on this planet. Some pains are unthinkable and a crime against your soul. Some pains are simply from belonging to a broken world. Then some, we bring upon ourselves. Through it all we have something to share. We are all connected to this amazing web of the human experience where we have the greatest gift of all- Choice. Free will.

We have the choice to choose well. We can hurt someone or live passively or we can heal, love, and empower the friends along our path. For too long I lived passively. I let the actions, words, and ideas of others belittle and wound my own self worth. I began to believe the lie that I did not have a special place in this world and that great things were for other people, but not for me. I lost touch so much with my own inner voice that I forgot who I was altogether. Mixed in were depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. All because I believed a lie.

I’m here today to tell you I no longer choose the lie. Firstly, because I can identify it as exactly that- somebody at some point sent me the message that I was less, and I accepted it. I am now beginning to able to distinguish between all the mess of counterfeit whispers breezing past my ears and identify the word of truth.

Second, I do not choose the lie because it is the most tragic waste of the only life you have. I want you to know that. Believing anything but who you are created to be is just damaging and keeping you from your best life. Lies are distractions and believing them is simply not worth  your precious time!

Now that I’ve started to live intentionally and begin taking baby steps to choose better, I have a new hope and energy that burns from the inside. Now when external garbage comes flying my way, I have just enough courage to stand firm and let it fly on by. Negative thinking and harmful influences are not winning anymore. (At least not as much.) Because I CHOOSE.

You can too. It takes time and patience. Change is a process and its uncomfortable. But one decision at a time, one small victory after the last, you will experience the life that is inside you and is screaming to get out. Our journeys are all very different from each other and that makes them perfect and beautiful. Life is the  most amazing adventure, if you’ll truly live. It is scary. Sometimes paralyzingly so, but you can grow in the fear and be so much stronger than you ever knew possible. You already ARE so much stronger than you realize. And you’re not alone.

Stop comparing yourself and your experience with other people. You are never going to look like someone else. Comparison is just a self-defeating distraction that never does anybody any good. Start appreciating who you are. You are incredible! Even if you don’t realize it yet, you are overflowing with insane potential and a unique gift only you can offer this world! But please, just start small. Just choose better on one thing today. And then choose again tomorrow. That is exactly what I am doing by writing this blog post. Before I was so overwhelmed by what I wasn’t doing right, how I wasn’t good enough, that I let myself become paralyzed into never choosing anything. I am not doing that anymore. Today I choose something far better. I choose to honor who I am and move forward. I’m looking forward not behind. I know I will fall many times and have regrets along the way, but that is far better than never choosing at all. As I grow little by little, I hope I will remember this. And share the journey with people doing the same.