it’s important to prune the tree so that new flowers can continue to blossom.
Here’s to New Seasons and Fresh Beginnings.
I recently realized a paralyzing truth about the life I've been living, and allowing others in my care to live along with me. I realized that I had been going through the motions just to keep everyone alive.To create a life where everyone could.... exist well. But merely existing should never be the goal. What about thriving? What about soaring? I can't do either if I don’t make a conscious decision to be present in every single moment. To do everything in my life with authenticity, integrity, purpose, and honor. To give my undivided attention to the things that matter. To get rid of the people, practices, and ideas that have held me in a small place. Fear and insecurity have kept me from experiencing a whole world that was created just for me.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has a reason to hurt. Those reasons are not invalid, but they also don't take away from the whole. If we are smart, we can look past these reasons and reach toward honor. If we aren't, we can use them as a crutch. I started one of my previous essays listing all the titles that I use to identify myself. Those titles are honorable and make me proud. I didn't include the titles that are not honorable, and that I am not proud of. But does a behavior cease to exist simply because you don't acknowledge it? Do bills cease to exist, simply because I don't answer when the collector calls? Do the car problems cease to exist simply because I turn the music up to keep from hearing the squealing brakes? It's a life pattern. I've made a lifestyle out of doing those exact things. "If you tuck it away, it doesn't exist... right?" Quite the contrary, I'm afraid.
I can't profess to be an advocate for authentic storytelling in one's own unique voice if I'm afraid to acknowledge the scars of my own past. It's not always good, noble, wise. Sometimes it's ugly, drunken, and reckless. That's the way the story goes. I recognize this character's most tragic flaws in every novel I've read and movie I've watched. But the beautiful difference in this story is that I am the author. Every day when I wake up, I have an opportunity to shape where the story goes next. I can learn from all of my yesterdays. Look at them boldly, claim them, and use them as tools to shape my present reality as well as the legacy I leave in the future. My only responsibility is to trust the Creator. That Light will guide my pen effortlessly over each and every page, transcribing my most perfect and beautiful rendition of The Story of Life and Love. The story as old as Time, that has been told over and over again, although you'll never hear it the same twice.
There have been many casualties on this road... The pain that has been sewn is deep and irreversible. I have to acknowledge that part, just as I acknowledge the parts that have made me strong and resilient.
I'm grateful for my friends who give me balance and remind me to have grace and forgiveness for that same past. Who hold up my mirror so that I can always remember exactly who I am. TRUE riders... Thank you!
I am grateful for my family, who gently rocks me and reminds me that I was born into greatness and that I already embody all that I need to succeed. Thank you!
I am grateful to God who continues to guide, teach, and LOVE me without condition; who, at every turn, reminds me that there is beauty and possibility that's been buried deep inside of me from the start. Beauty and possibility that were set aside specifically for my story. Thank you!
It is my responsibility to choose to walk steadily between these realities every day.... the lessons of the past, the stability of the present, and the possibilities of the future. Always remembering the balance of things, sober minded and aware. It is my responsibility to live by the code that I have set in place for myself. Always holding myself accountable to be the best ME I can possibly be. It is my responsibility to love myself first. Always giving freely to myself the love and acceptance I have so manically sought out from others throughout my past.
How can I expect to have the greatest impact on the ones I love, and still be too consumed with self pity to be vulnerable, honest, and real? How can I be the greatest value to my community, my students, my children, my coworkers, my friends, my family, my most valued relationships if I can't let go and Do It Afraid. I assume this will get easier. But a start is accountability and transparency.
Get your "Do It Afraid" Shirt here 👉🏽 Meagan McNeal
I built a life on an unsteady foundation. I tucked all of that away and prayed that it would pass if I closed my eyes for long enough. I've been blessed to enter into this season with the opportunity to rebuild, one brick at a time. And while the house that I'm building now must look much different than the original model, it will be strong. It will be Home to myself and all those under my protection.
I promise to be my best and to always Dance as if no one is watching.