Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.
Nobody told me that I couldn’t do something; nobody told me that I couldn’t succeed; I had convinced myself and lived in that self-imposed reality. I think a lot of people do this. They self-sabotage and create all sorts of reasons for not doing things under the misguided assumption that, at some point, they might feel better about themselves and that will finally allow them to take that risk. I don’t think that ever happens. You have to push through it and do it as if you have no other choice—because you don’t. You just don’t.
When I thought about why I was sometimes reluctant to push myself, I realized that it was because I was afraid of failure—but in order to have more success, I needed to be willing to accept more failure.
You don’t ever have to feel guilty about doing things that make you feel happy and empowered. It doesn’t matter how silly or seemingly insignificant it is. It doesn’t matter whether people disapprove or misunderstand. It doesn’t matter how good you are, and it doesn’t matter how much time it takes. If something soothes your soul and makes living more manageable and meaningful to you, it’s important and worth pursuing. You don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to do things that make you come alive.