You are not broken, my friend, but you are stuck. You cannot move forward until you let go of the past. You cannot be the person you want to be until you let go of the person you are.
The beauty of this thing we call life, is that each day gives us the chance to begin anew. Caterpillars are not the only creatures capable of transformation. Humans have that capacity to change, to become stronger, to reach the goals we set for ourselves, to become who we want to be.
Change is not always easy. Letting go is not always easy. Hiding from the world and hiding from ourselves is easy. We mask our pain with alcohol, drugs and isolation. We tell ourselves that no one will understand the pain we feel. That pain is a signal that change is needed.
How do we begin the process to transform from who we are to who we want to be? We take ownership of the past, of the choices we made, of the things that happened to us that were beyond our control. We forgive ourselves for bad choices, for guilt over the things that happened that were beyond our control. We forgive those who harmed us or let us down. Even if they are no longer with us. Forgiveness allows us to move forward.
Words are the narrative of our lives. We can change our lives by changing our words. It sounds simplistic and it is. But part of change is to reframe our thoughts from who we were to who we want to be. Instead of saying “I’m just an alcoholic,” say “I’m an alcoholic who has the strength to stay sober today.” Take it one day at a time.
Find inspiration in books, music and movies. Write your thoughts down. Write short stories, poetry, your memoir. Just write. Be creative. We all have the capacity for creativity whether it is writing, or music, or art, or some other outlet. Nurture that creativity.
Keep asking questions. Keep exploring intellectually. If we aren’t always learning, we aren’t growing. Our lives should be filled with learning. There is always something new to discover and learn. We can’t be on a journey of discovery unless we open our minds to the possibility of what if and why not. We sometimes need to drop our preconceived notions about what was or what is to see what can be.
Just don’t give up on yourself. Don’t devalue yourself. You are strong, smart, compassionate. You see through the bullshit and hypocrisy that many people clothe themselves in, but that doesn’t mean you are not empathetic. It means you don’t suffer fools and have little patience for people who are not leading authentic lives.
It is difficult to see you in pain. I wish I could be more inspiring, but my words don’t always come out right. I’m always here to listen if you need to talk. I hope you find your way.
I love you and care about you. Take care, my friend. The world would not be the same place without you in it.
Each of us has a demon or two we struggle with or we know someone whose struggles make ours seem inconsequential. As much as we would like to be able to change others, change only comes from within. This was written for a dear friend. He has yet to find a way to slay his demons.