If I have learned anything about the human existence, it is this; because ALL of us are fallible, ALL of us are expected to make mistakes. Here’s the thing; for me, my expectations have not always been aligned with my own behaviors. Simply put, I sometimes found myself looking for perfection in others while desperately trying to conceal my own flaws. If you have read through this blog, you already know that I am honest and open about my past. Unfortunately, or fortunately (true growth will not take place until the need for growth is both recognized and understood), I have also been open about my mistakes. I am not perfect, nor do I desire to be perfect. Perfection, in my opinion, would be a lonely experience. I couldn’t imagine sharing my space with someone who doesn’t understand me. I can’t imagine sharing my life with someone who can’t accept that I’m trying to move past my past. As I have written previously, pain based decisions are often quick solutions to pressing problems that often times have long term consequences. I was there for many years. There is no one to blame. There is no one to name. It was me and my own choices. As I have grown, I have experienced a level of clarity that dances with the majestic. I now understand that everyone is not going to like or accept me. In the past, because my own sense of self was greatly damaged, I sometimes found myself trying to convince others of my worth rather than trying to discover it for myself. I needed to feel connected. I never felt connected. It was only until I took a chance on being the real me that I began to connect. Oddly enough, as I have lived, I have grown to know that some of my closest friendships are based on common responses to similar experiences. For example, once upon a time, I struggled with life. I no longer saw the need for it, and more importantly, I didn’t see my place or purpose in it. While I sat in the cage of my mind, it appeared that everyone around me was flying both freely and beautifully. They seemed so happy. Honestly, I was more concerned with them recognizing my broken(ness) than I was with finding my own version of happy. I was very safe as long as I hid. As long as I hid, I was safe in knowing that no one really knew me. Here’s the problem; no one really knew me. Fake friends share fake experiences done in rapid succession in order to feel real. I never felt real. As of late, I have become the realest version of myself that I have ever allowed anyone to see. As a member of the human race, I believe that many of our social, political, professional, and economic divides can be mended if we are honest about who we really are. As people, all of us are simply trying to get by. We want to experience, feel, and share love. We want to be happy. We want to feel safe. We want to feel appreciated. We want to be valued. We want to be respected. Honestly, I believe that we are all members of the same tribe that happens to share small differences. It doesn’t matter what the color of our skin is, the amount of money in our bank accounts, the number of degrees that hang on our walls, the size of the homes that we live in, the type of cars that we drive, the version of love that makes us the most happy, or whatever version of beauty means the most to us, we are all members of the same tribe. The world will never change until we recognize that while our existence is important, it is not so important that we should condemn, ostracize, or belittle anyone. We must forgive, support, and grow as a society. We don’t need more walls. We need the will to deal with the discomfort of change in order to grow. I am an ordinary person who hopes to do extraordinary things using the gift of love, patience, and forgiveness. As I have been forgiven, I, too, have practiced forgiveness. I am me, and I’m okay with that. Patrick
This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love.