I would tell you that even in the nakedness of your body, despite its “imperfections”, despite what you think you look like; regardless of your flaws of character, the most undesirable aspects of who you are, and most importantly, even when you constantly silence, shut down and shame the darkest parts of who you think you are – you are still, and always, worthy of love.
So when you find yourself in the echo of a miserable loneliness even among great crowds of people; when you attempt to convince yourself that you are undeserving because of some mistake or bad choice or poor decision; when you have tirelessly searched and came up empty-handed; when you have been the very worst person you think you could ever possibly be; when you have put your last drop of blood into someone else; when you stand in the ashes from the wreckage of your self-destruction; when you look in the mirror and are uncertain about who you are and what you believe - even then, especially then, I dare you to hold onto the fact that you are still fucking beautiful and worthy of love.
When traveling in an unfamiliar territory, it's always best to have someone with you who speaks the lingo, knows the lay of the land, and speeds your journey along. You are more ready than you think. I can help.
I've learned that a soul doesn't mature with the years, but the soul sometimes learns through horrific life experiences.
Molested from age 6-10. Heavily bullied from age 6-17. Lost a baby sister at age 9. Lost a grandmother to a religious cult at age 10. Heard my mom’s endless weeps in the day and night due to depression and grief. Discovered my dad was a closeted gay man at age 11, same year my parents went through a war-like divorce, putting me through my first mid-life identity crisis. Almost watched my uncle die in my arms at age 12. Self-harming and suicidal at age 13. Diagnosed as a diabetic at age 14. Suicide attempt at age 15, followed by being held at gunpoint by a drunk man months later. Binge-eating disorder and food addiction began at age 16. Raped twice and robbed when I was 18. And this ain’t even all of it.
Yep, I know pain. She used to be a bitch. But now she's my teacher.
I know life isn't always a celebration. It's often complicated, confusing, sometimes traumatic. I grew up around a lot of dysfunction, stress, disconnection, abuse and tragedy. I used to live with too much of a burden from the shame around my health and who I generally was as a person. I hid my pain, I hid my truths and I lost a great deal of myself because of it. But not anymore.
We all have our stories. We all have personal pain and suffering. I've come to understand that the only way to have an opportunity at healing our deep, core wounds is to be present with them and be honest about them. We have to be brave enough to face them and ultimately love them as they are a part of us. Although we don't have as much control and power over everything in our lives - one paradox still remains true: we are much more powerful than we ever realize. And it's fully within our power to be courageous and engaging enough to face all that holds us back and keeps us in so much agony. It changes everything.
For me, recognizing we've never been separated from Love gives us the spine we need to hold us through the healing. Love is the foundation for everything good and bad - compassion, understanding, presence, forgiveness, authenticity, kindness, desire, envy, jealousy, hate, anger, sadness. It is Love, for all things, that serves us and the world around us. Love is our power. It is who we are.
What also helps you get through dark times? Knowing that every burden bears a gift. Every challenge breeds more strength. Every setback hides a blessing. Every objection brings us clarity.
I have been fortunate enough to publish a book, 50 Ways of Self-Love, and be a part of a beautiful, supportive social media community. We all commit our lives to intuit the unknowns about life and see all people and situations (and most importantly see themselves) through the merciful lens of forgiveness.
I'm fortunate to be doing what I want to be doing with my life - spreading as much radical love as possible in the most flavorful ways.
I hope you'll join me.
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