"It starts with forgiving ourselves," I suddenly mutter aloud, wishing so hard I'd known that sooner.
But, wait, I'm skipping way, way ahead. Let me reverse slowly and tell you a story.
Because before anything, there was frustration. A skin-crawling, mind-bending, stomach-churning frustration that made me want to run into the lush woods behind my house and have a complete breakdown.
There was no outward reason to feel the way I felt. I had a fantastic day. But, you see, that's exactly why: my day was so unusually fulfilling and inspiring that it reminded me I'm capable of more. That I deserve more. That I need to demand more---from life and from myself.
Like a volcano erupting inside my chest, I began to feel sputtering emotions I usually shove under my heart's welcome mat like unsightly crumbs.
I handed myself a few hollow lies, saying how I'm doing great, saying how I'm totally fine, but they fell flat, landing on the dirty ground with a huge thud.
My soul---well she's beyond tired of that empty bullshit---so, she started screaming at roaring decibels I couldn't ignore.
I started to listen.
"You're not living the vibrant life you want!" she said. "You're playing small and safe, staying only where you're comfortable. You're getting by, but that's just it, aren't you fucking tired of just getting by?"
She was right. Every sentence, every syllable rung so uncomfortably true that it made me sob into the folds of my turquoise yoga mat.
We don't realize, sometimes, the kind of hefty toll it takes when we aren't honoring our soul's true intentions. It's like a soft, inconvenient throbbing we've learned to tune out.
Because it's not that we're entirely miserable---we're subtly unfulfilled, dulled down into shadows of what we could be.
We're seeing in muted greys, secretly pining for peacock-like colors and fireworks and glow in the dark neon beauty.
We're going through our days like happy, spaced out zombies, while our spirits lie dormant and dying, seething under the surface with untapped potential.
And you know what?
At a certain point, this will make us fucking angry.
Angry at ourselves. Angry at life. Angry for all the times we didn't stand up and honor our needs.
Good! Because this bittersweet anger---it's our cure.
But, it can also be a dangerous spot to get stuck. We can wade around in hot pools of rage, indulging our indignation without truly moving forward.
I've been paralyzed there for a while now, burning myself on cruel sparks of self-criticism and hot coals of blame.
But, today, I stop for a second, hoping to see something I've never seen before.
But, really, I hear something I've never heard before.
My soul perks up and yells softly, "Please, stop taking your anger out on yourself. Let it inspire you and flow into you. Let it become part of you. Roar with it! But, please, please, please, be so gentle with yourself, my love."
My mind fails to comprehend this at all, but my heart understands fully. She takes the blazing flames of my rage and transforms them into fiercely passionate self-compassion.
My body vibrates with electromagnetic intensity and I know it's time. It's time to stop getting by and start living like I mean it.
"How?" my mind asks desperately.
Fuck knowing how, just for a moment.
Because I see that it starts with wide open hearts; with forgiving ourselves.
It starts with soft caresses and getting to know every crevice of our glittering magnificence.
It starts with seeing that pushing our bodies and souls into overworked exhaustion isn't the answer; it's the problem.
It starts with taking care of our needs so obscenely tenderly and generously that we become healthy and vibrant and fucking unstoppable.
Because once we recognize our gem-like worth, we can lock lips with what we truly long for.
We can live for ourselves.
We can become ourselves.
We can rise up out of hiding and claim the sparkling, gorgeous lives that are rightfully ours.
We can smile for real, with every fiber of our raw, shaky beings.
It's time, isn't it?
Let's put our hair down
Exhale to the breeze
And let our souls
Take the wheel.
It's time to stop getting by
And start living like we