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“You don’t have to walk a mile in shoes that hurt you.”
Emphasis is placed on how valiantly you fought, how much you made it through, how much you overcame. But you know what? It’s just as brave to acknowledge that this is destroying you in a way that will be difficult to recover from, that this path you are walking isn’t for you, that you just don’t want to because it doesn’t feel right.
Take off those shoes.
No! Keep them on, people will say. Don’t quit! Don’t give up! You can believe them and keep those shoes on and endure the pain, because although it hurts, it’s comforting. You know about this pain, many have gone before you. You know what to expect. You have their support and encouragement. It is part of the process they will say when you’re discontented and hopeless. They are correct, there are good things along the way. You will smile and laugh. You might even fall in love. You might even convince yourself that you’re in love with your life. But you are not. You’ve just stifled your spirit so that you can no longer hear it’s cries.
They will tell you to be rational, to think it through carefully. Emotions are fickle and should not be relied on. And there is validity in that, but when you spend enough time with yourself, you learn to trust your feelings. It takes grit and resilience because you will be fighting against everything you’ve ever known. You have to forget your beliefs. But you won’t. It’s difficult to do that so just keep wearing these shoes. Their words seem to have some sense. Forget what your heart is trying to tell you. It’s easy to disregard something that requires faith, trust and hard work when you compare it to a much easier and road. Why go there when you can stay right here? Look how good this is! You worked so hard to get here, this is your reward. Don’t squander it. It makes sense, it’s linear and logical, so you listen.
And then your soul is bewildered because it is so easily discarded.
If you choose not to believe what they say and what your mind says, you will be free. Not from all mishaps in the world, just that one. For along this new trajectory, lies its own risk and it’s worse because you don’t know what you will encounter. This path is uniquely yours without a blueprint for guidance. You’re stumbling in the dark, stepping on stones and thorns. You might lose a foot. It hurts, it’s scary and everyone and their mother is against you. No one encourages you here. Even your mind will hit you with the inevitable I told you so. But you are free. You’re free in a way most people aren’t and therefore they can’t understand.
The choice belongs to you and only you. You can make that decision at any time of your choosing. You can choose the open hand where you know exactly what you’re getting if the quivering of your soul is not a great sacrifice. Or you can choose the other, which is shut tight, the one with a bad reputation. The one everyone else is too scared to choose. Because if they choose to, if you choose to, you’ll have to acknowledge everything that you are and everything that you could be.
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