There is No Turning Back, Only Going Through

Today is my 35th birthday. I've been taking a good look at my life, how I got here and where I want to go. Last week, I shared about how I've been working on owning my faults. I'm very much a work in progress, but I believe with love, compassion and kindness leading me, I'll get exactly where I'm supposed to be in life. Which leads me to this week's thoughts...that once you start down a path of a full and meaningful life, you can't ever turn back. 

I am constantly fighting back thoughts/lies of not enough-ness. I am constantly not giving myself the grace I give to others. I lose my patience and hurt others, both with my actions and my words. I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be.

You see, once I started down this path of genuine connection/vulnerability/curiosity, it lead me to some startling truths about how I was living my life. I wasn't being honest, with others or myself, about what I wanted my life to look like or how I wanted to feel on a daily basis. I watched a lot of tv. Spent a lot of time with people who led pretty unremarkable lives (which is ok, if you want that sort of thing). I kept my dreams tucked safely inside, thinking if no one knew what they were, then I didn't have to pursue them and I couldn't fail. And the people I was spending time with never challenged me to do anything better with my time. I just felt off, bored and like something was missing. 

So I started asking...

  • How do I want to feel when I wake up in the morning?
  • If I died tomorrow, would I have any regrets?
  • If I knew I couldn't fail, what would I be doing with my life?
  • What lights me up?

When I started asking myself those types of questions, it led me to analyze the way I spent my time and I realized how off the answers were to how I actually lived. I needed to find a community of like minded souls, who would challenge me and push me and support me (hello What If!). The answers to those questions led me to start making more art, something I loved so much as a kid but stopped, because, well, life. I found myself in more fulfilling conversations, doing more fun + life giving things. I found I laughed more, danced more, kissed my wife more. Life felt FUN!

Then the doubt creeps in. You know those moments where you question why you're the special one who's life should feel good. Who am I to pursue my dreams? This life you've built is a sham. And there's always some moments of doubt. I'll never understand why we're wired that way. But in those moments, the dark ones, you'll randomly get reminders at just the right time to keep you going through. Maybe it's a book and a few notes, one being a coupon to come and help out when we feel like we're done. Maybe it's a couple of brightly colored rocks with some words of encouragement that were mailed to you all the way from Australia. Maybe it's a friend buying your green juice at your Tuesday morning get togethers. I don't know what those reminders will look like for you, but they're there, somewhere.

Papered Thoughts pen pal, happy rock art.

It's in those moments, you find the strength to keep going, because there's no turning back. You must keep pressing in. You must keep opening yourself up. You must keep showing up for life, day after day after day, because the risks you took to get to all the beauty and connection and joy and wonder has been worth all the heartaches and stumbles and failures. I know these things to be true. 

So I say to you, whatever you're going through, I believe in you. You are a remarkable soul. Just do your best with the knowledge you have and know that is enough. A good friend of mine once wrote, "This world is amazing & you'll forget that again & again your whole life. But if you remember more than you forget, you'll be fine." Remember how loved you are. Remember the good things that miraculously show up for you when you need them most. You've got this.

Josh Solar

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