Memories From the Balcony – Go Time!

I mentioned something to you yesterday about the early sunrise. This is because spring is on the way, which is about to happen soon. That’s fine because I like an early sunrise. I like the idea of an empty road, no one else is up yet and no one else is around. There’s only me and my reflections before the day begins.
I love it this way. The sky is emerging into a new form of light. The horizon is about to show color and the darkness is fading in stages because the sun is making its way to center stage.
I like the idea of being outside, standing on a doorstep, and ahead of me is nothing more than the new sky and an otherwise empty street.
I think about this with a hopeful aspiration.
I think about the walks we could take.

The wind is still cool but not too cold.
In fact, the breeze is nice when it splashes across your face.
I think the word I’m looking for is refreshing.
That’s what this is – refreshing.
Or maybe replenishing is a good word too.
Or rejuvenating. I like this word as well – to refresh, to revive, relinquish all of our doubts and to rekindle the spark that we need to keep our hopes alive.

Maybe this is why I love the early sunrise.
I love an early morning walk or moments like this to inspire me and encourage the get-up-and-go conversations in my mind. 
That’s why I’m here.

I have been thinking a lot about my fears, which is not to say that some of my fears are not valid. They are. This is not to say that everything I’m afraid of is irrational. No, life is a scary place.
So be advised: Bravery is not the lack of fear but the gumption to still move forward in spite of them.

I have been thinking about this quote from Karen Lamb which goes, “A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.”
I think this is brilliant. (Thank you Karen.)
I think about this idea in relation to the countless times we’ve let things pass. I think about the times when I gave up on something or I quit because of my bouts with hopelessness.
I think about the truth within me and then a year passes.
Time goes by and I run into someone who stayed the course.
I look at them and their perceived levels of success or happiness and then I say to myself, “That could have been me.”

Do you know what that feels like?

I admit it.
I am not a fan of school or classroom settings. I have fears that date back to early humiliations. I have irrational connections to old anxieties especially when it comes to studying, test-taking or retaining information.
I have inaccurate judgments of myself and my abilities to learn or pass a class.
Do you want to laugh?
I’ve never written a college paper in my life?
I’ve never written a high school paper either.
Do you know what else?
This intimidates me.

I think of the endeavors that I began which either lost their priority or I lost my motivation because of the narrative in my head.
This could be about my ideas of being a counselor or a clinician. This could be about my ideas of having my own practice or the thoughts of being a lead someplace as a director or a leader in a mental healthcare facility.
This has always been something that I’ve wanted for myself.
Put me in there, please.
Let me see what I can do.
Let me defy myself and the old narrative that used to call me “stupid.”

Do you know what happened to these dreams?
Well, in fairness, the dreams are still there.
I allowed them to be put on hold and, therefore, their priority dwindled away, almost into nothingness or more like a side-line fascination with hopes that “one day,” I would make my move. 

Part of what I want to do is inspire and partly to make people think, partly to help, and partly to advise; partly to encourage and empower, and I want to help people deconstruct the old narrative.
I want to help people come to a level of their own understanding. I want to help people be free from their personal blockages. As they rewind themselves and realize their truths, I want to open their eyes to see who they really are. I want to witness their second coming.
I want people to know that dreams can and do come true.
And fear . . .
Fear is part of life.
We know this,

I used to be afraid of everything.
And maybe I still am.
Maybe I have succumbed to my fear for so long that it’s hard to see myself in any other way.

Or, maybe the reason I want to help people unwind their clock so badly is because I don’t want people to see what I am about to tell you. By now, none of this is probably a secret. To me, revealing one’s self is not only freeing, but opening up like this is the same as opening a passage by which even the most stuck can find an escape. 

I’m scared.
I’m a little boy.
I’ve been kicked before.
I’ve been beaten and intimidated.
But more, I’ve been locked up and kept away to protect myself

That’s what this is. That’s what this journal is about
and the same goes with all of my journals. This is my passageway.
This is the light, the truth and the way – so behold, this here is my tiny piece of redemption brought to you at the sunrise of my new existence.
This is my connection to you and the outside world which extends beyond the boundaries and the limitations in my mind. 

I am a real person. I am a real boy, man, grownup, adult, or in whichever way I choose to define myself; I am this – Me.

First and foremost, I am a look back and a look ahead.
Like you or anyone else in this world, I have the opportunity to either become the sum of my fears or the sum of my hopes. 

I have the right to pick myself up and dust myself off.
I have the right to learn and to re-educate myself.
Currently, I am seeking the freedom to unlock the cellar doors which is where I’ve kept my dreams for a very long time.

But, they’re out now.
So, I am patient with them. I have to be because they are afraid too and slow to come out.
I am patient because they have been locked-up for a long time and although I’ve allowed them some occasional light – I know that the brightness of truth can sometimes be too blinding.
I know that coming out into the light and emerging from the darkness can be intimidating. 

Think about it.
Think about what happens to your eyes when you’re in the dark and then, all of a sudden, someone turns the lights on.
Think about the reaction from your eyes.

Now, magnify that by years.
Think about the systems of your mind and the hopes which have been buried for way too long.
Now, add light.
In fact, add the brightest of light; add beauty which is even brighter than the sun.
Add the sensation of hope. Include the energy and the adrenaline that you once had when you believed in things like hope or dreams. Add the brilliance of the fact that hopes and dreams can come true. 
(If you work with them.)

To be clear, I have built places in my mind.
I have built schools and wellness centers. I have built recovery houses and depression rescues.
I know what I’m up against here.
I know that not everything is a match and that not everyone will buy into my programs.
But that’s fine. That’s okay.
The way I see it is this:
This only means that at least there’s another option.

This means in a world where ideas and thoughts impact our thinking and at a time and place where all else seems hopeless or grim; I want to create a place where people can go and come to their own understanding.
They can come to their own realization and that for someone, whomever this someone (or anyone) might be – at least they can find a pathway towards their own peace. 

I have to say that this dream of mine is something that stretches back for years.
Think about this: imagine where my wellness center or recovery house would be now if I had started it then.
Imagine where my dreams would be if I nurtured them instead of allowing them to be replaced or lose their priority. 

Think about our life and then think about our levels of prioritization.
Think about the damages that come with dreams deferred for too long – or what about the forgotten dreams? What about the ones that have been led astray or left alone or stuck somewhere? What about the aspirations we had that we’re buried in the cellar or in the dungeons in our mind – what about them?

I have been afraid for as long as I can remember.
I still am. Only, my fears are different.
What if I showed up to the game too late?
What if I lost my shot or missed my window?
What if these words fall short?
Or what if I never have the chance to unravel these journals in my head?
Then what?

I can say that as I emerge from my past and as I come forth; as I turn up, appear, and as I materialize, arise, and as I come to light, I understand the tenderness of my view.
I know that my eyes will need time to adjust to the brightness of hope.
However, I know this full and well; that while in the dark, it’s easy not to see.
But the lights on now.
It’s easy to have a blind eye when you’ve kept yourself in the dark.
But light takes that away.
The light takes away our excuses and exposes the darkness to the vision of our truth.

A year from now, we might all be gone.
A year from now, who knows?
Maybe this day will have sparked a chain of events and as we arrive into this dream we have, we can look back at today and be glad that we moved forward instead of doing nothing.

Did I tell you about my evening yesterday?
Did I tell you that I stood in front of a classroom with hopes to inspire people; with hopes to make them think, laugh, feel, as well as be uncomfortable because above all things; I want people to see the truth.
The truth is there’s a great big world out there and everybody’s scared.
Everybody’s got their own ax to grind and their own cross to bear.
We all have life going on.
We might not all have the same challenges; however, the weight of my challenges are only relative to me. In comparison, the depths of my challenges might be nothing to someone else – but they don’t live my life and I don’t live theirs. 

We don’t have to meet in the middle or see eye-to-eye.
We don’t have to agree all the time. Rest assured, we’re not always going to get along with the world.
No, this is not only unimportant; it’s inaccurate to think that life is easy.
People are people. I am me. You are you, and with all of this being said – we have to find comfort (somehow) because otherwise, what’s the point?

What’s a dream worth if it’s never shared, seen or explored?
What’s a hope worth if it’s never free to witness the early sunrise?

What am I if I’m not free to be me?
Who are you?
Who do you want to be?
More importantly, whatever the answers to these questions are, there’s a much bigger and more important question to be asked.
What has to be done?
What has to happen?
When is it your turn?
When are you going to give yourself the permission to make this so?

I am patient now with the boy inside.
This is me. Timid sometimes, but hopeful.
I used to train him to stay indoors and to keep quiet because I was afraid that he would be picked on, abused, hurt, made fun of or humiliated.

I used to train myself to endure discomfort.
I would dare pain because this way, no one could hurt me.

As for the little boy, which is me and my inner child, I admit that in my efforts to protect him (or namely myself), I kept my inner-self away, hidden from the world because I thought that this was the only way that we could be safe.

He’s brand new again, still afraid because this is what he was taught.
But as we emerge (together) I have to be patient.
We’ve been living this way for a very long time.
It’s a step-by-step world now.
It’s one day at a time.

But ah, the smile.
Ah, the spirit of rejuvenating hopefulness.
Ah the freedom to say it’s okay kid. You can come out now.
It’s time to play again.
No one will ever hurt you and if they do, don’t worry.
You’ll have me to protect you and I won’t be alone. 

Whether we come back at them with Brujeria or Santeria or whether we come back at the world with the resilience of our truth and our secrets to endure – no one can ever rob us from our light again .
Not now, not ever and from now until the hour of our death, from this point onward, even after we’re gone, you and me – we have some light to show.

It’s time to get ready, son.

Let’s go . . .

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