Life takes us down some rocky roads, doesn’t it? It breaks us, molds us, shapes us, and it’s true what they say: “If it doesn’t kill us, it makes us stronger.”
Those words are easy for someone else to say; when they aren’t going through the most devastating portion of their life. I get it, I’ve been there too. There are moments that will make you question your own sanity, provide you with sleepless nights, and give you days when your chest feels so heavy that you wonder if you’ll even be able to walk out the door, or even just breathe again.

I’ve been there many times in my life. There were nights of tears, of questioning myself, and of doubting, but through it came knowledge of who I really was, and that person emerged with perhaps some singed wings, but so much stronger. Because of self-doubt, because I chose to believe the words of others, I was weakened. I watched what I thought was my world crumble in front of me. I thought that someone else’s views and opinions of me mattered, because they were important to me, and I wanted to make them happy, not realizing how very toxic they were. When someone you love and believed in tells you, “You are not enough,” or makes you feel bad for simply existing, you tend to believe it is your fault. I didn’t realize until years down the road that they were just projecting their own self-worth and self-doubt onto me.

The last time I heard the words, “I love you,” was nine years ago, from someone I was ready to start a life with, tucked into a text message, followed by the word “But.” I’m sure you can guess what happened from there.

Years later, I realized that they actually did me a favor, that the life that I was meant to have was not with them, and the path that led me to where I am today. I had to walk alone for a while; it was required for my spiritual growth. The universe had other plans. I met those who saw a light in me, who encouraged me to speak, and to evolve from the tiny world I was living in. They taught me to see the joys in simple things, to notice what was there in front of me, to notice the possibility. They helped me, and I healed from the inside out. Sure, I fell on my face a few times as I took one wobbly step after another, but I kept on walking. I kept going because I could trust fall with them, knowing they had my back. I was like a toddler, taking those first steps.

I began to write — words of healing for others to read. I started speaking because that fire inside grew so big that I wanted to help others learn to fight, to grasp the concept that we can change those pre-recorded messages playing over and over that tell us we are not enough. I wanted to show others that they too have a purpose. I found someone who didn’t say, “But.” I found that I was more than enough. I published my very first book, then another. I began seeking more opportunities, and learned that happiness really does come from deep within. As I healed, I learned to forgive, and I let go. Truly, what life is all about is letting go, and getting to a point where we recognize what no longer is in alignment with our souls.

Looking back, I am grateful that they sent that text message that day. It was unexpected, yes, but a necessary part of what shaped me, what gave me compassion, and what changed me. I have people who are like family to me, who stand by me (as I do with them), and cheer me on to the finish line. I am thankful every day of my life for that kind of love. I don’t need to hear the words, “I love you,” because I already know it, I feel it, and I see it. Love is all around, and I’m okay with that.

This season, I’m giving thanks for those boulders on my path that became stepping stones, and for those people who were like a rock for me — a firm foundation.

Mistakes don’t cause you to fail, your beliefs and your perspective do.

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