I got married at 19 and had no idea what life was all about. I was doing what I was taught and had grown to think was best for me. Absolutely nothing turned out the way I was assured, the way I imagined or the way I wanted. Some things went terribly wrong but the one thing that went perfectly was the birth of our son.
Now my son is 20 and leaving for the Navy in the morning and I feel it's only right to write a little something to honor his courage because he's #1 on my list of heroes. Never in the years of raising my little man did I imagine he would grow into an even greater hero to me than he was as a child but he has. He has taken the struggles he has witnessed and experienced and is building his life and his future with the knowledge and awareness of how little control any of us actually have over anything outside of us. He too is making a very important and life changing commitment at a young age and has every intention of experiencing it and learning what he needs to from it.
No one but him has made his decision. He decided what he wanted, researched it, planned it out, heard every positive and negative thing that was shared by everyone with an opinion (which, let's face it, has literally been every person he tells) and he adjusted his perspectives, goals and anything else around his new gathered information. Not once though did he let fears (his or his loved one's fears) get in his way. He talked about them, he formed intelligent questions around them, he did what he needed to in order to have the courage to face them. He knows his strengths and he accepts his challenges, never hiding from an opportunity for self-growth.
This young man has taught me so much about love and living life to its fullest potential I feel inspired to write about it forever but instead I am going to stick to the main thing that has me most inspired by him now and that is to have the courage to do what you know to be best for you in your heart of hearts. End the agonizing over-thinking, the avoidance tactics, the passive aggressive tendencies that keep you feeling "safe", the self-doubt, the excuses and all of the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual harm that comes with these things and find your courage. You can be afraid and have courage at the same time. You know this to be true!
On that note and in my only son's honor I dedicate these words to anyone reading and I offer them with the intention that they are received (and acted upon) from a loving and compassionate place:
You know that conversation you're afraid to have? The one that you imagine a thousand different ways? The one you keep preparing for? Or the one you are actively avoiding even though your mind and heart won't let go of? HAVE IT.
When you see an opportunity, no matter how big or small or how nervous it makes you, TAKE IT.
And you know that thing you keep putting off but you think about it all the time? Maybe it's the last thing you think about at night or it's the first thing you think about in the morning. Do it. There will always be reasons not to do something; do it anyway - do the thing.
Let yourself feel. Halt judgement, self-criticism, blame, and anything unproductive and just let yourself truly and patiently feel. Share the feelings when you need to, keep them close to you when you don't. Be your own healer, nurturer and caregiver. Try not doing anything about how you feel and just feel.
Reach out. Don't avoid it with excuses or bury your actions with fear of rejection. Just reach out with no expectations and see what happens.
Say "I love you". Let it flow off your tongue. If the other person looks at you funny blame the limiting nature of the English language. Love makes some people uncomfortable and that's ok, those are usually the people who need it most anyway. Just love them. Don't think about what it means. Not everything has to mean something.
Know that all love comes from a deeper understanding of one's self and the more we do to love, care and nurture ourselves the deeper we can love others and the deeper we feel love in return. Stop being afraid of the word or the feeling of "love". Use and act upon it daily. Be generous with it. Be generous with giving and receiving compliments. Get to know different aspects of love without expecting anything and it may surprise you in the most beautiful ways. It takes courage to accept and love ourselves the way we expect others to. Try it sometime.
Stop putting off the rest of your life, dream big and welcome 2017 with the courage of a wild and innocent child. Take a deep breath, widen your eyes, open your heart, perk up your ears and stand tall; it's your turn.
Micah's confessions and lessons that have helped with self-forgiveness, healing and acceptance.