Today I went to a new church. It couldn’t have been more different than the one I have known my entire life. It occurred to me as I sat there that I have been listening to the same message for the past 40+ years. I’ve felt so stuck lately. In my heart and my mind I have longed to find a new me… a deeper me ready to live a life full of passion and fulfillment. Something has been holding me back. I’ve been numb for so long, a much duller version of myself than I am meant to be. Be a good girl, perfect mom, devoted wife, endearing daughter. Be quiet, be patient, be better, be stronger. Be this, be that….be whatever and whoever everyone thinks you should be. The demands never seem to end. I have been confined by the opinions and labels of others. Every expectation is another chain that keeps me locked in the prison I have chosen for myself. Link by link I have built my existence and I am ready to break free. I’ve been searching for me on the same map all these years. It is finally clear that I have have been looking for answers to my deepest questions from the same sources all this time. How could I possibly grow when I never had the courage to seek a path I had never traveled? How could I evolve if I only interact with the same crowd, listen to the same voices? What if they’ve been right the whole time or even worse, what if they’ve been wrong? When will I have the courage to stand up and proudly and confidently say this is me without being forced to apologize or be shamed? Today I took the first step on this new path and I am more excited than ever before. Today I followed my own inner voice and I took a step in a direction that has been calling me for some time. This is a reminder to live bravely and walk boldly in your own shoes. Turn down the chatter of the world and once again you will begin to think for yourself. You are in there waiting to be rediscovered. Now go rescue yourself before time runs out.