I matter. You Matter. We Matter.

I was anxious when I was a child, and I believe it came mostly from my voice being shut down.

I had a big imagination and my mother was an extremely frightened person, and I think bringing her my million “why” questions terrified her even more, so she terrorized me back, just to shut me up.

Every once in a while I’d forget and ask her something that my mind had just decided to torture me with. By this time, she had learned to tune me out.

I was afraid of the dark, so she’d leave the hall light on so she and my dad could watch TV in peace. One night, I shouted downstairs and asked, “Mom, if I look at the light with my eyes closed will I go blind?” Her response was a simple, “Yes.”

Now what?

When I reached adulthood, I went to therapy. It worked. The worst of my anxiety hit the road, but generalized anxiety remained. To feel safe, I had to control things, and since I was claustrophobic, the first to go was getting on a plane.

In time, my life had shrunk to such a degree that I decided to suck it up and reach for my dreams. To live the more carefree, big life I knew I was meant to live.

I mean, what was the worst that could happen?

That I’d be trapped in fear for all of eternity? I was already trapped. It just happened to be in familiar surroundings.

So I pretended to be brave. Decided to become a New and Better Me.

I pretended for so long that one day I looked around and thought, “Jesus, I’m a sniveling coward, yet it seems I’m stronger than a lot of people around me.” My next thought was, “Lord, if this is what tough looks like then we’re in a world of hurt down here.”

Many of us are lonely. Operating at a deficit of love. Of feeling worthy. Being heard.

Here’s to you if you’re sucking it up to become a New and Better You. If you’re already there, I hope you realize that you are a leader, and that leaders have a responsibility to lift others up. Because making sure your brothers and sisters know they matter is the only way out of this mess, the only way we’ll evolve to a more joyful place.

P.S. This post is meant to be a humorous look at the weird side of life.

The photo: It’s possible to be alone, but not lonely. Keep the faith! xo

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