I’ve spent the last 3 years building a wall, brick by brick, layer by layer, lathering on the mortar extra thick to make sure the cold or danger wouldn’t creep through a crack, or that a brick wouldn’t fall out exposing the outside world aka fears and judgement and hostility.

I vowed to myself to keep building said wall to keep evil out and protect my home-base, my heart, and my vulnerability.

Because that’s what walls do, right?

Didn’t I need this huge, massive layer of bricks to feel “safe?” To feel protected? To keep me sheltered during storms and give me a place to hide?

I worked hard and long and being on guard became my new normal.

Feeling “safe” has an entirely new meaning when you feel like the walls were blown down by a stage 5 hurricane, on repeat.

I continued to rebuilt the wall again and again after it was shattered by storms, hands tired and sprit drained, until it dawned on me…

No more.

Because I knew I had the right to be

F R E E.

I realized the wall was keeping out the beauty of the outside world, the magic of new beginnings, the healthy fear of the unknown, and me from really being M E, unapologetically.

It was time to bust out the sledgehammer, the jackhammer, and the bulldozer.

Healing from loss and properly letting life stop and crumble to truly feel broken down to my core was an immensely important part of my grieving and acceptance phase.

It taught me so much about strength, about mental health, about the meaning of love and what it means to lose everything and have to rebuild, from scratch.

It taught me to appreciate my “flaws”, because they define me in a magical, special way.

They give me a voice.

In time, I realized that It’s okay to let life grow back through the cracks in the foundation that I was working so hard to keep perfectly surfaced and level and sealed.

I realized it’s okay to let light shine through the cracks of the wall; that each little hole didn’t need to be patched.

I realized it’s okay to let new people through the fortress; to realize that not everyone is an invader, and I don’t always need to be hiding behind a shield or building a moat or setting boobie traps (wait why are they called that?!)

“Broken” does not = unworthy.

Just like wanting to learn a new musical instrument when you’ve never played one before, healing and grief and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and exposed are a skill.

They’re a fine art.

You need to honor the time to mourn. The time to learn how to cope, and what that embodies.

You need to honor the times you feel unraveled.

The time to be angry and sad and frustrated.

You need to reflect upon the times you feel “broken” so you can truly learn what it means to “fix” yourself.

No one can do that but you – through time, dedication, research, self-love awareness, mindfulness, prayer, support groups, distractions, analyzing bad habits or unhealthy routines, and finally, remembering to find and honor positivity and peace- there’s a variety of factors and phases when it comes to rebuilding and finding hope again.

And there’s a raw true beauty when you can look back and know YOU DID IT. You didn’t seek a quick fix or a bandaid or a mask or someone else to “fix” you or “find” who you truly are and meant to be.

You took time investing in yourself.

To build and to dig and to break barriers – emotionally, physically,

Sometimes, we never know the “why” or the “how” or the “what” – regarding what we go through, who comes into our life, the cards we’re dealt, or the life we’ve been given…

But, we learn that it’s okay to take time to pick up the pieces of change, or just let them sit there when we need a break from trying to put all the puzzle pieces back together.

Because you don’t always have to do that.

Sometimes, a piece or two is missing and that puzzle literally cannot be completed.

Take it as a sign.

A sign to move on. To move forward. That the only thing you need to “fix” is yourself, and often your perspective.

And remember – you’re the only one that can do that.

Maybe you’ve been trying to paint the perfect picture of what your life was – or is – supposed to look like and you just can’t seem to finalize the piece.

It’s okay to grab a new blank canvas; design a new vision. Or, edit the original, or shred it to pieces.

And remember that wall you’ve been building, intentionally or not? it’s okay to bulldoze the whole fucking thing and get rid of it.

I hope you always remember to let your light shine, and to encourage others to glow alongside you.

I hope you always remember that strength, bravery, and courage are what will get you through hard times and what truly define you as beautiful person.

And lastly, I hope you say YES to things that feel right and NO to things that do not.

Honor yourself, in this very moment, no matter where you are and what is going on in your life.

You are so worth the sunshine after the storm or the new growth after a freeze. 🌱

You are so worth taking the time to pause, breathe, and grab a jackhammer and a sledgehammer to the fortress you’ve trapped yourself in.

Chronic illness and injury can feel like a cage.

Divorce can feel like you’re suffocating.

Loss and grief can feel like you’re drowning.

Heartbreak can make you lose hope.

Deceit can make you harvest anger and lose trust and faith.

It’s time to chip away at the walls that are no longer protecting you anymore, and let GO of the fears and the pain that are keeping you from LIVING.

They served their purpose and it’s time for you to book them a one way flight out of your life.

You deserve to be free from anything keeping you away from the future.

It’s beautifully terrifyingly unknown to let go of control, but that’s what makes the future worth seeing, believing in, feeling, touching, experiencing, and climbing onward and upward.

You don’t need to train for a marathon or climbing Mount Everest to find yourself.

Start at home and start within, by taking some of the bricks off your wall and peeking over the fence.

There’s a whole lot of magic out there, you just have to finally go seek it.

When YOU are ready.

📷 @briana.lindsey

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