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I’ve worked diligently for over 25 years to maintain the identity of an unknown, obscure artist, rather than letting him die a sweet, quiet death, or to try in earnest to see if I might be an artist nobody likes—or, maybe to find there are many, many who do like him.

The point is, it has been more important to keep the small story alive (going on nearly three decades) than to dare stepping beyond my safe zone and protected egoic (bordering on narcissistic) space. Sure, I’ve dabbled, taken some calculated risks, and had a few stabs at the dream, but I’ve most often found reasons to shy away and make excuses, to procrastinate and defer.

The same goes for relationships—both with myself and others.

I adopted a “nice guy” personality early on, borrowing a little from the passive-aggressive atmosphere I grew up in, and adding on my general dislike of conflict and verbal violence. This of course carried forward into my own attempts at intimacy. It was more important to accommodate, compromise, hold back, and to be quiet—and make like I was ok in a shitty emotional space—than to rock the boat, ask for any of my needs to be met, or to make any real demands whatsoever.

It’s a desperate move to try to get love, acceptance and belonging, by completely suppressing your own truth. Sure, it can be pleasant enough (on the surface), and may stave off loneliness, but it spoils something deep inside that eventually spills over into the rest of your life.

Inside me, there’s the constant deriding, competition, comparison, unhappiness and disappointment… because I was born clever, insightful, empathic, and with a self-professed consciousness that was just a little higher than the average; I’m supposed to be an example. I’m supposed to be more resilient. I’m supposed to have my shit together. I’m a natural. I am too talented to be broke all the time, or to have to rely on anyone’s help; I’m here to awaken humanity to their potential… I’m supposed to be stronger than all these paralyzing insecurities always make me feel.

In truth, finally, I’m only supposed to be authentic; I’m just supposed to be me. The real me. I’m supposed to be easier about all this life stuff. I’m supposed to trust the process, and to delight in these little victories and realizations… to relish with deep gratitude when I shed another layer of illusion and mind-based fog.

I’m allowed to be broken in places, and to allow Love to get in there and remind me it’s ok. This, too, is useful. All of it adds to the expansive canvas of the universe. And, I’m supposed to share it, so others might learn from it, too, just as those vulnerable souls whom I have learned from have done.

Sometimes, we’re convinced we’re alone, when it’s never, ever true.

Blame it on mercury retrograde, or the ascension process, or the Grand River of Evolving Aspirations and Thought (GREAT!)… everyone battles with their own demons and distortions. That’s just… life. Earth provides us with a rich playground that no others in this universe would likely dare put themselves through!

So, remember, you’re more amazing and capable than you know, and more “on track” than you may believe.

Solvitur ambulando