Recently I have been working a lot on how I handle my ego. I explore all of the reasons I have for divulging personal information. I am wondering how much my ego has to do with the fact that I share so much on this blog. Am I doing it for the right reasons? What are my motives? I believe it is healthy to check in often on what my motives are before I act on something.
It is easy for me to quickly justify some decision I make that in actuality, with further investigation, has unclear or destructive motives. For instance, there was a point when I was sure that I needed to live in downtown Manhattan because (A) that is the area where most of my meetings are, (B) That is where most of my friends live and (C) I need to live in a specific level of comfort or else I risk falling back into self-destructive behaviors. If I identify these 3 things closely I can find that with each one I have found a way to manipulate the truth into something different in order to get my way. Part of living in downtown Manhattan is status. I think it’s cool to say that I once lived there and wanted to keep that going. There is a lot of nightlife, restaurants, art etcetera. To me, there was a time when I would rather say I live downtown than to say I live in Harlem, Queens, Brooklyn or wherever. I didn’t recognize that 1. Living in Manhattan is a luxury, 2. I do not have the means to live in Manhattan and 3. I do not need to live in a specific area to be happy. So, where is my ego in all of this? It’s through the roof! What is it about me that needs to have a certain outside appearance in order to be happy?
At this time last year, I would have argued that I need to be surrounded by like-minded people to be happy. I would isolate from the world if I lived elsewhere. I need to be a block away from the gym or else I can’t stay in shape. I need to be within walking distance of my meetings or I may slip. Excuse after excuse after excuse. None of it would be true. And somewhere I knew that but after years of lying to myself I could almost completely convince myself that I in fact need these things to be a happy individual. And this is where my over-inflated ego is most visible. I am like the “$30,000 millionaire.” The type that wants people to see everything from an arms length away. If you think I am happy than I am. All I need is your validation!
I want you to think I have this enviable life in the perfect apartment with a great job and a perfect relationship. It was all complete bullshit. I couldn’t afford my lifestyle, whatever relationship I would be in would be terrible and inside my life was falling apart. I hated myself. I lived for those brief moments when someone would compliment me on my suit or a new song I had written. Honestly! I lived for that. And that’s when the realization comes like a slap in the face: I have zero self-esteem.
I want you to think I’m something I am not because I know exactly what I am and you aren’t getting close to finding out. So I create these necessary arrangements like where I live because without them I am left with myself. Then I would really be exposed. I no longer could hide behind a doorman. I no longer had a job. The surface of my life had been ripped away and I was left standing alone in front of the crowd. Then you see the real me. I had become a liar, an addict, someone that would never show up. I had found a way to deal with hating myself, and it was by destroying myself.
When I was finally exposed I began taking a closer look at my life. Why didn’t my methods work? First, my methods were ridiculously out of step but at the same time made perfect sense. As long as I can keep up the appearance of being happy, satisfied and successful it is just as good as if those things were actually true. And, to keep those pesky truths away I would numb myself. I would lie to cover up another lie. My thought process was simple: I’ll deal with it tomorrow. Except tomorrow started turning into the same exact thing as today. And that’s when the wheels start falling off.
I could no longer keep up. And when you take away all of the lights I had no happiness. I could at least momentarily brag about where I lived or other material things but in a moment all of that was gone. I had nothing within myself to be proud of. So there it is, that is when I hit bottom. In this scenario I had 2 options: Keep digging or find a way to pull myself out of this mess. Thankfully I chose to change.
I began work on my ego, my self-esteem, my humility, my gratitude. When I began to practice these things daily I slowly started to notice a change within myself. The more I humbled myself the more I chipped away at my ego. Practicing esteemable acts started to build up my own self-worth. There were no tricks. No quick fixes. There never are. I can’t build myself into my best version by practicing these principles when convenient. I don’t want to have 1/2 of the benefits. And in order to pursue this type of life I have to be patient, willing and committed.
I often times catch myself when my ego is getting a little out of hand. This time I know what to do. I have to be honest with where I am at. I have to accept my mistakes and be willing to work on improving myself without drifting into morbid reflection or anxiety. I know I will continue to make mistakes but the way I handle them is what is different about me now. I am no longer in competition with the rest of the world. I don’t want to measure myself up against anybody. This is an interesting concept I have found recently. I do not believe that competition will help me improve myself. I no longer want to be better than you. In all honesty I don’t even want to focus on what the next person is doing. It has nothing to do with me. If I begin to let my self-worth be determined by how I stack up against others I will always be chasing another persons goal.
I have to be in competition with myself. A healthy competition to be sure. In order to improve myself and have the capability to become the best version of myself I have to focus on how I can change everyday. What real can I work on to improve myself? What have I done that needs some fixing? I don’t care how my life measures up to somebody else’s. And the reasoning is somewhat simple. When I compare myself to how I perceive somebody to be I am comparing myself to an image. This in turn makes me want to appear better than somebody else. That is how I used to live my life. I wanted my outsides to look better than yours. Now, this seems wrong. Especially when dealing with becoming a better person…
I don’t want to compete over who is making more progress in their personal life. I hope everybody is making progress. But all I have control over is myself. So, I want to be smarter and healthier than I was yesterday. I want to improve daily. It’s my own little battle against myself! This moment versus yesterday. Lastly, I check my motives for why I divulge so much personal information on this blog. It isn’t because I am proud of my past. Rather I share so much of myself because I want people to know that they are not alone.
Maybe only 10 people read my blog. That’s ok. In order to help somebody, in order for me to reach someone I have to be able to open myself up and show something that they can identify with. Maybe something I say will change someone’s day for the better. Maybe somebody won’t have to go through what I did to learn some very valuable tools. Bottom line, this is the only way I know how to be helpful. I have to be completely honest and let you know that I have been down so many times it’s hard to believe I am still alive. And that I can prove to people that there is always hope.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
“At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you.” I heard this quote in a meeting last week and it was the first time I had ever heard this simple idea so beautifully put into words. These words enabled me to sharpen my perspective, examine my motives further and understand exactly what sort of life I am living. I have said it before and it has been taught to me through recovery and the message is simple: Into Action! It’s more of a command when I say it. It’s as if I want to will people to move how I aspire to move and to think the way I think. But this is not my job.
What comes to mind first is how often times the messages I receive are simple ones. They make total and complete sense. They would work for me. But often times I choose not to act on them, not to commit. But why? I think the simple answer and the one that comes to mind first could simply be that I am lazy. It takes too much effort, too much work. I would have a myriad of goals. Everything from being a writer to learning how to cook. My goals were just ideas, simple thoughts. They never reached their potential. I am very good at sitting somewhere and telling somebody all of the great ideas I have. All of my plans, precisely what I am passionate about and what I excel at. Except none of it was true. I lived strictly on potential. I know how to play the guitar and I love it, but the farthest I got was playing open mic nights at a crummy bar on the upper east side called American Trash in front of 10 people. Not because that is the farthest I could have gotten, it’s just the farthest I got. Therein lies the difference: The potential is always there. It is the action that’s rarely seen.
So back to the question of “why?” Why would I continually, seemingly purposefully shoot myself in the foot? Is it just out of laziness? I don’t think so. I think a number of things interrupt progress, but for me the most glaring one is fear. I am of the type that at times can have a very low self-esteem that is combined with an out of this world ego. I am at once the smartest guy in the room and also the dumbest. I have visions and grandiose ideas but I don’t actually believe I can achieve them. I am a loser if I’m not Tolstoy or Dylan. If I can’t write songs like Townes Van Zandt or Nick Drake then I might as well stop writing! And what invariably occurs is I get nothing done. I have ambitious ideas and nothing to show for them. And for a long time that is what I was: A machine printing out idea after idea and leaving it somewhere on a shelf in the back of the room. I was too smart to do anything with any idea because what if, god forbid, I didn’t live up to all of the hype? But what “hype” was I even thinking of? I created every aspect of expectation in my own mind. I wasn’t scared of failing because people expected me to be something great. I knew that I could never be what I expected of myself and I also knew that if I couldn’t produce something better than the next person that I was a failure. I was always in competition with others and nobody knew it. I was even in competition with myself. I wanted to be smarter, better looking, more well-dressed, more fit than everybody. And since I couldn’t achieve these goals I instead did nothing. Absolutely nothing.
So, why am I writing about all of the bad times? Because there is hope! And although I cannot put it into words quite as well as Goethe does I can identify.
I often talk about living a life that requires careful examination of moments; not days, months or years. It is a type of living that takes discipline and introspection. But at the top of it all, the most important requirement towards a happy life for me is willingness. And that is where hope comes in. What happens when I am willing is an almost unreal unraveling of events. Willingness to go into action provides much more than I ever expect. I believe I can explain it more simply: My life is similar to a tree with no branches. I focus on growth upwards every day with no expectation other than to keep growing. What begins to happen without my knowledge is the growth of branches. Stretching outwards these branches are filled with new life that I had not set out to capture. But this is what happens when a tree is healthy and continues to grow, it promotes growth from areas that weren’t specifically targeted. It creates growth around it. It is a welcoming source. Living things want to be close to it. It provides for others, not just for itself. And when this happens it keeps growing stronger.
Perhaps this is a silly example but I believe it illustrates well what is often a misunderstood point: When I am willing to commit to the promotion of growth within myself positive things begin to occur naturally without my input. When I stay away from self-seeking tendencies and hidden motives and focus on a willingness to learn and grow and positively impact the world around me the world in turn positively impacts me.
Though my set of circumstances may be different than somebody else’s it really makes no difference. I have learned in recovery that when I focus on improving myself moment to moment my life becomes better at the same time. I have been fully committed to this way of thinking for nearly 8 months now. I can share with you that I still currently do not have a job. It is not for lack of trying. But my path is not one of specific goals. Of course I need to work and I hope to be working very soon (I have an interview in the morning so cross your fingers!) but I have to remain patient. If I forget about the moment to moment life where I commit to improving myself and improving the lives of others then all that job is is an idea. I cannot focus on one thing in particular because that is not how I will attain what is right for me. Since I have lived this type of life, a life of willingness, I have become closer to my family than perhaps I ever was. Of course one of my goals earlier this year was to repair some things in my personal life but it was the way I went about it that is the true secret of achievement. I did and continue to do the simple daily things that I know I need to do without any expectation. I show up. I check in with my family and let them know how I am doing and genuinely want to know how they are doing. I make myself available. I am honest. I am responsible. Bottom line: I am an active participant in adulthood. The point is, I didn’t set out 7 months ago and think “In 4 months I need my brother to ask me to watch his kids” or “in 6 months I better be at the point where my sister wants to spend more time with me.” That is not how I achieve anything. I set out to be a useful person for the 24 hours I have in front of me, and when I have shown myself willing to commit to life, life has shown that it is just as willing to commit to me.
Lately things have been going well. Really well actually. I have settled in nicely in Brooklyn, the people I care for are doing well and there is a positivity in the city. Maybe it’s the weather. What is somewhat new to me and something that I find fascinating is that this is the time when I cannot slow down or let my progress stall. Often times when things seemed to be heading in the right direction I figured I must have done something well and it was then time to sit back and enjoy the rewards. For me this is the absolute opposite approach to what I should do: Which is Get into action!
There is a reason things start heading in the right direction. I believe that there isn’t a particular goal that I am trying to reach at the end of the path. Rather there is a goal in each step I take on the path. My goal is to be positive, useful, honest, compassionate, understanding, humble etcetera.
So, when things start going well it is not time for me to pause and take a look around at what is now a path behind me but is instead time for me to keep focus on my next step and in this way I believe I ensure that the path stays smooth. My reason for being in a good place mentally, emotionally etcetera is because of the things I have done and because of the help I have received from others. When I slow down, stop taking the next right action, stop moving and fail to be teachable I have no idea what is going to happen, although I put good money on the path becoming rocky and the outcomes becoming less and less desirable.
And what is fascinating to me is that everything around me can be going well but I can feel an emptiness inside, a sort of uncomfortable anxiety. I can’t put my finger on it but it’s there. I have stopped doing the things that brought me to a point of clarity. I can believe that I have put in just enough work and it’s time to relax but it doesn’t work that way. The work is a daily effort. The movement is constant. And what is interesting is that it is enjoyable – yet there are times when I stop doing what I know puts me at ease. I take the more difficult road. I start to encounter pain and guilt and I begin to lie to cover up my shame. I create a monster out of nothing.
There was a time when I thought this was the only way to live. Good things would happen to me based on merits from my past but I no longer want to be judged on my past. I don’t want to rest on the success of yesterday, I want to create this image every day. And it takes work. The work that I have to put in is minimal and it can’t be measured. There are times I ask someone for advice even when I feel embarrassed to. My mind will urge me to go it alone and at least keep up this disingenuous pride. But I don’t ever have pride or joy when I live on my own terms. I am alone when I go it alone. When I choose myself above all I am left with myself only. And that is the sickness in me. The only way I can be the smartest guy in the room is when I’m alone. I’m the best looking guy when I’m alone. I am everything and nothing at the same time. I am the ruler of a pathetic nation. And it’s easy for me to live like that. I want you to feel sorry for me. To think I am tortured. That is what my sickness wants me to do.
This is not a question of toughness. It’s not about smarts or looks. For me it all comes down to willingness. Am I willing to take advice, to listen? To believe that there is always something to be gained from opening myself up to new experiences? Is there a way out other than my own? There is a way out that is a collective effort. I choose to surround myself with positive people. Those that want to learn. Those that can admit that we can all improve. It motivates me to keep this path smooth. And each day it’s back to work. It’s second nature. My feet become smart and they take me in the direction I need to go. What can I do today to make myself more useful? Not what have I done? If I want to relax and look at what I have done it is not an easy rest. I am not gaining anything by lauding any past accomplishments. I can certainly learn from my past but I learn from my mistakes far more often than I do my successes.
So, what have I done? I’ve made myself useful for today and given myself the ability to ask what can I do?
My bags are packed. Everything is set for my move from downtown Manhattan to Brooklyn early tomorrow morning. I feel a little lost.
I spent this past weekend in the Pocono Mountains camping with 200 others. It was an incredible weekend of recovery, new friendships and new direction. The first night I felt a little off. I wasn’t quite sure why. Maybe it was just a little anxiety from the trip. Perhaps I was a bit intimidated by the large group of people, most of whom I didn’t know. So during a campfire meeting I shared something with these 200 people, mostly strangers. I hadn’t prepared anything to say. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to say, so much so that it sounds scripted. This time was different. I just let my thoughts fly. I was standing in the back row behind all of the others seated comfortably. My jeans were torn at the knee and I had on a shirt that said “Lost Weekend NYC.” I was hard to miss.
I raised my voice above the sound of whispers and the popping fire. “I feel a little lost” I told the group. “I’m moving to Brooklyn this week and for the first time in my life I feel like I’m slipping away from my past in Texas.” My voice began to shake. “I feel like I belong in New York for the first time. My first two years in the city are now mostly fractured memories, lost nights and missed opportunities. Bad relationships and confusion. There was nothing magical about it. I came to this city to be something bigger and instead I was beat harder than ever before. I disappeared. I could say I escaped but I didn’t really escape to anything in particular, or from anything for that matter. Escape seems to imply that I was headed somewhere, but really I was just hiding out, isolating.”
I felt the eyes of the group fixed on me. Some people nodding as if to say “I understand.” I didn’t have any meaningful relationships. I didn’t build anything reliable or worthwhile. I just moved from one city to a different city. One room for another room. Same bed. Same everything. “And then,” I continued, “in January of this year the bottom fell out. I couldn’t keep up anymore. I was losing my family. I was losing my sanity. I was on the brink of losing my life. It was no longer a joke. It had become a foregone conclusion that I would either change or I would slowly drift away from everything I loved and everyone that loved me and I would be completely shattered, alone and lost for good. I was at a crossroads. As real as it could get. There were no more ways out. No more second chances. I had run out of options, my time was nearly over.”
My share was running long but nobody stopped me. Some had tears, others were just blank. I hadn’t ever been this honest before. I had told my story many times but this time was different. This time I wasn’t trying to deliver a message. I was letting go of my past.
“I don’t remember everything. I remember sitting in my parents apartment, my brother looking at me with desperation. My parents across the room with tears in their eyes. My sister on the bed. I was sitting near the door, the game was over. They told me they had found some places where I could get help. They told me it was over. I had to change. It was exhausting to love me. The pain had gotten too deep. If I was set on destruction I was no longer going to have an audience. I would have to go it alone. I listened the best I could. For the first time I don’t think I fought too much. I didn’t have any fight left in me. I had no more secrets, no backdoor exits. No more excuses. I told them I would go to treatment. I was so tired. I never wanted it to come to this.”
Nobody stopped me. Everybody kept listening.
“To say I knew what I was getting myself into would be a lie. I only knew that something had to change. I was in treatment for 58 days. Slowly I started to understand what I had done. What I had left my family with all of these years. I had to rebuild. I owed something to them. I owed something to myself. I got back to the city April 11th and I began my new life. I had taken only a baby step, but at least it was in the right direction this time. I began to see things differently. And now I’m here.”
I ended on a soft note. My eyes were full of tears but I didn’t let one slip down my cheek. I guess I had gotten out what I wanted to. But the truth was behind these words. The reason I feel a little lost is because for all intents and purposes I am very new to this city. I am not re-learning anything. I am learning how to live, how to survive in this city. I am learning how to love others. How to be honest and useful. And I am learning it as a New Yorker.
I got sober in this city. I reconnected with my brother and sister in this city. I have spent the most meaningful time of my life in this city. I have been a reliable uncle here. I am trusted here. I was reborn in this city. And that is why I feel a little off. The person I am today was raised in Texas. I was shaped by my parents, my grandfather, my teachers and my friends. The community in Houston. I learned to be a good person in Texas. To be compassionate. To say “yes ma’am.” I met my best friends in Texas. And I felt like I was losing Texas. Like I had moved on for good. And in some ways I have. My childhood is rooted back home but I grew up in New York City. I became a man here. After years of running away I learned to fight back. To fight for my family. To want to be a better brother and son. To want to be someone that my niece and nephew can look up to. Someone they can be proud of. This is the hardest I have ever worked for something. I believe in myself. I believe that what I am fighting for is worth it.
But I haven’t forgotten my past. I wouldn’t have my smile without Texas. I speak a little more slowly than the people up here, a little softer. I am calm. I am patient. And I didn’t learn that here.
It’s official. I am moving to Brooklyn September 1st and I couldn’t be more pleased. The relief I felt when I heard last night that the application was accepted was incredible. And that specifically is what is on my mind.
Yesterday morning I was sitting on my sisters couch receiving text messages from my new landlord telling me that my application is still under review, they would like more than my tax return, proof of income, etcetera. I was so frustrated by the whole process. To be clear, I don’t really understand New York real estate/apartment leasing.
So back to my point. I was sitting here thinking of every possible scenario that could go wrong. Initially, I didn’t think of any good outcomes, only negative ones. This feeling made me not want to get up and walk my sisters dog, it made me feel like staying inside all day, etcetera. Essentially, albeit momentarily, I was trying to take my will back. I was first trying to control a situation that I had no control over. Once I realized that I was “doomed” to not getting approved and probably ending up on the streets with an old Starbucks cup begging for money I felt frozen. This is the type of thinking that will invariably slam the brakes on any potential growth.
As I sat here, worrying about how this whole process would play out, I remembered the 3rd step prayer: Reference AA. I repeated the prayer a few times aloud and gave my will back to my higher power (If you didn’t already know that I am an alcoholic it should be glaringly obvious by that statement!). I realized that I have absolutely no control over the outcome of this situation. There is nothing more I could do. I know many people have heard this type of “solution” often however I feel I have a different, easier way to reach this potential.
Every morning, literally from the moment I awake, I have to remind myself that if I choose to take control over my life and recover my self-will I am destined for failure. The reasoning is simple: There are many things that I cannot do alone. When I practice this daily it becomes easier and easier to execute. I know I have responsibilities. I don’t want this to be confused with the idea that something greater than myself will take care of everything and I can just lounge in bed all day. That is not at all what I am saying. This requires going into action. This action is not one of self-will though. On self-will alone I cannot accomplish much so in order for me to come to any positive outcome I have to give up the idea that I have control. And the actions that I take to achieve this relief are simple: I pray to a god of my choice, I make positive movements throughout the day, I am honest, I am without self-pity or fear, I allow the world to come to me, I remain patient. Above all I have to have acceptance for any outcome. I have to be prepared when things don’t go the way I want them to go, because this happens often. What I have found however is that generally the way I want things to happen are generally not the way I need things to happen. My wants are steeped in self-seeking, selfishness, vanity, etcetera.
Again, this is a daily practice. It is a routine. It doesn’t happen overnight. I aim for progress on a daily basis, not focusing on how much progress has been made, only that progress has been made. I have to remain calm and patient. When I am patient and take action things generally come to me. The actions that I take have nothing to do with getting a great apartment, finding a dream job or paying off my debts. That is too much for me to tackle in one day. The only way to accomplish those goals is by taking the next right action. And my actions are small. I do what I know I need to do. I follow through on things I have committed to. I show up. I am honest. I make myself useful to those I come in contact with. I offer my service to help a struggling person. My focus when doing these things is not one of selfishness. My focus is on the simple task at hand. This process culminates into a positive outcome daily. When I am honest with people, open to suggestions and am willing to listen my world opens up and these things I need in my life are much more accessible.
So, what did I do to relieve my self of worry about this apartment process? I gave my will away. I thought to myself, “What happens if I don’t get the apartment”? Most likely I would end up finding an apartment that I like even more, and the worst case scenario is I would have to store some furniture and stay with my brother or sister for a week or so. That is the worst thing that could happen! I have a tendency to catastrophize things when really the worst outcome generally isn’t all that bad and it certainly isn’t devastating. So I give up control. Now of course I have responsibilities such as getting in all of the necessary documents, finding someone to sublet my current apartment etcetera. But other than those few responsibilities I didn’t do much of anything to increase the chances of being approved. I didn’t plead with the landlord, I didn’t tell them I’d pay whatever they want if they would just approve me. And I also didn’t pray asking that I be given this apartment. I prayed for relief from my own self will and I went about my day. I went to the gym, I kept a commitment to a friend of mine and met her for lunch, I walked my sisters dog, fed her and gave her medicine, I chaired an AA meeting, I reached out to people to see how their day was, I had a phone interview with my mentor organization. And, as it turned out, I received a text around 11pm telling me that I am now an official Brooklynite! I honestly didn’t think once about the apartment once I gave my will back, once I gave up control everything else was simple. I remained patient and did what I know I am capable of. And when I make that part of my daily discipline my world gets bigger and bigger. And in closing, I am sufficiently happy that I was approved for this particular apartment. Or rather, giving up my control allowed me to get the apartment that is best for me at this moment of my life, not the apartment that I think is best for me.
I am sitting on a plane headed back home to New York City. Sometimes when I sit and think about the direction my life is headed I focus on the future. I wonder what type of job I’ll end up with. If I’ll stay in the city for the rest of my life. The list could be endless. The truth is I have no idea what I’ll be doing tomorrow or if I’ll have that “dream job” or the perfect girlfriend.
I don’t know what is in store for me. But I know that I can control my reaction to life as it happens around me. I have a choice to react positively or negatively. I accept that there are many things out of my control, but I seize the things I can control. The opportunity that has been given to me is not going to be wasted. I wait for life to present itself, and it’s up to me to grab hold of what makes me a useful person. I choose to live each day with enthusiasm. With an energy that nobody can take from me. This is what I have control over.
There is something inside of me that I have built that nobody can ever take from me. You can take away my property, you can take away my obsessions, my relationships, my possessions, my job – you can take away everything that I have gotten or have been given. But you can’t take away my spirit.
You can’t touch my love for those around me. You can try to rip away everything that you think brings me happiness. You can do your best to strip me down to my bones. You barely scratch the surface though. I am the only one who can steal my usefulness to my fellows, the only one who can strip away my happiness.
This is all I can control. I can hope that my behavior can help bring the positive out of somebody else. I’ll keep smiling. I’ll keep showing up for everyone that needs or wants me. I’ll be there for anyone that asks. I strive for progress, not perfection. I will be trustworthy. I will make every effort to be the best son, brother, uncle, friend and person that I can be. Not because I have to but because I want to.
I want to make you smile. I want to live with energy. I want to steal every glimpse of the beauty that I see and keep it in my heart. I want to be better every day. It doesn’t stop. It’s one step at a time. One moment at a time.
And when I see the brightness in others eyes, the joy in others hearts, the passion in others work, I know that I have changed my perspective for the better. I know that the brightness was always there, it’s just now that I’m able to see it.