The Only Moments You Know You're Alive

You're in the moment.

You're right here, right now.

Your eyes may be wide open, surveying all before them. Or, they may be slammed shut, and whatever's happening outside is playing like a movie on a projector, shooting through smoky light the events life on the backs of your eyelids. You may be afraid. You may be happy. But you're here. Now.

You're no longer thinking.

You're not processing and responding.

You are alive.

You move with agility you never knew you had -- and you don't even realize you're doing it, because you're not thinking about it. Everything you say comes straight from the heart, bypassing the brain and exiting the mouth before any filters dilute the message. Every action ends with a punctuation reserved for only the most important of statements, both expressed and spoken.

You are scared out of your mind. You are happy to the point of full release. You don't just feel the air rushing into your lungs, you feel the life that the air you breathe gives you. You feel it coursing through your veins as each blood cell rushes, as fast as it can, the oxygen you're drawing in to the furnaces it fuels to make you do what you're doing right now. You can feel every single artery contract and release, pushing this life through you. You can feel every vein drawing out the impurities, making room for more fire. You exhale and it almost screams.

Everything glows.

That moment -- that period between thoughts, whether it be minutes or seconds or even nanoseconds -- that moment is when you know you're truly alive.

This is not a dream.

This is not a fabrication.

You're feeling what you feel. You're doing what you're doing. There is no time for regret. There is no time for planning. There is only time for being exactly who you are, exactly how you are.

It is a shame, then, that we often only know these moments in hindsight. Looking back on them, whether they just happened or they were years ago, we realize we were not merely living; we were alive. And it's also a shame that more often than not, we treat these moments like mistakes.

These moments are NOT mistakes. These moments are quite possibly the only moments in your life you're not making a mistake. You're living true. You're living honest. You're ALIVE.

Trust THESE moments to tell you who you are. Not the rationalizations ex-post-facto. Not the second guessing. Not other peoples' opinions on what happened. Look at the moment. Look at how you acted.

That. THAT. Is who you are.

The moments you know you're not merely living, you are alive... These moments are the only ones that matter. Everything else is just a response. It's spin. Your brain will get in the way and try to run interference. Don't let it. Don't allow it to attach definitions and explanations and rationalizations. Trust these moments.

Hide from them, and you'll continually regret the moments your brain turns off and your body takes over and does whatever it does when you're truly alive. If you dismiss them, you won't be able to live through them. You'll continually feel regret and pain and hostility toward yourself. You won't be able to use them as tools to know who you are at your core. And that will lead to a life filled with disaster. Pain. Shame.

Embrace them, and you will find yourself. You will know yourself. You will know that, at your core, beyond the voices whispering yes's and no's into your mind's ear, who you really are. You will begin to see the framework that makes you. You can then trust it. You can release, slowly, the contrary thoughts and rationalizations and second guessing.

And when you lose yourself in the moment and wake up from it, whatever took place... It was you on display. The real you. The you you've come to know and to trust to be you.

And you have nothing -- NOTHING -- to be ashamed of.


"Write What You Know."

"Write what you know."

That was the daily inspiration that I got this morning when Day One, my favorite journaling app, reminded me to write something. It's a great feature, but most days it gives me the equivalent of a fortune cookie -- something cute that I don't mind reading. But every so often, it actually fulfills its purpose: it jogs my brain and gets me typing.

So: I know that I am happier now than I've been in a long while. I know that my happiness isn't tethered to anyone or anything. I know that I am beginning to do good work again. I know that I am beginning to train hard again. I know that I drew something for the first time in two years yesterday. I know that I've come through an exceptionally hard time the past year (and more, really). I know it's not over just yet, but I've made it this far, which tells me I know I'll make it the rest of the way. I know I have the courage to face ANYTHING. I know I also have the courage to walk away from the things that, despite my desires to help them, hurt me.

I know that I have some of the most amazing friends on the planet. I know I am loved. I know that, for the first time in my life, that love is equal and not overcompensated on any end. I know that that love is how I was able to make it through this storm, and will make it through any other.

I know how to ask for help when I need it. I know that even though I may be experiencing weakness, asking for help is not weak. I know that it takes a tremendous amount of strength to ask someone to prop you up while you walk your path, especially if you love them and don't want to burden them. I know that helping others isn't a burden.

I know myself. I know that I've been learning myself for quite some time, and as a result of the hardest part of my life so far, I've put those lessons to the test and passed. I know I didn't pass every single test, but those I failed, I know I learned from.

I know where I am going. I know the destination is happiness. I don't know each individual stop on that path, nor where "happiness" actually lives, but I know the path I'm on is the right one to get there.

I know that I hardly know anything yet. I know that that thought excites me more than it scares me. I know that it does scare me, though, and it's the kind of scare that entices, not threatens.

That's what I know… So far.