i don’t know about you
but i do know me
i lived life afraid
afraid to love and be loved
afraid to fail and to succeed
afraid that i would not be able to be who i thought i was.

so i hid,
played small,
and lived life running from one relationship to the next.

my fear became my friend,
it was the only thing i let close to me
and my protector
and it did it’s job very, very well.

i let nothing in, and let nothing out.
though i appeared to be kind and loving,
i never let anyone, not even myself,
into the center of my heart.
fear protected me with razor blade like invisible walls
all around my heart.

i was a good friend,
a good partner
a good brother
a good dad,
but never great one.

i was good at my work, some would even say great
but my work was to build others, never myself.
i was the guy behind the success of others
but never the one in front of my own success.

i had gotten used to it
and managed to live an ok life.
there was no reason to change.

until . . . .
i went shopping with my daughter for a dress for her to wear to my wedding
we went to the same store we had gone to to get her many things before
but this time,
nothing fit her.

it hit me,
she had grown a tummy just like mine.

it wasn’t always the case.
she had been heavy when she was living with me
but then choose to go away to live in a group home for 4 years
(my daughter has a developmental delay)
and while she was there, she lost a lot of weight,
a lot.
she was really skinny.
but when she moved back with us,
she very quickly gained weight again.

let me explain something here.
her diet was better than ever (gluten free, sugar free, diary free, everything free)
and she was exercising more than she ever had
so from that, she should have lost weight
but she did not.
she gained weight.

my daughter was trying to be like me.

suddenly, i have even more reason to love myself
to take off the protection of my “friend” fear
and to live life from a place of love.

the choice i made,
not only affected me,
it affected my daughter
and others close to me.

yesterday, while shopping for a dress with my daughter
my life changed.
day one, i love myself
and i am choosing to treat myself like someone who loves himself.
this one choice, changes all choices.

and what i realized is this.
even if i can’t do it for myself (which i most certainly can)
i must do it for my daughter.

the message i am giving her from today forward has changed.
i bet she will now lose weight again too.

what message are you giving to the world around you?
will you let fear bind you
or will you allow yourself to be seduced by love.
how will this one decision change your entire life?