Recently I had the opportunity to speak on a podcast called Fire through Fog, a show dedicated to folks who have been through some dark times in their life and somehow turned that darkness into light.
I’ve told my story hundreds of times for the past few years on social media, and I can honestly say that I have never once told any part of my story that I didn't have at least one person reach out to me and tell me how it touched them or spoke to them. I can't say how humbling this is but at the same time, it's a horrible feeling to know that so many people out there have gone through or are going through dark times.
We all go through darkness sometimes and a friend of mine one time told me that he called it "the void" and that truly resonated with me.
The void... a hole... an emptiness...
The question is, how do you fill that emptiness?
I want to tell you a few things that I think helped me.
Forgive yourself. All through childhood we're told to forgive others. I totally agree that we should, but more than anything we have to forgive ourselves. Forgive ourselves for the decisions we made that led us to the situation we're in. I remember looking in the mirror late one night after being up for 5 or 6 straight days. I couldn't close my eyes because of the massive amount of methamphetamines I had done. And I cried looking at my reflection and I literally said out loud "I am so sorry that I let you get this way. I am so sorry that I caused you to lose everything. I am so sorry." And then outload again I said "I forgive you". After crying a little more I took myself to bed and I fell asleep for the first time in a week.
Tell your truth. It took me a long time to realize that telling the truth meant so much more than just not telling a lie. How many of you reading this have a skeleton in your closet? One that the longer it's in there the heavier it becomes. The thing about keeping thoughts, feelings, and secrets suppressed is that they have total control over you. But if you tell the truth... there is no one and no thing that has power over you any longer. The truth truly does set you free.
Set a goal and write it down. Far too many of us want things or feelings but we won't take the time to actually make those things a goal. When you write something down you place a benchmark in your mind and all of the sudden... its real. Maybe you want to get sober from alcohol - write it down. Maybe you want to stop feeling anxious when a certain person comes around - write it down. Maybe you want to not feel hatred towards someone anymore - write it down.
Keep your promises to yourself. Every single day we lie to ourselves. We say we're going to get up and go to the gym in the morning and then we don't. We say we're going to bed before 9PM and then we don't. We say we're not going to lose our temper anymore and then we do. And then when we look at ourselves in the mirror all we can see is a liar, which leads us to a darker place in our mind - a deeper void. Make small commitments, commitments that you know you CAN keep. And then KEEP THEM. No caffeine for a day, and then keep that promise. No pornography for day, and then keep that promise. One day commitments... one hour if you have to... just keep your word. Prove to yourself that you are NOT a liar.
The final piece to my story tonight is to say to you that we are all flawed. We all have demons and we all slip to the void once in a while. We all have bad days and make bad decisions. We all get upset sometimes and have no idea why.
You are not alone. No matter what you are going through or feeling there is someone out there has gone through nearly the exact same thing. You are loved for who you are, in spite of who you are.
And you have the power inside of you to be better.
Go check out the podcast for me please and if anything I have said resonates with you or you feel it would help anyone you know, please pay the fee and share it.