There is an extraordinary journey being offered to you, an invitation down a quieter, less-traveled, yet all the more scenic path. It's the journey into your own authenticity, but to get there requires the courage to cross through more treacherous terrain: the crags of fear and the bogs of doubt. At points along the way you'll reach clearings that will stop your breath with their beauty, their aliveness. You may not believe it to be a real place, but after time you'll realize that it's true and it's there, a place inside yourself where a distant voice whispers to you that you are enough, where the rain calms your soul and the sun warms you through - all this at once. In those places you begin to learn how to not only coexist with fear, but how to thrive in its presence and how to nurture the part of yourself that can stand up in your truth to comfort that fear.
The journey is an inward pilgrimage, and it begins by releasing our unhealthy attachments. We slowly start to turn down the volume on other people's influence on our thoughts and actions; we create more quiet and more stillness for our authentic self to step in and guide us. And then, finally, we learn what it means to experiment with no longer playing the roles we conjure for ourselves: parent, or child, or sibling, or spouse, or boss, or employee. And it's in that beautiful, foreign space of contentment that we begin to know our authentic selves for the first time. It's there that we meet Grace. From that place, we find compassion enough to calm our fear, to trust our authentic self, and to hope and believe in the very best.
But it starts with letting go of the role, letting go of the search for validation to be found by being something else for everyone else. It starts with choosing the stranger: yourself.