By: Alexis Jones, IATG Co-Founder
Image from limereviews.blogspot
I ran into a dear friend recently who I hadn’t seen in years. After a few minutes of small talk, she reluctantly and bravely shared her decision to go to rehab for alcohol addiction. Here was this beautiful girl, standing there before me, unaware of her magnificence. She mentioned words like, “loser” and “embarrassed.” I couldn’t help but want to take my eyeballs out of my own sockets and hand them to her in hopes that even if for a second she could see herself through my perspective. Because, while she saw a reflection in the mirror of a girl who was broken, lost, confused, and disappointing, I saw nothing but strength and beauty. After we chatted briefly, a phone call kept us up until the wee hours of the morning laughing, strolling down memory land, sharing and listening to one another’s stories. I felt like I was in summer camp again, and I had just been reintroduced to my girlfriend who I’d waited an entire year to see.
Needless to say, I woke up in awe of my girlfriend’s courage to be honest with herself, much less those around her. One of my favorite authors, Brene Brown had the audacity to redefine courage. Rather than courage being the willingness to put your life on the line, she said that true courage was having the willingness to put your vulnerability on the line. My girlfriend was willing to show the chinks in her armor, to admit her insecurities and weaknesses in spite of what anyone else thought. She decided that her wellness, her happiness, her wholeness was more important than pretending to be fine. Had she been wearing a cape, I could have mistaken her for Wonder Woman in that moment.
You see, I truly believe we all struggle and that we often fall short of the best version of ourselves. I think it’s really easy in a society that values our physical beauty, our financial wealth, our public success and accolades above our intangibles to breed insecurity. In fact, I would go as far as to say that there is an epidemic of insecurity; one that I know intimately and I would venture to say most of you do as well. Regardless of your “addiction,” whether it’s a vice, distraction, or anything else keeping you from shining your brightest, there ain’t no shame in getting help. In fact, I venture to say there is nothing braver.
And to my sweet girlfriend out there, sometime we forget we are awesome, and you are on your way to remembering. We never lose ourselves, we sometimes just neglect that little girl inside wanting so badly to be loved. Our journeys are as unique as our fingerprints and we are exactly, precisely where we should be today. So remember this: RELAX. You are enough, you have enough, you do enough (now repeat). All my love goes out to those struggling today, may you have the same courage as my girlfriend to choose a road that gets you back on track, and may we all have more compassion to inspire those with a broken wing back to their fullest flying potential.