I challenge you to read this…wait, no, don’t. I don’t want you to just read it. This is a place of challenge, and just as with change, it can be uncomfortable. Growth, my favorite yogi says, is uncomfortable. So, no, I don’t challenge you to simply read this.
I challenge you to be uncomfortable.
I challenge you to say exactly how you feel, unrestrained by fear of rejection, ridicule, misinterpretation, or dismissal. Be brave in owning your feelings.
I challenge you to stop agreeing to do things that you will never do. Be real with yourself and others. Say no.
I challenge you to be open when it’s hardest. Look on a person that hurts you with love rather than malice. Peel back the wall that protects you — anger, fear, denial, avoidance, and any form of self-destructive behavior — and look at why this protective response is happening. This is a difficult, and incredibly effective path, towards true self-awareness.
I challenge you to act instead of talk. Don’t just tell your mom you love her; do something to show her. Have a complaint? Then take action to find its remedy. Even if it seems impossible. Doors open when you set your intention, no matter how unconquerable.
I challenge you to treat the world with compassion, even when it is spitting in your face. The only true freedom you have in life is in how you respond to every situation, every individual, and every single second of existence.
I challenge you to embrace love. Next time your friend wants to treat you for a drink, your son wants to open your car door, or your mother wants to pinch your cheeks and squeal, open your arms wide with gratitude, acceptance, and love. Receive willingly and let love in.
I challenge you to let go of your baggage. Or at least some of it. Yes, shitty things happen. Yes, they change us in ways we never expect, and they become part of who we are. But accept what has happened and decide if you should carry it with you for the rest of your life. Look through that baggage — deal with it, clean it out, and decide what will be carried, and what will be left behind.
I challenge you to be exceedingly free and open when it comes to telling the people you love how you feel.
I challenge you to look at yourself in the mirror and honestly assess the person you are. Are you who you want to be? Do you even know what that is — what you want to be?