I’ve had a really hard time sleeping lately. Honestly, its because I have a lot on my mind.

I love writing. It has always been a way for me to pour out my thoughts onto paper. One thing about me is that when something really profound has happened to me, it really doesn’t stop mulling in my head. I guess I just think about things a lot. I really have always been that way. When I was little I used to just go sit in my tree house and sit and just listen to whatever animals were doing at the time. I still do that today, but in a different way. One of the hardest things I have to do in my life is sit down once a day, completely still, and be in absolute silence for 20-30 minutes. No distractions, no talking, nothing. Phone is off, music is off, and it’s just me. The last few times I actually fell asleep sitting up against the wall on the floor because I am so tired. But this actually really works. If you ever have something on your mind, do what I do and answers will flow into your mind. No, I didn’t make this up, it was a suggestion from someone close to me.

I am worn out. This whole thing is taking its toll on me because I am just full of emotions that I can’t express. I can’t express them because I am not supposed to. And for me, that drains me drip my drip, and strips the sleep away from me. The only thing I can really do these days is go to the library and study. It seems to get my mind off of everything. But as God would have it, he also challenges me there. There are so many things I want to say, to do, to express, but I have capped the lid on them. It’s not the right time or the right place. I don’t know when that will be. Writing helps, but its not speaking. Speaking is what I need.

I think a lot about courage. In fact, I have thought about courage since I was little. I would always imagine scenarios where I would have to do something courageous and come through. I would play these parts out with my dog in the yard, saving her from something or protecting her from some monster. She had no idea what I was doing but she sure as hell loved to lick my face after I saved her. I think about her almost every day. For me, looking back on it now, it took courage to let her go. We tried to keep her alive for as long as we possibly could, but I could only see the pain in here eyes because she wasn’t the dog she used to be. One day, I will have another dog just like her, and will go to the ends of the world to make it happen. For right now, I know she walks beside me every day, looking up ready for our next journey

So…courage. What takes courage? I think as I have moved on throughout my life so far, courage is actually redefining itself. What I mean by this is that it’s rarely about going and saving someone from death or running into a burning building. People face choices of whether or not to display courage every day. I have had my moments of cowardice, and they turn my stomach when I think about them. I like to keep those moments close to the chest because it reminds me of what I don’t want to be. I have also my moments of great courage. I think, at least for me, having the guts to do something that I know is going to be scary and potentially emotionally and physically draining applies to what I am talking about. Its about having the courage to do what you know is right in your heart. There are moments where I wonder how much more of it I can take. I remember having a discussion with my roommate a couple weeks ago about what is my purpose of even trying anymore. If one thing, after the next, after the next keeps on happening, why am I even putting myself in that position anymore? He just looked at me and said, “But that’s not what your made of” and that shut me up pretty fast. He is right, that’s not what I am made of. Seeing something that you can’t have anymore though sucks. It’s torture. I have my moments. We all stray from ourselves at some point or another, but if our moral compass is pointed in the right direction, we will all get there.

I can’t do this on my own. There are a handful of people I trust in unbelievably who have helped me through everything. Without them, I don’t think I would be as happy as I am right now. That’s what good friends are for, to pick you up when you are down. And I definitely have great friends. For me to put myself in other peoples hands is hard for me. I like to know that I have some control over my life. But as there have been plenty of moments of friends crying in my arms, I have to give them that same chance. So far, they have had it. But there are parts where I am taking this journey on my own. I am venturing into some pretty deep places that I haven’t visited in a long time. Sometimes confronting the things that you have hidden away is the best thing for you. Bring them out into the light and dust them off, they aren’t as bad as you thought they once were. But make sure to bring a flashlight and check the batteries, you might be looking around in the dark for a while.

Give yourself the chance to be courageous.

It’s hard. Going through days when a lot of your downtime is barraged my emotions. I can’t avoid it. All I can do is pull out a chair and allow these thoughts to be poured over me until they are all out in the open. “Missing” is one of the most consuming things ever. But there are those moments where that is always taken away, and I hold onto those dearly. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing the right thing. That takes faith. Being blindly guided by your heart and by God really can be hard. But we all have to take that leap of faith sometimes. Like I wrote last time, we must trust in the path. What makes my path difficult is that I can’t really see what’s going to happen, but like any path, that is usually the case. What I can do is walk down that path and just trust that there will be more path around the bend. I don’t know how long I will be able to walk it, that’s the problems with paths. They aren’t like mountains where you know where you have to go and possibly how hard you have to work to get up it. Paths, can go on, and on, and on….and you never know where they might lead you. I don’t know where I am going, and while that’s scary, its also exhilarating. As for my sleep issues, well, I don’t know how I am going to fix those.

Maybe it comes with the territory, I’m not sure though, but I just pray that it comes soon.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project