Our hearts blossom and die, in perfect unison, with the comings and goings of this world.

It was the uprooting of the heart, the tearing apart of the soul and the act of life kicking dirt in my eyes that made me who I am today. This has made me the proud man I am today sitting here on the porch of my house writing to you. The happy times stand as memories in my mind. Moments that make me smile when thought upon. Combatants to those times that have brought me to my knees. But like I said previously, it was the times of regret, fear, and worry that brought me to this point. They have turned me into a positive man. One who continuously struggles with the balance of seeing the best that life has to offer and being aware of the not so cloaked acts of those who consciously or subconsciously try to destroy pieces of my world.

My world was created because my soul is on fire.

I know now is not my time…I am not the man yet I want to put in front of you. Hard to admit, but it’s the truth nonetheless. The man I want to put in front of you is going to be much more than simply what I have set out to accomplish – he’s going to have this fire about him and passion for life that could burn down trees. I haven’t grown into that man yet, but I do know this….that when I put him in front of you, when the time comes, I intend to do nothing but knock your socks off. Soon, in time, you will see him. I can’t wait for that day.

There is a frustrating but rewarding tug of war that exists in my everyday walking on this earth. The gripping of the past versus the pulling of my present. It doesn’t help that I have been blessed with an exceptional visual memory as the events throughout my past days play through my mind as tapestries would unfold from their tied placements. They play through my mind without my permission and prick my emotions with subtle suggestions of old feelings. If humored these feelings turn into full-blown moments that have the power to bring me down to my darkest. I am careful with these colorful moments fleeting through my mind.

As it exists now in this moment though there are beautiful pieces of these haunting memories that can only be seen when focused upon. The light can often be swallowed by the overwhelming mouth and greedy teeth of pain. Once its hooks are in us they split our skin as we try to get past the barb. Yet if we focus, on those old memories that we would rather choose to not look back on we can see the best in everything. We can see something that is so hard to see – the happiness of the moment we were in.

The developments of relationships and feelings over time, if gone sour, can cloak everything and turn our happiness into an opaque memory. We leave something only to point out the problems as if this was some cure all way of making ourselves feel better and believe that we are now better off than we were. But the truth is, better is an almost impossible concept to define when it relates to the impossible undependability of life. What I choose to see is that whatever was happening in my life at that time was the most perfect thing that could have happened in order to allow me to grow.

Call the events that happen to us good or bad as you wish, but the truth is they are all just different. We attribute the appointed lessons to us with names and definitions that may or may not truly represent the significance of the moment. I believe wholeheartedly that we can choose our path willingly and on that path there will be events that teach us important lessons. In the end, our experiences as we wander blindly through this thing called life are indeed just lessons to be learned. Those who choose to live in a world full of denial will never learn until they accept the truth – and that is the fundamental difference between what was perceived to happen and what actually happened.

When you look yourself in the mirror, you see a man or woman who is defined by the experiences and events of the past. You are defined primarily by the choices you have made and decided to live out. This for many can be haunting but for those who know that this life is indeed their responsibility and everything that is a mess before this current moment is their to clean up – well, they are truly free. They aren’t controlled by anything that has happened previously. They are free.

The sum of all moments can be turned into a different type of equation then the one you see today. See a different outcome for yourself and make the change – for you – not for someone else.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project