This morning, to be entirely honest and open about it…I was hurting badly and suffered through my entire 2 hours at the gym. I’ve been doing lots of shadow work lately – diving deep into the places that we try to hide from the rest of the world (shame, old experiences, unresolved issues, doubt, fear) – and I woke up exhausted and feeling like I had an empty tank. I looked at the rest of my day and wondered how I was going to get through it. I even wrote about 2,000 words on the subject…and then my sister showed up, talked to me for an hour and put energy back right where I needed it. Straight into the heart. So I deleted everything I wrote…and here I am.

I’ve never functioned on giving only pieces of myself. I give everything. To everyone. Is this risky? Yes, at times of course it doesn’t turn out…but have I created some incredible close relationships because of this? You bet. So is it worth the risk? 100 times out of 100. I burn the tank out and that’s just the way I’ve always been. I adopted that life because one day I saw the end and knew how I had to live in the beginning. I saw myself, an old old man, smiling, burnt out completely, and knew that I had spent every single last piece of energy I had on living and caring about others. I don’t want to have anything left. I want my life to be an act of fiery spontaneous combustion…and for people to say…”wow…the kid really gave it a shot didn’t he?”

Sometimes, it takes someone who knows you better than you probably know yourself to come along and to remind you exactly who you are. Today, my sister did that for me. Despite being one of my heroes, she just made a tweak in me that I felt something flood out…so here I am…and I’m going to tell you exactly who I am down to my core.

I will love you with every last piece of myself, I will support you through anything, I will put on the armor and go to battle with you without even asking what we are fighting for, I will cross oceans and climb mountains if you needed me to, I will drive thousands of miles to be there for you, I will help you build your dreams, I will help you raise your vision for what you want from life, I will get down into the mud with you and spend countless hours helping you hash something out, I will seek any materials that may be needed for the task, I will absolutely crash and burn at times and make massive mistakes – and will do anything to correct them…more importantly, you will know I have corrected them, I will work on myself every single day, I will believe in your dreams, I will remind you of who you are, I will be a confidant, I will get in your face when you are being anything less than who you know you are, I will cry with you, I will laugh uncontrollably with you, I will adventure the world, I will open my heart to you, I will hear the worst about you and love you through that, I will never ask you to be anything but what you are, I will help you see what you are capable of being, I will be your teammate and partner in crime, I will share with you the intimate details of my greatest fears, where my soul shakes, and what frightens me beyond belief…I will celebrate your victories and spend time with you in defeat, I will bring you out of the dark, I will arouse enthusiasm in you when you have nothing left in the tank yourself, I will learn about you every single day, I will watch you leave when you are in the light, I will hold you with open palms so that you are free to fly away if you need to, I will not hold a single grudge against you, I will help you believe that you are meant for great things – because I honestly see them, I will never lie to you, I will be all these things and many more for you…because that’s who I am. That’s me. That’s what is in my blood and that’s the person that, for whatever reason, I have come to be.

I am completely and utterly…100% unapologetically…that person. Who am I without goals? That person above…that’s me down to my core. That’s who I am for everyone in my life. Not just some people, everyone. Because it’s a godamn shame to be anything but exactly who you are…it’s a shame to hide yourself from the world because you are scared of what it might say about you.


Unapologetically no.

Never, ever, forget who you are. Never forget what you are made of, what you are built of, what runs through your veins, where you have come from, what you bring, what you offer, what your vision is for others and for the world. Never forget these things. They run deep beyond your comprehension. No matter what, the trial, the tribulation, the challenge, the consequence…you run true. The winds of the world never change the current of who you are.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project