We all have those places we can escape.

Those places where everything is dead quiet and it’s just you and the trees. I needed quiet. I needed silence. I needed to not only hear myself think but to hear what my heart had to say. And when everything quieted down around me, it happened…


Whispers that were asking for my attention.

For about a week now, I haven’t been exactly sure what to say. In a major way after the last post, I closed a massive chapter of my life. As exciting as that was, it was also hard for me in many many ways. It’s not that I lost my identity, but it’s that the last little piece of it all clicked.

There had been years and years of me attempting to do something, growing into the man I have become today, changing, morphing, adjusting to life in ways that I never had dreamed of before and then there was that last finishing touch to it all. There was that final moment where the camera shutter went **click** for the last time and it was all over.

The moment I had been dreaming of for 15 years was finished. 

That moment was amazing to be standing in, and yet at the same time bittersweet in many ways. Since that moment, I have let it go because I know that there are things that I have to let into my life to replace it. It will always hold a special place in my heart because it built me into who I am today, but at the same time I have to release my grips on it and continue my adventure.

Ah, the adventure.

That’s what I’m really getting to.

In ways I could not have ever seen, I have been rocked to my core over this past month. Stepping into dreams, things falling together, paths splitting, learning, growing, suffering, and everything else in between. There has been a lot of happiness mixed in with the colors of pain and yet somehow I’ve come to the realization that this is in fact exactly the way it is supposed to be. I know it’s the way it’s supposed to be because I remember way back what it was life to feel numb.

And back then, I wasn’t living. Everything was in chaos and I didn’t want to do anything about it.

But now, despite chaos continuing to be ever-present, there is a feeling of being far more grounded than I ever was. There’s the knowledge that I can stand in any storm and continue to be the rock that I wanted to be all those years ago.

I’ve had to make really hard decisions.

I’ve had to make decisions that I really didn’t want to make.

But the greatest lesson I’ve ever learned is this…

Live your life out of love instead of fear.Β 

Because when you come from this place, from a place of love instead of fear, you do things drastically different. You honor yourself, you respect yourself, you respect others, you want to see the best for others, you deeply love and care about their wellbeing and who they are inside and you always see the best in them. You never talk poorly of them. In fact, and this is something that took me a long time to realize…

You never stop loving them. 

The people who have come into my life have built me into the person I am. They have branded their love onto my heart in ways that could never be replicated by anyone else. They are as much a piece of me now as they were back then. Knowing that, I always carry with me the people who have been here, who have shaped me, who have taken care of me and who have loved me.

This world is an absolutely crazy place and times and we don’t really have much of a say with what happens to us. But we do have a say in how we take action. We have a choice – to either live in this place of fear or to step into our fears and live in a place of love. When it comes down to it, it really is the most fundamental decision you have to make for yourself.

Will I love deeply or hide in fear?

Those fears can be endless, but they all do the same thing – they stop you from living. 

They stop you from doing the thins you want to do, from making commitments, from saying what your heart is requesting you to say and you end up being hardly the person you know you can be. Fear doesn’t do this all at once, instead it bleeds your heart out over time until you have nothing left to give. When you have nothing left to give, things begin to start feeling pretty hollow.

I know that feeling, I’ve been there.

The only way to get back to a place of being alive is to put it all out there. To put your heart on the line day after day no matter how many times you have been hurt in the past or how bad you are currently hurting now. You have to be willing to stand in the storm of your life and know that it will all end soon. But you can’t lose yourself in the rain, wind and lightning. You can’t lose who you are no matter what is going on.

Because the only guaranteed thing about life is that life will change. Life will twist and turn and test you in ways you hadn’t expected. It will go up against your best and test you time and time again. Stay in the pocket. Stand right in it.

And be patient.

Breathe. Slow down. Be patient.

Things have a very funny way of coming back around if you give them the time to. There’s a very interesting cyclical path to everything that is going on.

Stay true to yourself. Act out of love and not out of fear. Take a stand for other people. Take a stand for who you are. Never lose yourself and continue to go out into the world and putting yourself in the game right where you belong. Never quit on who you are when things get tough…

And when life throws you a curveball, sit back, be patient, and knock it out of the park anyway.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project