I’m not sure where to begin.

I guess I’ll start with the truth.

A truth, I have realized, that has been incredibly hard to talk about. Those conversations have been hidden deep within. The whispers come out during my runs in the morning, in moments of silence throughout the day, and every night before I go to sleep.

The truth is, they haven’t stopped…they’ve only slowed down in their pace.

Thankfully. But I’ve had to take time away from writing to take care of myself.

It stopped. Completely. After I burned my journals, it never really picked up again. The thing that is such a big part of me, knew exactly what to do to take care of me. It asked me to walk away for a while to find out what I needed.

And my heart needed a lot.

There has been something about the past few days that has caused me to move deeper into a reflection than I’m used to. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am graduating from my coaching school this weekend.

As I sit here outside under the stars writing, I think on all of the things that happened this year. There’s truth in these thoughts as well. I harbor no bitterness in my heart…but I do look back with learning eyes.

But most importantly, with eyes of love and compassion.

My world has drastically changed.

When I stepped through the doors of my school last year I was a very different man than I am now. And as the year went on, and I started painting those thoughts buried in the black more and more, I started to shift.

What had scared me forever…diving into the recesses of my heart…those scary and darker places…to confront all of the things that I had kept locked away actually opened up my world.

It allowed me to paint a scene of light with colors that aren’t typically forgiving.

I found my joy again, no matter how hard this year was.

I was able to sit in moments that felt punishing…some of those moments lasting for months…and still “be” with them even though they tore me apart to feel.

I realize,  that maybe I wasn’t being torn apart…but rather torn open.

I spent so much time throughout my life protecting myself I didn’t realize what it would be like to feel everything and anything. Even though some of the things that came in were a rude awakening, I came to understand quickly that these things weren’t so bad after all.

The emotional part of it yes…but the things that come out of it…are very beautiful things.

They are seeds that take time to crack. But when they do, they show you something unimaginable.

I’ve felt lost.

Very lost.

More truth here…

I don’t usually like admitting that…but over the past few months I’ve felt more lost than I have felt in a very long time.

Maybe it was the perfect storm of things all happening at once…but it brought me to this place where I am now…and to be honest it’s not so bad.

Sitting out here…

Listening to the frogs chirp away.

I just haven’t really been the same.

A burning fire turned into a crackling flame.

Like a slowly burning fire at night…full of color and the occasional pop…but never to rage within.

I’ve slowed. I’ve quieted. I’ve “left” in a few different ways.

Which all brings me to this moment.

A moment flooded with memories. A moment full of belief that in the right time, I will wake up one day and things will have shifted in me again…as they always have years and years later.

I don’t know what’s right around the corner.

I don’t know what’s about to happen in my life expect for the things that I’m about to do.

But what I can tell you is that I am open for it.

Whatever it may be.

Bring it to me…challenges, happiness, pain and all. Because that’s the thing that has shaped me into who I am now.

I’m yours.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project