I’ve used it to fuel me. I’ve taken the worst of the worst and allowed it to transform my story.

At one point in my life, pain consumed me. I had no outlet. I had no idea what to do with it. So it ate away at my guts until I felt hollow inside. A fury of emotions would rage inside trapped by the hollow walls of my body. I would self-destruct. I would collapse. There’s nothing strong about a tin body full of nothingness.


That’s what changed it.

My writing quickly became a way for me to process everything that had happened or was happening in the moment. It seemed that as I put the words down on the page, the event changed. I was able to see light in something that existed as completely dark in my mind.

As time has gone on, I think I have started to understand that writing became a filter of sorts. My inherent joy and enthusiasm for going at life with a fiery intensity changed the way I looked at things. The event shifted. It turned itself from a mutated ball of emotions into something that made much more sense to the wisdom inside of my heart.

And with that change came peace.

That’s not to say that this came instantly. In fact, most of it didn’t. Most of the changes came after writing about something and thinking about it time after time after time again. With some of the things that happened, the only requirement for healing really was time.

I have found myself telling people that there’s black smoke burning in the sky today when I am really going through it.

I mean that in the sense that I am burning darker energy. It doesn’t always come out clean. It doesn’t always burn nicely. But when it does, it produces a fuel that will last for quite a long time. Most importantly for me though, that energy within me gets out. It doesn’t stay there. It billows into the sky and I show the heavens and everyone else around that I am doing everything I can to get through these moments.

This hasn’t been the easiest month for me.

There have been a ton of challenges and a lot of things have come up for me. I’ve felt in ways that I haven’t felt in a long time. I’ve had to stoke those coals and burn that darkness once again. I’ve had to go back to places and relearn lessons about how I’ve handled situations and why going about it the way I’ve gone about it matters so much to me.

I guess I’ve been reminded of my foundations.

I think it’s really easy to just go about your life and pretend everything is fine. Ignore it. You can try to “rise above it” because you don’t really want to deal with it. Maybe you even push it to the side and try to forget about it.

But it never goes away.

Oh and I know this to be true better than most.

Because all those times you push it away, you are creating this big imaginary haystack ready to burn and all it takes is one match to ignite everything and burn you straight to a crisp. How do I know that? I’ve been there. Once completely…and the second time I was lucky enough to have someone in my life I could put my back up against when everything seemed to be going wrong.

You’ve got to go through it. You’ve got to go straight into what you’ve been avoiding because that visitor will always come knocking on your door until you finally let them in and give them the attention they deserve.

Ignore it doesn’t work. Running from it only makes it worse.

Through. Through, through, through.

Right now, I’m going through it.

I’m letting things be the way they are. I’m not trying to fix it or manipulate it or construct it in a way that it isn’t. I’m just accepting it as it is.

So as hard as it can be at times…

Look up into the sky.

You will see the black smoke burning

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project