No one can travel this path for you. It’s yours and yours alone.

The decisions you make (or don’t make) are on you. There are no fingers to point. No other people to blame. Every step is your own.

In ways this is incredibly liberating.

When you’re struggling to make a choice, it can be very hard.

I’ve come to understand more and more about this path I am as the years have gone by. I understand more about who I am, what I want to engage in, what makes me happy and what I want to create for myself.

The past 6 months were enlightening. Sitting by my grandmother as she suffered through terminal lung cancer opened my eyes in ways that are hard to explain. Death will do that. Even in my work, I found that many people were going through the exact same process so I became more and more familiar with what death is.

But being there next to her and listening her talk about her life made me really start thinking about time.

What am I doing with my time?

How much time do I have?

I realized that I really don’t know. I really don’t know how much time I have left and that I’ve also personally felt that I’ve wasted a lot of time. I’ve stumbled, procrastinated and stalled along this path and not engaged in what my heart knew to do. I don’t know if it was a combination of fear, laziness, or whatever it possibly could have been, but I was left with this feeling that I had wasted opportunities.

I know I want to leave an impact on this world.

I want to be a source of light and love.

But I’ve also kept that from the world in many ways. I’ve held hostage my thoughts, written work, emotions and content that could make the lives of others better. I’ve put off the path I’ve designed for myself and my own growth for things that didn’t really serve me.

When I really looked myself in the mirror the past couple of weeks, I knew that I didn’t give it my best effort.

And that’s been a hard pill for me to swallow.

It goes against everything I believe in.

Interestingly enough, this time of unrest has allowed me to dive deeper and deeper into my own self-reflection and understand which way to go. Traveling has been a wonderful experience for me, but in regards to the way I am doing it now, it feels like the candle is burning down to the end of the wick.

I’ve come to understand that I have always shifted with the seasons.

And there are seasons for work and creation and there are seasons for stepping back to relax and recharge.

With the way I’ve been going about my life this past few years I really haven’t given myself a chance to truly appreciate the season I am in. I now know I need that. I need time to hunker down and charge forward. I need time to step away, to play in the ocean and truly put everything down for a while.

I also know that I now have to let go of the past. I have to let go of the fact that I feel like I’ve wasted some time, learn from it, and move forward. It does me absolutely no good to beat myself up and constantly rehash things with myself regarding my past.

What is done is done.

It’s not a failure. It’s just I didn’t do as much as I thought I was capable of doing.

I now am going to rise to that challenge.

I’m going to expand around this, not contract.

I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.

Change is a beautiful thing. You can either let change make you or you can run from it in fear. But both of those are a choice. I’ve always embraced change even though a great deal of the time it has challenged me beyond belief. I know in my heart that it’s good for me. I know that it’s going to be the thing that brings the best out in me.

That doesn’t make it easy.

In fact, it often makes it very very hard.

But just as the blacksmith’s arm is built by resistance, so are our souls strengthened by our courage, determination and resilience.

It’s those qualities that bring out our true nature.

So walk this path of yours. Ask for challenges that will help you bloom. Do not seek an easy path because you will never grow. Seek the path that aligns with your heart’s sense of bliss, that will open you up to the possibility of transformation, and that will bring out the best of who you are.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project