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There’s a lot of self-help out there. Manifest your dreams! Radiate abundance and you shall receive the gifts of the Universe!

Maybe.

The courage and commitment to move forward in anything comes from within. And in it’s own time.

I do believe we create our own reality. There’s pretty incontrovertible scientific evidence for it. And all those things you want to have, you can have.

If you’re really willing to do the work.

And for the most part, that work is, as John Gorman says in his so eloquently written piece: “Do What F**king Scares You”

It seems to take most people some sort of big fall to get to a point where what scares them is the more attractive path. For me, it was the collapse of my second relationship after my wife died. I’ll call her D for short.

D was about as amazing a woman as anyone could meet. The product of a neglected childhood and later an abusive marriage. She broke out of all of that, with a young daughter in tow. She went on to graduate from college, bought her own home, and obtained her Master’s Degree. As a single mother, with almost nothing in the way of resources to draw upon, she pulled herself up. She did it because she had no choice. It was pretty much her only path. She could step into her future and seize it by the balls, or she, and her daughter, would suffer the fate of so many in our throwaway world. She’s kept moving along that path ever since. Because she continually does stuff that scares her.

I was quite frankly stunned by everything she had accomplished. And the more I came to know her, the more I felt like a chronic underachiever. I mean, here I was, a white man from a middle class upbringing. The household I grew up in was filled with love. I have five sisters willing to step in and help pull me out of whatever disaster might befall me. I married a wonderful, caring woman who was pretty accomplished herself. We raised four children in a nice middle class neighborhood. Life was easy. And I didn’t work very hard to make it more challenging.

Then my wife got sick. And three years later died. And I had four teenagers at home. Suddenly, there were a lot fewer options presented to me. So I stayed safe. And I didn’t grow AT ALL. The first relationship after my wife died was more of the same. Safety seeking. And while it actually lasted over four years, I wasn’t happy, and neither was she.

Then D came along. And she was all about the universe having your back. And boy did she push me to step into the void! It was a passionate relationship, in every way. Deep conversations, great sex and a visceral discomfort I couldn’t quite figure out. I kept breaking up with her. Like three times in two years. Eventually, she threw in the towel and cut me completely out of her life. It was a final “F**k You” to me. And I don’t blame her one bit.

See D wanted what I’d had all those years. A stable, committed, RELIABLE partner to build a life around. I was just beginning to feel the need to do what scares me. Her pushing me to seize my life is the very thing that removed me from hers.

I’m ever so grateful to her, even as I regret the sacrifice she made to give me this gift. She was a catalyst to my own awakening and I’m quite sure that without her, I would never have found my courage. She gave me what she wanted me to have. And lost the very thing she most wanted.

So, give yourself a break. Your catalyst is out there. In the form of a person, an event or even the mere passing of time. Hopefully, you won’t have to break any hearts to get there. But you almost certainly will break something, even if it’s just old patterns.

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