Addiction, Compassion.

Addiction.  It is an ugly word that we use to describe trashy, out of control individuals who we think ourselves so much better than.  Sit, observe, and let your mind wander.  What could that woman or man have been like before the hands of addiction choked the life out of their neck, and took over their soul?  Do any of you put yourself in their shoes?  Some say “get a job,” “go away.”  I can’t help but think “there but by the grace of God go I.”  In reality, I didn’t create myself or my path.  I have the power to create the life that I want, but do any of you really know what the demon of addiction feels like?  It could be so many things…food, drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, gambling.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  The pull is so real that escape seems like a fairly tale, unreal and futile.  It is the one thing that feels real, tangible.  When you are alone, it is there to console you, comfort you, sing to you.  Addiction is viewed with such disgust and disdain that it is something most are too afraid to speak of, to share, so it is a cross that we carry silently, hopelessly.  Do you ever wonder what the purpose of addiction is?  Why did God allow it into our lives?  What is the meaning?  I do know that I have often heard “for with God, nothing shall be impossible.”  But that promise seems elusive and not for the downtrodden, for you don’t feel worthy of such a promise, nor do you believe in its validity.  The only thing that is real in your life is the object of your addiction.  It can take the most talented and beautiful person and cut them at their knees, keeping them from walking, let alone dancing, never fulfilling the greatness that they were created for.  They are caught in a dance, and addiction is their constant companion.  It bothers me that the majority of people that I know are cold to those with great struggles such as these.  However, I guess I cannot be angry at their ignorance.  For how do we understand something that we do not know?  My life has been a series of beautiful disasters, silent burdens and blessings.  Often I have asked God why I have had to live all of these nightmares.  My life is far better than most of the world, my sufferings have been more of the silent, mental and emotional nature.  I am not perfect.  I carry scars, and there are things about me no one knows. However, I am grateful for every second, for they have allowed me to live it and know it.  I have so much love and respect for those who have suffered and come through the fire, and I understand the strength that they wear as a badge of honor.   I empathize and suffer with those who are in the fight, and can’t find their way out.  It is the most frightening place in the world.  In this place, you usually find yourself alone and addiction becomes your companion, your escape, your savior.  I have silently carried my struggles with a smile and a great deal of acting.  I have a lot of pride, and cannot admit my imperfections, my frailties.  I still won’t, but I mention them in hopes of awakening you to the fact that this world is in need of compassion and understanding.  Your problems aren’t the only problems.   I desire to remind  you that there are so many out there who are suffering and struggling-whether from addiction or tribulations.  Some are obvious, some you would never guess.  I challenge us all to do two things before we act with selfishness or superficiality.  Say to ourselves “there but by the grace of God go I,” and realize our fortune, and two remind ourselves that that individual may be carrying a cross or burden of which we have no idea.  Not everyone wears their weaknesses on their sleeves.  Give each other the benefit of the doubt.  Have compassion.  See the best in each other, and mirror that to others when they have forgotten that about themselves.  Bear each others burdens.  Think beyond our own trivial concerns.  Honor the spirit that resides within each other and is all connected, and treat everyone like we would treat our God because you never know where or who He may  be.  Peace. Love. Compassion. Grace. Understanding.

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"Someone once told me the definition of hell: On the last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become." Anonymous.  And that would be a good place to begin. Often we know not what our purpose is until we think in terms of our eternal purpose. The moment I allowed my mind to expand to eternal proportions, it all came into full view. All of my micro passions and purposes could fall under one heavenly macro purpose banner. To live up to my potential, and pave the way for others to do the same.  As a child, I had an inner fire to learn everything I could to rise above the circumstances I was born into. It was like there was a scream in my soul. "I don't belong here, we don't belong here. Something is wrong here!" As a child I remember knowing I was born to rewrite the story. I can't imagine that is typical of most children. I recall wrestling with the decision between having play dates with friends or reading dates with myself. My mom and I would sojourn to our local library where I would faithfully check out the max number of books as they toppled out of my arms. The majority were non-fiction, particularly autobiographies of underdogs defying the odds.  I was born into two family lines riddled by addiction, anxiety and depression. I remember intrinsically knowing we were made for more. I have spent my life on a mission to choose differently. I have to credit my parents for instilling awareness in me. They had their struggles, but they always reminded me that things can be different. They may not have had the tools or strength to overcome their struggles, but they created a human who could and would. Awareness is half the battle. Too many grow up not knowing any different. They live reactionary lives imitating what they see and all they know. That is why I'm determined to educate and demonstrate that we are the creators of our reality, that we are not limited by circumstance or DNA. We are truly limitless.  I am a voracious reader who reads books that help unlock greatness and point to unlimited potential.  I am a writer who writes with the intention to unlock the inner hero begging to be released.  I am a personal trainer who trains others with the intent to show them that the only limits they have are those in their mind.  I am an athlete who had yet to achieve her potential because her mindset was broken and spirit was in bondage. It was the silent shame I carried throughout my life. I dedicated myself to studying how I could turn that shame into my superpower. I am now an athlete who gets to visibly demonstrate how truly limitless we really are. I am keenly aware that my movement conveys a powerful message. I know others are watching. I know the world needs this wake up call. I know I did.  And I know I haven't even started yet.  So when I nearly died and lost my feet in the process, I knew I was being called to the mat so to speak. I was being offered the opportunity to demonstrate my beliefs for all to see. While I may have felt "why me," my soul knew I had been uniquely prepared for this challenge. My soul said "of course, me." And that was the North Star that guided me through the hell I would have to traverse alone. I set out on a journey with my Maker to find ME. The real me. All of me. Who I was capable of being. Possibly more importantly, I discovered who I WAS NOT. I was refined in the FIRE. I am here by the GRACE of God and the GRIT of myself. I became an alchemist, turning tragedy into triumph, loss into gain, victimhood into victory. I choose carefully for I know that I create my own reality.  PS you can read more about how I lost my feet here:  I am a Speaker. I realize this is bigger than I am. It is my privilege to share my story in a way that conveys hope smothered in tough love and points toward freedom. We are capable of so much more than we can begin to comprehend. We can choose it and we can do so today. We simply need be WILLING, AUDACIOUS and RELENTLESS.  I am a Writer. Writing is where I first tasted freedom. It is where I am all of me, where I speak my full truth, and where I allow God to speak through me. My message bypasses my brain coming straight from my spirit. Heck, it comes from my cells. I write to say what needs to be said. I write not to make one think, but to make one act.  My intention is not to make you feel good, or to think I am smart, but to get off your ass and live your life to the fullest. To live and love today to the fullest because it could be your last. Nothing is promised, not even the next second.  I am an athlete. It is an attitude, a swagger, a philosophy, a belief, a spirit. It is a commitment. Athletes aren't afraid to sweat and get dirty. They aren't afraid to try and "fail" because they know you only fail if you stay on the couch. And you can get off that couch this very second. I will push my athletic ability to the limits, and then I will push past them. There is no time clock, I will do this until the day I die. Where there is breath, there is hope and there is LIFE. I am ALIVE. I do not and I will not take that for granted. I move my body because I am blessed to do so because there are some who can't. There is always someone with less than you have doing more than you are. Make THEM proud. Honor their grit, thereby developing your own. Inspiration is tricky business. I don't want to be called inspiring as you scroll through Facebook. I want to INSPIRE your ACTION. I want to ELIMINATE your EXCUSES. My goals will continue to evolve because once I have ascended one mountain, I celebrate the view and then set my sights on the next. I am a runner with no feet whose wings span wide. I will run far and fly high. I am a trainer.  I am EXCUSELESS. Because I choose none for myself, I will accept none of yours. I am not for everybody, but I am for those who are hungry and committed to radically change their lives.  I am committed to doing my part to radically upgrade the dreams, expectations and lives of the collective whole. My inner hero, free spirit, champion craved existence and simply needed guidance on how to be born. I needed permission. I finally gave it to myself and now I offer it to you. I am here to remind those who need it that we were made for more.  The Phoenix Perspective is a Radical Responsibility Revolution. We have a zero tolerance policy for excuses. We make none and we accept none. Period. We know that we are more than our DNA, more than our CIRCUMSTANCES. We know that life is happening FOR us rather than TO us. We know that dying to who we thought ourselves to be so that we can become who we were meant to be is not only necessary, it is glorious. While it may not be comfortable, we know that the FIRE is our FRIEND. That it is a divine messenger sent to escort us to our higher selves. It is a message, a philosophy, a movement. It is an understanding and a vantage point. It is a challenge and an invitation. It is an initiation. 

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