#1 Thief in the night.

One night, recently while I was sleeping, my past snuck in to try and haunt me. Like a thief, it broke in to my peace and attempted to steal my future. Like a doorstop, if you will, holding the door open to all of my failures. I thought I had closed that door. Why is it that no matter how hard I try to keep that door closed, it seems to remain open, even if just a crack.

Oh the shame. The disappointment. A glimpse into the negative, dark colors of my life that I try to hide. Choices I had made, shining through into this new place. This new land, in which I am trying to paint with all new colors

Why? Why is it that such a painful reminder of my poor choices never seems to just go away? I’m moving forward. Moving on. Making better choices. Trying to be different than before. Do I really need to be reminded of my past?

The answer is, yes.

I am learning to accept my failures as a part of the painting of my life. Though the darker shades are not as welcoming as the warmer, softer shades, they are necessary for the painting, as a whole.  

I cannot run from my past. I cannot change it. I have to learn to accept it, as a part of who I am.

In the middle of the night when my failures sneak in like a thief, trying to steal what my future holds, it’s in that moment that I learn to grow, and accept myself. Mistakes, and all.

In those moments of darkness I Learn to accept who I am, and all of my flaws. In those moments, I realize that they are as much a part of my life as my successes and accomplishments.

Who am I to think that only the positives in my life are meant to shine, reflect, or radiate encouragement? Who am I to think that those dark areas are not meant to be seen in the painting of my life? 

Why is it, then, that I feel the need to hide my mistakes?

Shame.

In the middle of the night when my shame has partnered with my past, and together they are reaping havok on my destiny, I will remind myself that my shame, along with my past have a place. Not for ridicule. Not for my demise. But, more as a stepping stone. A stone leading my down a different path, and reminding me of a path that I never want to travel on again. A path, that although may have temporarily deviated my steps, still ultimately, leads to my finish.

I’ve made mistakes. I’ve messed up. Over and over again. My consequences have effected me, my family, and countless others. But, they are all a part of my painting. My journey, story, and my life.

Do I have regrets? Yes. Too many to count. Do I wish I would have made better choices? of course. 

In those deep, dark moments. In the middle of the night, when failure, fear, shame and regret wake me up and try to steal what my future holds; it’s in those moments that I have to decide.

The darkness adds to the glory of my life’s picture as a whole.

My life. My journey.

It has it’s dark valleys, hidden areas that no one knows of, and others that some do. They are a part of me.

They will not haunt me. They will be a catalyst.

I will overcome. I will strive to do better.

In those dark times, I will not fear. 

The shame, I will let it teach me. I will learn and I will grow. I will strive to never travel down those same paths that led me down a road that only took me further away from where I always wanted to be. 

Fear only controls what we allow it to control. Shame only ties you to your past in order to haunt you. But, forgiveness sets you free.

In those dark hours, my strength is made whole. In those dark times, I learn to forgive myself.

I see that door, the one that opens to my past, shining light on all of my failures, I choose to pass that door and smile. Knowing that it too has a purpose. My mistakes, though they are many, will shine too, as a part of the beautiful canvas in which my journey is being painted. 

This is me learning to be free. Free from the guilt and the shame. Free from my past that tries to haunt me in my darkest hour. 

The dawn of a new day reminds me, I am free. Mistakes and glory. I am me. 

Every color necessary. A beautiful mess. A masterpiece, created with a purpose.

I am free. 

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