I never said I was an angel.

My hands are dirty with the mistakes of my past, and my knees scraped from the struggle to find what will make my heart soar in this life.

I’ve never said that I am perfect.

Instead, I only have good intentions—like the rest of us, I suppose. I have lied to others and unfortunately to myself. I have made choices that I knew were wrong, but I chose to make them anyway—simply because I wanted to.

I’ve never said that I am not to blame.

I have caused tidal waves in this life with the mistakes I have made. I have hurt others, sometimes accidently, and sometimes on purpose. I don’t always bite my tongue and choose peace. Often I will say the very things that I know shouldn’t be said, just because I delight in saying what so many choose not to—admittedly, I take delight in being difficult at times.

I’ve never said that I know it all.

While I have come so far on this journey, I know that I still have far to go. Each and every day I learn more about who I am as a person, and what I want from this one amazing life. I know that I have challenges waiting for me up ahead on my road, and I know that I will be crying and bruised at some points—yet, I still choose to travel on.

I choose to see the good in myself and in others because that is how I want to live my life.

Because despite all of these claims of promises that I can’t make—I can promise that I will always do the best I can.

I wake each morning knowing who I am down to the depths of my soul. I soak in my darkest corners, and realize that what lies there beneath the surface is just as valuable as the smile that plays upon my lips. I understand that no one is free from their darkness, and that it is sometimes a daily struggle not to let it take over.

For me, my insecurities shout obscenities at me from behind the clouds of my heart. They yell and torment me about all the times I was hurt and crying; they tease me with memories of the situations when things didn’t go the way I expected them to.

Yet it is my choice whether or not I feed into them, or recognize them for what they truly are—fear.

Most of the times that I have caused hurt and made mistakes have come from fear. From either striking out against another first so that I wouldn’t take the first blow, or because I was protecting myself from the seductive lure of possibility by self-sabotage.

And yet, here I am—the heat of the brilliant sun shining upon my face in the middle of a stormy day.

Because I choose to be the good that I want to receive in this life.

I know that I will continue to make mistakes, and I know that I will undoubtedly hurt those I love—but I can try my best to not let that happen.

I can try, simply, to do the best that I can.

I can’t control the actions of others—but I have learned that I can control how and if I let them affect me. I can’t guarantee that my friends or lovers will always make choices that I will be happy with—but I can choose to accept and love them anyway.

I can choose to love someone not because they are perfect—but because they are real.

Each day that we wake up we are given a challenge to be better than we were yesterday. We are challenged to choose between living life with our fears dragging at our heels, and the mistakes of our past weighing heavily on our shoulders—or, to simply let it all go.

We can choose to treat others how we want to be treated—without being a doormat. We can choose to block harsh words and actions with a shield of kindness and understanding. By doing this, we are acknowledging that another may be acting out of pain or fear, and so instead of trying to engage them—we can simply choose to let it go and send them love anyway.

Being the person I am does not rely on how someone else chooses to live their life.

I will extend unconditional kindness, love, respect and support to others not because I am a divine angel, but because I believe that choice is a form of self-love.

It’s being true to who I am—regardless of the actions of others.

Within each of us we hold the gift of unconditional trust. Just because we have been hurt before does not mean that we have lost that sacred ability to believe in others.

Living with truth means being honest with ourselves—only then can we be truthful with others.

To speak the truth does not mean that it will always be pleasant, but if we teach ourselves to address other people and situations in a way that is authentic for each of us, then we will set the expectations for others in our lives.

This means being honest about our feelings—whether it is love, fear, anger or pain. It means not making excuses if we don’t feel like doing something, or making false promises because we don’t want to let someone down. This type of truth is letting our lovers know if we are feeling attracted to someone else, or if we are falling out of love with them—it’s valuing honesty above all else.

No one ever said that speaking the truth and living with trust would be easy—but it is worth it.

I never said I was an angel. I am merely a beautifully flawed woman doing the best that I can. I am a woman who tries to extend love and kindness to those who need it the most, someone who believes that in the end truth and love not only prevail—but that they are the very qualities that make life worth living.

I choose to be who I am and speak my truth regardless of others—not because I am heartless, but because I have hid from myself for far too long.

With my broken wings and my dirty bare feet, I make the choice to not be an angel, but to be real instead. I don’t claim that my heart and soul is divine perfection manifested—but I do guarantee that it is unlike any other.

And it is that truth that will continually set me free, soaring into skies unknown and living a life that I love—all the way down to my toes.

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