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    Going To Eleven

    There was a time when my most glaring flaws, my many imperfections, my deepest pains, and my maladaptive thinking and behavior caused me great shame. Even after all the work I had done previous to getting into treatment, there were nuts I could not crack; scars I could not look at; wounds that would not heal; things I could not share, with anyone. No matter how loving, accepting, non-judgmental, and supportive they were. Some of that shit, I wasn't even aware of. 

    That time is coming to an end. 

    Through the years, I have continued to dig into the depths of my heart. I get to new places, stay there for a while, and then start digging again. The journey never ends. But that's okay with me. Because the gifts get better, the deeper we go. The treasures get richer, the more we risk. The gold gets brighter, the more we share. The more we connect. The more we open up. The more we Love.

    I have known that for years. But knowing that doesn't mean you're ready to do it. At every level, you have to bump against something, or somethings, that you can't go around, under, or over. You just have to go through. At this point in my journey, I am reaching the bottom of that level. I'm having lots of breakthroughs. I've seen The Other Side of this. And it's freakin' beautiful.

    The healthiest, most loving, most compassionate, wisest people I know have gone through the darkest places and the most fiery of hells. They have sunk so far down they're off the radar. And they have climbed out, one excruciating rung at a time, to new heights; with new strength, new resolve, new lives. 

    I am gradually becoming one of those people. And I'm proud as fuck about it.

    My perfectionism has less and less of a grip on me every day. My fear and shame fade into memories as The Ghosts Of My Past a little more every time I forge ahead. I'll meet them over and over, for the rest of my life. But I won't ever be their slave again. They will win some battles. But I'm winning the war (I'm not big on framing this journey like a war, but sometimes, that's what it feels like).

    Where before I thought "Who's going to love me if I sink this low and have to go into treatment?", I now wear this whole experience like a badge of honor. I wear it with profound gratitude. If I continue to lead by example, as I've done since my first day of treatment back in March, I will impact lives, I will make a difference, I will live on purpose. 

    I was a Universe Denter long before I got here. Throughout my life, loved ones have made that clear to me, countless times, with their words, with their actions, with their love. I knew I was able to do that, just by being fully myself. But I forgot it all too often. My self hatred would rise up and tell me that, "You may be able to dent another's universe, but there is Something Fundamentally Wrong and Unfixable about you". It would tell me that, deep down, I was broken and couldn't be helped. I've thought that since I was a kid. So the voice was loud and persistent and sometimes all consuming.

    That voice is all but gone. 

    It doesn't ever go away completely, but when it does come up, I just don't listen to it. I have turned the volume on that crap down to a whisper, and turned up the volume of Who I Am. Who I Really Am. What I Really Am. To paraphrase Nigel Tufnel from the movie "This is Spinal Tap", "I go to eleven". 

    I'm under no delusions that I have anything licked. There are more levels to go. There are always more levels to go. Levels I haven't even dreamed of. But those levels always lead back up. The deeper I go, the deeper I dig, the new challenges and pains I face, as much as it might hurt to go through, become roads to new places of awareness, joy, wisdom, strength, passion, and purpose. Instead of roads to hell. 

    Yeah. I'm having a good week.



    ©2017 Clint Piatelli., MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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