Stop/ start

grass-546794__340Stop apologising.

You don’t make bad choices.  You think carefully. You review. You plan.  You seek guidance. You wait. You balance the options.

Stop doubting.

You are more capable than you dare to believe.  You can do this.  All of it. With bells on. You have the power. The wisdom. The grace. The humour.  You have the sheer nerve, grit, balls. The fire.  You have what it takes.  You always did.

But there was that voice.  The one that questioned.  That undermined.  That compared.

That voice talks bullshit.  It wants to keep you small.  Because small is safe.  Small fits behind the parapet, in the corner, under the stone.  Small is where you won’t be noticed.  Draw attention.

It began as a way to keep you safe.  But after.  After it was a way to contain. Manage. Silence. Chain.  Reduce.

You don’t need it now.  Now you are grown. Strong.  You survived.

Stop questioning.

Remember all those choices.  The ones people commented on, in an off-hand, semi-humourous tone.   They were yours.  You made them because you wanted to live in the most lively way you could.  Without compromises and half measures. In truth.  In honesty.  In vulnerability.  Authenticity.  Vibrantly. With joy.

Stop pretending.

That you can’t. Or won’t. Or don’t want to.  You do.  You can.  Oh my goodness if you could only see what I see. If you could only know the passion, the raw, molten energy I see pulsing below your skin, behind your smile, beneath your eye lids.

Stop denying.

The pain, the loss, the anger, the fear.  All of it is what makes you who you are. How you are.  All of this makes you strong.  Decades of life.  Of experience.  It moulds you. Shapes you.  Not to be regretted.  Hidden. Explained away.  To be celebrated.  To be worn.  To clothe you in your scars. Scar-clanned.  A badge of courage. Of honour.  The brave etched onto your skin.  Your soul.

Stop it.  Right now.

There is no time.  There is no time for more regret.  For more sitting in the corner wondering what happened.  This is the sharp slap, stinging across your cheek.  This is the ice-cold, breath-stealing, limb-numbing jump into the pool.  This is the jolt of the missed step.

Wake up.

You are ready.  It’s time to start. woman-2827304__340

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