Here’s the thing.

We all have darkness. We all have secret shames and we’re all putting on a constant act so that friends and strangers won’t start to politely avoid us. There’s this unspoken agreement that we’ll all pretend to be fairly normal and have our shit together so nobody feels too uncomfortable. I’ve got to say- It’s not a great deal.

I knew a guy who used to say “This mess is the place.” If you wake up one day and decide that you’ve put off spring cleaning long enough, you go to the messiest, most clutter-filled room in your house and get to work. There’s no way around it.

This mess is the place. You try your hardest not to think about the problems that keep cropping up in your life. Over and over these patterns present themselves, begging you to take notice and learn the lesson they are so desperately trying to teach you. Only here can you gain wisdom and freedom.

This mess is the place. This ugly behavior that you just. can’t. fix. That makes you look at yourself in disgust and disbelief. All those years of struggle and broken resolve and shame and hiding. The answer isn’t distraction and it isn’t outside of us. It’s right here in the broken places.

It’s the mess. It’s the corners of ourselves that we’d rather not discuss. The stuff you’d never post on social media- that’s the real conversation we’ve been waiting to have. And it’s time now. We’ve believed the story that there are parts of ourselves that are ugly and bad but that’s nonsense. This is us.

Look inside. You don’t have any demons in there to fight. There aren’t good parts and bad parts. There is only you. Beautiful, messy, glorious you. Look inside- don’t look away. This mess is where the magic happens- the only place it could happen. This is where we start to love ourselves for who we are. This is where we find the gift of our authentic selves and nowhere else. This mess is the place.