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cobblestone cottage

Sometimes when you’ve spent your whole life overturning every rock in your search for validation - for the final felt sense that you are worthy, you are loved, you are secure, you are not a burden or a failure - you begin to hoard very closely the little pebbles which seem to hint at such messages.

Until you’ve created around you a little cobblestone cottage of proof that you are worthy of the breath you take and the space you inhabit. And you love the little cottage because it’s yours and you never could have dreamed that it would be yours.

And then every so often you get little hints, from other people, and there’s a feeling that suddenly others see you the way you saw the people who drove you to go on the journey for approval to begin with. These people who lived in mansions of marble, those to whom ease and love and laughter and success came so naturally. Those who were not like you. Those who would fill your seat at the table much more graciously, with much more welcome, and to much more profit. Many dark paths lead from such beliefs.

But one path is the path to prove yourself. It has its benefits. Until you begin to cling to it and depend on it and never ultimately question how much proof you need. Until you begin to hurt others in your quest for insatiable external affirmation.

Hurting others because now you’re a part of the lie. The lie that there’s anything to prove. The lie that the facade of stone is employed to deliver. That you are a winner, that you know only success and smooth streets and limitless pleasure. That fear and insecurity, failures and sins and betrayals, that doubt and anger and mistakes, that divorce and abuse and depression, strained friendships and illness and death, that poor decisions and weariness, addiction and anxiety, that the deep-seated fear that you aren’t good enough…that these don’t exist within the mythical figures behind those walls. Not in the way they exist for you.

We all hate the walls. But we hate them a little less when we get them for ourselves. And then we enter the crossroads.

Will I slave under my wound, my need for approval by perpetuating this grand myth?

Because I know what’s behind my cobblestone cottage. I thought everyone knew.

But the lie is deep and the fears are deeper.

And people are watching

and still believing

that they aren’t good enough.

Because look at those walls of stone

Where nothing bad lives and where broken people like me don’t belong.

Life is heartbreak.

Life is building something beautiful out of the rubble.

Life is sitting in the debris.

Life is making a wall.

And tearing it down.

Life is holding up the wall

until you can’t anymore

and you sit down and finally see your neighbor sitting down too. And you both just sit in the dirt and feel the sun until you feel like building something other than a façade.

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