I’m learning to break the chains that have binded me to a life of confinement and insecurity. Insecurity in myself and who I really am. Insecurity in the world I live in and all it has to offer. With each day that passes, I feel the grip around my ankles loosen ever so slightly. There are days where I still stumble and trip and the bruises that cover my elbows from every fall remind me of the moments of weakness that plague my soul. But they also remind me of strength because every time I fell, I got back up. I was able to stand on my feet again even though they were tired and bloody from dragging themselves forward when all they wanted to do was rest.

The shackles that held me back did nothing to keep me from seeing the things that were moving around me. I could see each person walk by with ease, their heads held high as one foot moved in front of the other, nothing holding them back. I struggled to keep up. Some days my legs were full of strength and the pain was gone. On those days I swear I could run. I could feel the earth beneath my feet and the wind brush across my face – everything so gentle and beautiful. Other days were harder. With shaky breath and a trembling body, I would move inches at a time, sometimes so slow I wondered if I was moving at all. It was days like this where progress meant nothing. It didn’t matter to me that I was still moving forward, no matter how slowly, because all I wanted to do was sit. Every person I watched race by me as I could barely move and every conversation I heard when I could barely speak left me feeling more vulnerable and small than I had ever felt before.

But with every moment of weakness I endure, I experience a moment of strength. With each time I feel small, I rise into something greater. I have learned that the chains that bind me are not permanent and I am doing the best I can to let everyone off my own hook because there is no better sense of freedom than simply letting go. I never learned to trust others so I am starting with trusting myself. The walls I put up around my own heart were built to keep me from getting hurt, but all I’ve done is keep my own hurt from getting out. I am trying to forgive any wrong that has contributed to the chains that hold me back or added to the bricks that built my walls. I am relearning every lesson that has shaped my mind and built my body into something that is strong enough to keep moving.

I am still bound. I am not yet free. But every sunrise reminds me that I get to try again and the times I fell yesterday don’t matter. Every sunset reminds me that just like the light fades, so will the cuts and bruises that riddle my skin from each fall. I am not yet okay but I am learning to be, and that is a strength more powerful than any chain, wall, or confinement that will ever try to hold me back from who I’m meant to be.

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