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The greatest challenge of finding myself wasn’t the circumstances of my journey, it was the struggle to balance my inner voice with the voices of the world.

Fears of epilepsy, my stroke and surviving in the world as I am didn’t start within myself, they started by listening to a parent who was worried about how they’d be viewed or judged by others. Growing up, I admit I was vulnerable to the thoughts of others because I was in search of my person. It was my responsibility to decipher which thoughts were my own and which didn’t feel true to my heart. When life was hard, I fell into the thoughts of others and frustration of how that consumed me had to combust for me to realize that those thoughts were not my own. With every wave of frustration, my will to listen to myself becomes stronger and independent thoughts become more reliable for my survival.

It isn’t that I don’t need other people or the thoughts they share, it’s the challenge of accepting external thoughts and taking time to decipher whether or not it aligns with who I am. That is the challenge to remain who I am and accept that I’m enough. I learn a lot from others around me, still fall into their thoughts and I know it’s my responsibility to listen and find my way back to be happy as I am. With the ability to listen to my heart and follow it into problems and bliss, I am independent and free to be a contribution to the world as Life intended.