“The waves beat against the rocks, the noise is mesmerizing.  Below me is a 100-foot cliff that drops into the ocean,  a fine mist drifts up to where I stand.  I feel safe here, all alone by the cliff.  No one can reach me unless I let them, and today I would rather exist alone.  I turn away from the ocean and I can see the fortress that is protecting me from the other direction.  The walls are 50 feet tall, reinforced with steel.  Glass shards stick out….. up and down the walls discouraging anyone from trying to climb.  If they manage to get past that they will be greeted by the razor sharp points at the top.  If they somehow manage all of that, the dragons will come, no one has made it past the dragons.

There is one person that I will let in, that is God.  He is all powerful and all knowing, he could enter whenever he wants, no amount of protection would keep him out, but he never comes in without an invitation.  He kindly and gently waits for me to ask for his guidance and his help.   I will talk to God and ask for him to show me the way.

I’m not sure when I build the fortress, but it has served its purpose over and over again during my lifetime.  I come here when I am feeling intense pain and dispair.  When I see that they world is unsafe and I no longer want to exist in it.  I love this place, the bright flowers in big pots scatter the inside, they make me smile every time I pass.  I can relax, take a nap, and just exist without suffering.

There is a part of me that could stay here forever, thinking I am protected……that I am safe……. but God gently reminds me that if I stay here the world doesn’t stop just because I do.  The world keeps moving forward.  He reminds me of all the joy I will miss if I stay.  How I won’t get to see my boys grow up to be the amazing men they are going to become.  How I will not grow to become what I am meant to become.  He never pushes or prods, he lets me take the time that I need.

He reminds me that nothing can get in….or out.  That what I believe to be safety and protection may be a jail that will bind me.  I am the only one with the key.  I choose when to open the gates.  I choose whether or not I will leave my comfort here.  I choose when I will go back to the world that can be brutal, and sad, and full of pain.  The world waits, whether I can see it or not.

I am comprehending what he is saying, but I am afraid.  Outside these walls I am broken, the world reminds me that I have a lot of work to do.  A lot of hard work.  There are people there that hurt me, I am so tired of pain.

Then he reminds me that my children are out there if I don’t go back they will have to navigate the brutal world without my help.  And that is where he gets me….my children, I won’t let them do this alone.

My theory is that I don’t want anyone to do this alone.

I acknowledge his voice, and willingly I open the gates. I am reminded of a quote that I love,

“Life is Brutal, but it is also Beautiful, I call it Brutiful.  The brutal always transforms into beautiful.” ~Glennon Doyal Melton

So today I take a deep breath and walk out into the world.  I know that I am broken and guess what I love myself that way.