I died 2 weeks ago. Not literally, because I didn’t have an out-of-body experience or live through a horrific car crash. I died to my pain and hurt and sense of being wronged. Since this is primarily a space for us to grow and shine together, I try to keep my posts as upbeat and practical as I can. I’m able to pull it off most of the time. But today, I need to discuss the death of my former self: the one so wrapped up in the past she couldn’t cope with the present or future; the one so weighed down by anger she couldn’t express that she literally curled into a ball for the greater part of 5 years. I’m reclaiming my identity from the lost soul I once was. I’m discovering more of who I am now that I’m freeing up the space that held grudges and rank energy. Have you ever been so wrapped up in a mistake or trauma that you made it your identity? Have you ever believed that just because someone didn’t or couldn’t love you, you were inherently unloveable and unworthy of good things happening to you? I have. I dug around in my soul and unpacked the reasons why I felt unworthy, why I could inspire others but struggle so hard to believe it for myself. I found I was tired of hurting. Tired of numbing. Tired of regretting. I wanted more for myself. I wanted to feel like a radiant soul. I wanted to feel fire in my blood. I found I wanted to be free. Free from the fear. Free from the darkness. Free from the dreary isolation. Free from a prison of my own making. I decided to live in the moment. To tap into the energy deep in my core. To make my dreams happen one day at a time. And that’s how I died 14 days ago. Because I chose to face the tangled mess inside and unravel it. Because I chose to live outside the shadow of my fear. Because I chose to release the burdens breaking my heart and back a little more each day. My new self is still newborn. She’s still fragile. But her core is different. She believes it’s OK to choose her own path and spirituality and not be condemned for it. She believes she is pure and kind, worthy and loveable. She believes she isn’t the loser some people in her past made her out to be. My inner phoenix is rising from the ashes. Eyes blinking open, wings flared and ready to take to the sky. I believe in her now. I believe in me now. I believe. I believe. I believe I am not alone. I am not a lost cause. I am not condemned. I am learning to live my purpose. I am learning to truly believe in my purpose. For me. So I can live again. So I can stay awake. So I can truly feel ALIVE. It’s like I needed to discover what I wanted to share with the world so I could apply it to myself. We often teach others what we ourselves need to know. What we need to practise. What we need to absorb. I had to get it down in black and white over and over again; read it to myself over and over; come back to it every time I wondered why I was here. Discover for myself that it applied to me as much as anyone else. Believe it for myself. I’m still getting used to this new path. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to live from a healthy place, you know? I have to catch myself from slipping back into old habits ’cause they’re so familiar. Every time I notice I’m sliding back, I remind myself that those roads lead to a dark pit I do not want to get lost in again. Some days I succeed. Other days I fail. Through it all, I remember one truth: I’m OK. I’m alive. I’m living. We are what we choose to accept. I choose to live for real this time. No matter what. My name is Otiti and I’m two weeks old. Kon’nichiwa.