December 12, 2015

Diary of a Caged Heart: I’m Breaking Up with Self-Sabotage to Break Free.

Chaz McGregor/Unsplash
Late yesterday morning, after a bitter, sleepless night of angry tossing and turning, I awoke with this knowing—subtle as lace, powerful as foamy tidal wave, vicious as a wolverine—whispering loudly in my ear:

“I can’t keep living like this. I can’t do this to myself anymore.”

These words stabbed into my gut. I knew exactly what they meant.

Because lately, I’ve been standing in my own way, blocking my own light, casting thick, fishnet shadows on my mermaid soul—capturing my own wildness, and throwing it right down the drain.

I’ve been choking out my soul’s electric beauty with barbed wire, trying to squeeze myself into a life that makes no sense to me.

I’ve been caging my own heart.

It hurts—it hurts so much, in so many ways.

I feel like a fierce falcon being kept in captivity, begging to soar at a thousand miles an hour, pleading to coast on electric currents of wild Western winds, to dive down and kiss jagged, mossy mountaintops and then move on to somewhere new.

I’m a sobbing lioness in a zoo, my fur dull and matted, my eyes bored and restless, trapped inside the chaotic cage of my mind.

From behind the iron bars of my frustrated confinement, I’ve been looking everywhere, anywhere, somewhere for someone else to blame, but I can’t find a single soul to pin this on.

Because the harsh truth is, there is no one to blame. I alone have to take responsibility.

And so I will.

This a beautiful thing, because if I’m the one who caged myself, then I’m the one who has the key.

I know what I have to do.

I’ve gotta break up with self sabotage, ’cause it’s time to break free.

“I can’t keep doing this to myself. I can’t keep living like this.”

These words are my roadmap; they are f***ing succulent. Saying them ignites something fiery and sacred on my tongue, like an ancient spell, a deep howl, a scarlet rose petal offering to the full moon.

So I keep saying them.

And suddenly, slowly at first, change pulses palpably in the air, sending an excited shiver down my spine, a tingly sprinkle of goosebumps covering my elbows and shoulders like a scarf stitched of lace.

The breeze picks up, and I smile—I smile a deep, delicious smile so big it could crack my ruby lips.

I feel myself growing in power, like a hurricane gaining strength while out at sea.

And then, new words bloom on my tongue. I say them out loud, hungrily:

“I love you. I’ve got you. I’m here.”

I cry, tears swimming like goldfish from my eyes, because for the first time ever—those words are true.

Change blows belligerently, now, whipping through my windows, shattering the glass, knocking down old wine bottles and dried flowers, sending pages of unfinished poetry flying. How madly I love the wicked power, the recklessness, the dangerous way wind can’t be stopped or confined.

I am the wind. And I can’t deny it anymore.

I can’t hide anymore.

I refuse to run from who I am for a moment more.

Because the truth is, my life no longer suits me; it no longer fits me. It’s like a pair of old jeans that are far too tight, cutting into the soft skin on my stomach, leaving deep red lines.

And yet, every damn day I keep trying to step into the familiar pant legs of who I used to be. But the fabric rips—it pulls, and I fall down, crying, frustrated and confused.

But something deep inside tells me that this is not sad. It is not a tragedy.

It’s beautiful.

My heart has grown bigger, stronger, thirstier, more courageous—and my usual scrawny diet of doubt and fear and hating myself will no longer suffice.

Change isn’t needed—it’s fiercely required for my soul to survive.

I need something more extraordinary now.

I exhale. As the whipping wind sends my hair flying, it rips right through me like icy glass, and I’m surprised to find that I’m not scared.

I do not fear the unknown; I do not fear darkness or truth.

What I fear most is caging my own heart until I die.

I am the wind—and I can’t deny it anymore.

When we live in accordance with our deepest truths, anything is possible. We can kiss the stars, swim in seas on Mars, chase our dreams ’til they become juicy realities, and become masterpieces of unbreakable beauty.

But, when we lie to ourselves, when we sabotage our efforts, when we criticize every last thing about our hearts, we feel constantly shattered by life. We feel empty, alone, caged, colorless, grey, not at all okay.

So let’s get the f*** out of our own way.

It’s time right now.


Go outside and kiss the breeze, greeting the air gently as truth blooms like dark purple roses all around you.

Unlock your soul’s wild, winged beauty and untie the self-inflicted chains from around your heart.

Between your stinging tears, smell the sweet, bourbon scent of budding possibility.

Weave flowers in your hair and stitch lemon-scented sunshine under your skin.

Choose love.

Choose your own heart.

Exhale a beautiful exhale—

And break.



Relephant Read:

The Initiation—The Day I Stepped into my Skin.


Author: Sarah Harvey

Editor: Toby Israel

Photos: Niklas Montelius/Flickr // Chaz McGreg/Unsplash


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