People ask me sometimes why I share things about myself so openly. When I was growing up, my favorite band was Korn. The reason I loved them so much was because Jonathan Davis wrote lyrics that were so personal and I could immediately connect some of what I was feeling to what he was expressing in the music. Music had a powerful impact on me and when I heard someone screaming about some of the exact same emotions I was feeling, I found a lot of hope and healing. I saw that I wasn’t alone in my suffering and there could even be hope of one day experiencing a rockstar life. He had. Why couldn’t I?

A lot of my writing centers around the importance of having a positive mental attitude and doing things that build us up into better people. People that are fun to be around and people that love the lives they live. The Heart Heroes <3! But I know that not every moment of life is grand. Not every moment is filled with thoughts of powerful hope and joy. We ALL battle things. We ALL experience struggle and turbulence. If I only wrote about what was positive, never mentioning the negative experiences that happen in life, then that creates a sort of taboo with things that happen that aren’t great. “Well, that’s a bad experience so we shouldn’t talk about it. Lets leave it bottled up somewhere and pray that it doesn’t explode some day.” This also creates a thought of, “I wish I was positive and perfect and void of trouble like Mark or all of these other positive people.” It creates a poor example suggesting that if you’re going through something, you’re different and you’re not trying hard enough to be perfect.

When I heard Jonathan Davis singing about being raped as a kid and all of these dark experiences he’d faced, molding them into powerful songs and art that created an explosive energy screaming in the face of the brokenhearted– “YOU’RE NOT ALONE IN YOUR PAIN!” … Well, I was changed. It became ok that I experienced things that I knew my friends weren’t experiencing. I saw that I could use my pain as a means to fuel the things I love to do. I could use my pain to create a life that was fuller than the one I’d had growing up.

I am broken just like you. I am hopeful just like you. I am sad at times just like you. I am overjoyed at times just like you. We live this gamut of emotions called the human experience together. There isn’t a single person that has walked through this life without pain. That’s a reality we must be ok with. But there also hasn’t been a single person that hasn’t had the opportunity to take that pain and create something beautiful with it.

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