I was going to title this: “Dear 2018, What the actual f*ck? But thanks!”
I’ll start with the conclusion:
1. Don’t compare your real life to a filtered one.
2. If you’re going through hell, keep going.
3. We’re all in this together. Really, really.
1. To state the obvious: My life is not what you see on Instagram.
2. The not so obvious: 2018 was the toughest year of my life.
3. I love you.
I will elaborate.
On comparison: Social media can feel like Comparison High School. The sharing can create so much division. And… it can be a beautiful equalizer and unifier. Just to give you some perspective on my social media “presence”: I have a graphic designer, a Creative Director, a Campaign Director, and I work with great photographers. And let’s not forget about filters. (We don’t photoshop images of me, but Hail Mary for good lighting.)
I’ve never put something on social that wasn’t sincere. (Except years ago I said positive things about a not so great book so that someone fancy would send me clicks. First and last time for that foolishness.) If I’m having a sh*t day, I don’t say much. Because privacy is part of wellness. And because I’m committed to offering hope-inducing content. I go through the sh*t, I compost it into learning, and then I share it. All I want to do now is try to alleviate suffering and amplify joy.
I write every word of philosophical content, I approve every sentence of promo copy. And if I “heart” something/someone or comment, it’s really me. But as balanced with transparency as I try to be, it’s all curated. It can’t not be curated. I’m showing you the highlight reel, the pearls that come from the struggle. It’s imagery, and poetics, and sales, and service. It’s love and learning, personal and public.
So back to our propensities to torture ourselves with comparisons and assumptions. If you’re comparing your insides to anyone’s outsides… don’t hurt yourself like that. Don’t hold your real life up to a filtered one to find your own light. And if envy is your poison, put down that burden. We’re all gifted and blessed in our own ways; we’re each fighting our own private battle; we all have deep, sacred longings that we pray to have met. Wounded healers, all of us.
If you’re going through hell, keep going.
Whatever suffering that I can transform into strength gets poured into what I write. And there’s no sugar coating the fact that 2018 was the worst year of my life. Only a few friends know the extent of what was happening, because every area of my personal existence, creative-romantic-spiritual-physical-health was pulled into the undertow. It was a WTF Bootcamp of one challenge after the other. And… it was the most profoundly healing, fortifying, and transformational passage of my life. Turns out you can get a great makeover in hell.
Which is why I wouldn’t trade a day of it. Not an hour. Because I’m now firmly on the bright side of the ashes. My life may be delineated by “before & after 2018”. Yesterday, multiple agonies. Today, one simple euphoria. That’s hard to sum up in an Instagram post. I will be unpacking the light I let in for years.
If you’re in WTF Bootcamp right now—you will get through it. You’re in it because your Soul is up for it. Just grab onto these words and breathe. You’re in very sacred territory and the gains will be holy. It’s hard to conceive of when you’re on your knees begging for healing, but the struggle is flight training. You WILL fly. To new places.
The fire re-makes you into the truer image of yourself. And you will curate the lessons of your journey, and you will want to share that story where it’s most needed, as a blessing. Because, mercifully…
We’re all in this together.
Danielle LaPorte is an invited member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, a group who, in Oprah Winfrey’s words, “is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters.” She is author of White Hot Truth: Clarity for keeping it real on your spiritual path—from one seeker to another. The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map: A Guide To Creating Goals With Soul—the book that has been translated into 8 languages, evolved into a yearly day planner system, a top 10 iTunes app, and an international workshop program with licensed facilitators in 15 countries. Named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes, millions of visitors go to DanielleLaPorte.com every month for her daily #Truthbombs and what’s been called “the best place online for kickass spirituality.” A speaker, a poet, a painter, and a former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, Entrepreneur Magazine calls Danielle, “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” Her charities of choice are Eve Ensler’s VDay: a global movement to end violence against women and girls, and charity: water, setting out to bring safe drinking water to everyone in the world. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her favourite philosopher, her son. You can find her @daniellelaporte and just about everywhere on social media.