The following was taken directly from my journal almost 7 years ago. I had been married for 20 months, my first baby was about 4 months old, and I was an active member of the Mormon church.
"Today, when I was at the gym, I walked past a big TV playing what looked like a soap opera. I suddenly had the thought: 'I CAN feel good about myself. I don't watch TV all day, or bad movies, or listen to bad music, or associate with bad people, or look at porn, or read bad books, etc, etc, etc... basically, I don't do things that drive away the Spirit. I should be able to walk tall, and feel that Heavenly Father is pleased with me for avoiding evil influences.'
"I felt in my heart that I should be able to be happy, feel confident, and walk tall. But why then is that so hard for me right now? Why do I feel bad, around other people and even when I'm by myself?"
Turns out following the teachings of the church I was raised in did not lead to inner peace and happiness like I had been taught. I was in serious need of self love and connection to the divine within me.
When I left the Mormon church a few years ago, I went through a dramatic identity crisis, like is very common when people leave this church. And through that process, I found myself, my true self, and tapped into my gifts, discovering what I am here to do (help others connect with their true selves).
Here are my raw, minimally edited, and somewhat emotional thoughts after my run today, as I remembered what my experience use to be like, living small, hiding inside my body, and what a difference I now feel, existing in this world in a totally different way. (Start at 5:00 for the main message if you don't have time to watch the whole thing.)