I've been living in a world that feels like a vast beautiful beach.But the truth is, it hasn't always been this way... Some people have an upbringing that fosters exploration and creativity, then later in life find themselves feeling restricted and weighted down. My life has been very much the opposite. Far too much of my past was spent in dark religion. Some people call it legalism, some people call it a cult, some people call it truth and still cling to the system. Its something you’ve probably never heard me mention. I don’t like to think about it, much less talk about it. When I moved out of the state for the first time 8 year ago, I wasn’t just looking for new experiences and change, I was running away. It didn’t know how to deal with so much pain and emotional turmoil, so I packed it all away and moved on. The happiness and freedom I've experienced since then has been truly amazing. The word has opened up to me and I have become a beneficiary of her beauty. During this last year however I have again been faced with the past. And through the process of preparing for this next new adventure, I have decided its not something I want to take with me. Downsizing had been relatively easy up until this point. This point of reaching the closet and being faced with the real baggage... But I have found too many journals filled with hopelessness and despair, boxes packed with the fragments of broken dreams, photos which bring back memories I for so long repressed… and It all traces back to religion. I would pack it all back up again and choose to move on and forget, if I didn't feel so strongly about living a vulnerable life. But I’ve met too many people facing the same devastation. Too many happy childhoods that were sacrificed for "righteousness sake". Too many broken hearts and hopeless souls. We gave away our lives for what was said to save, just to find ourselves drowning in a world of pain and dysfunction. And I was the lucky one… I was the one who got out early. And I am one with far less baggage then the rest. I have the time and resources to choose another path. And I am still miraculously, clinging to the shreds of my faith. Not religion. Not church. Not traditional Christianity. ∼ For despite the past I've experienced a freedom and spiritual depth that I know is worth pursuing., and it is for this reason that I cant to just run away again. I want to be honest about my story and this journey I am on. I want to live vulnerably, even when it's scary and dark. I may have found freedom from things like materialism and a conventional living, but what I'm really after is something deeper... I believe there is a greatness that we humans are capable of. A deeper kind of love and freedom that few of us ever come close to touching. So if dealing with my past now will bring me closer to finding it. And if sharing my story will bring an ounce of hope to someone in a similar situation... Then perhaps that is the real journey I am on. Story... I heard this song a year ago and thought it was so symbolic of my past. It is a picture of the pain and fight for survival that I, and so many others have had to go through.