Vices & Release

Words by Ballerina Chantal' Hill
Photography by yours truly Justin Reid

Why do we allow the world to put us in straitjackets?

To dress us with their notions that only prevent us from reaching... Just reaching to try. To try and make a difference. Reaching to reach towards what resides in the depth of our hearts.

Tightening the straps that would allow us to reach towards our goal. Or to grapple the idea of a better way to live this thing called life. They fasten us in straitjackets that disqualify us from winning the battles we face everyday and sometimes that battle is the battle of facing ourselves.

We are labeled, stereotyped and overlooked when we walk constrained in this limitation.

The crazy part about it is...that we've fashioned ourselves in them. Some of us don't even realize we're wearing them. The restraint has become cozy and comfortable. We've brainwashed ourselves to believe that the only way to get by is by being subjective to situations that we know we are far more valuable than because there's more comfort in conformity than there is in singularity.

I have come to realize that MY struggle is wrapped in strength. I have come to realize that I have been sleeping my life away. Only seeing my dreams with my eyes closed. Only seeing my restrictions and not my aptitude. Only seeing hope in the part of my dream that others don't see as delusional for me to attain. I am at a point in my life where I have awaken.  I have come to realize that I was born for more than this. Now I can fully see what is holding me back and what can propel me forward. Everyday I wake up more enlightened and everyday I rise higher.

Or are you the one that's fully awake. Because after years of sleeping you can't afford to sleep another day. Because after years of being more hopeful for others than yourself you've realized that the best of you is at rest in you.

Because after years of choosing to feel numb to the expectations & requirements of success, you choose to feel the pain of failing than not feeling anything at all.

Because after years of planning out your planned circles of what's comfortable for you, you finally see that your comfortable planning has imprisoned you.

Because after years of being trapped in this straitjacket you've spent time alone, by yourself, with yourself, holding yourself and NOW you know who you are. You know whose you are (a child of God). At this moment you are fully aware that you are a powerful being; willing, able and ready to live freely.

Because after years of depending on him or her to glamorize your decisions, accomplishments and goals, the result has been tragic & the depreciation of your identity has suffered far too long.

The longing for their affirmations has left you absence within yourself.

Because after years of crippling yourself with your inability to let things go that linger from the past, you look in the mirror & see the face of the person you said you would never become.

It's time to loosen the straps. Take off the straitjacket. Release old shackles of restraint to make room for ‘new’ in your life and stay positive about yourself, your life and your future. Self-acceptance and self-approval are the keys to positive changes.

It's time! It's time to break free! It's time to get up! It's time to LIVE! Have the courage to make your life the way you wish it to be..it's time for a change & it's totally up to you.

-JRP