Here’s an uncomfortable truth about life.

You can’t live within a gray mindset.

A light bulb that isn’t entirely off but never truly on doesn’t serve a purpose.

All it’ll do is compromise your vision and give you a headache, creating a schism.

You have to choose a side and flip the switch accordingly.

Whatever you do, though, you’ve got to go all in with your head and heart.

Doubt is an insidious and parasitic leech.

I have long understood that heaven and hell aren’t post-mortem destinations. They're states of mind and character; the way in which you go about developing yourself.

Heaven comes from choosing love, the sacrificial act of committing to the cause of nurturing growth with assertive kindness and encouragement to oneself, and to that of your beloved. It embodies grace, forgiveness, compassion, trust, empathy, and a little authority.

Hell, on the other hand, is about justification through excuse-making rather than solution-building. 

Hell changes a person. It makes them weary of going out into the world and experiencing life. The world outside of a grieving person's window can never be as beautiful as the one inside of their mind.

Yet, despite knowing this, doubt plays mind games with us all. It cuts off your ability to perceive the light.

Know this: your success in life is directly related to the number of problems you solve.

The coward thinks. The warrior acts.

Keep moving. No matter what. Just take a single step. 

You must force yourself to do what feels hard, unbearable, and pointless. 

Legs shaking and knees buckling, you put one foot in front of the other. Do that consistently and you will realize that nothing can stand in your way.

🔗 New Year, New You does a pretty good job at teaching you this.

On the surface, though, the episode didn't fare too well.

But bad reviews never stop me from digging deep into a character's psyche.

Suki Waterhouse (who played Lexis) portrayed her character’s seething anger, guilt, grief, and jealousy, with palpable intensity. The episode explored toxic femininity and other issues that are often downplayed in feminist circles, like suicide and bullying.

Struggling with survivor's guilt and feeling invisible, she goes from prey to predator very quickly. 

In the third act, during her final fight, she tells Danielle (the real villain of the story):

I control my own destiny! I control what I hold onto and I control what I let go of!

As she says this, she pushes Danielle out of the window.

It's an apt metaphor.

She cut ties with her fears, doubts, and guilt. She regained her power and voice once she defeated Danielle. The fight was both literal and metaphorical. She beat her demons.

Life changes in an instant.

She effectively broke out of her depression by becoming the darkness she felt, so that she could defeat it, and then stepped out into the light.

To defeat your enemy, you must think like them.

When your opponent is the sea, you must be the mountain.

Do you understand?

The sea (life) is often chaotic, unpredictable, and ever-changing, while a mountain represents stability, strength, and resilience.

Stand your ground and do not ever waver in your convictions.

Doubt kills.

As for grief:

As Joan Didion once wrote:

“I know why we try to keep the dead alive: we try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us. I also know that if we are to live ourselves there comes a point at which we must relinquish the dead, let them go, and keep them dead. ”

We are mourning for who we were in the past, and who we will never be again.

The clock is ticking. 

Don't waste your time trying to play a character you no longer need to be.

At every instance, you are reborn.

Write a new script.

At every instance, a leveled-up character of you is required.

You struggle with what successful people find to be basic because you're constantly flipping the light switch on and off.

The only way out is through, and that is when you truly find out whether you're fight or flight.

Remaining on is easier and more effective. Be like a shark, for the shark that stops swimming will immediately begin to drown.