It was a cold, dark night. The wind was biting my bare face. I wanted to go back into the warmth, sit by the fire and kick my feet up with a whiskey and warm my gut. But instead I ventured out. I wrapped by scarf, pulled on my boots and walked into the dead of night.
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I really didn't have a destination. No arrends to run. Nothing to buy or do or accomplish. Just a deep knowing that if I stayed inside too long I'd go soft and weak. I would forget what I was capable of being. I knew that too much cozy would eventually kill me. So when I walked outside, I took off my clothes. I wanted to be fully in it. Step by step into the snow, into the woods, stark naked I ventured. I felt my skin get taut, muscles clenched, goose bumps bumping. But I kept walking, not knowing where I was going, or even really why. But I knew--i knew I needed to leave the safety of home in order to learn about life--to learn about strength and discipline and grit and power and courage and true surrender. I walked until my feet were blue and gnarly, my teeth a-chatter, and my bones icy cold. And in this moment, when seemingly at the brink of death, I surrendered to it all. I acknowledged the inevitability of what was to come--i remembered that death was always quietly knocking. I surrendered to it. I let go of any holding, any fear. I closed my eyes. And just let go.
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When I opened by eyes, there I was, home in my warm bed, a golden retriever warming my feet, the warm sun pouring in. I was the same person, but somehow brand new. I had reawakened. Ready for Life with a new vigor--a sense of urgency, finally realizing that i didn't know how long I had left. I was finally ready to appreciate All Of It. For real this time. I got out of bed and noticed everything, as if I had new eyes, and a completely shifted perspective. I was free. At last, I was free.

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