Doug Waltman

With All I Am

Most of you don't know this, but I am an atheist. I say this to be genuine with you, despite what negative labels that will be applied to me. The decision I made this year is one of the most difficult I've ever had to make; choosing to be honest and happy has created a negative impact on many of the people I love. Life is now harder for them because of this truth.

I cannot deny who I am and still be happy. This is part of me.

Sometimes our actions will negatively impact those we care about most. Don't let that stop you from making honest decisions. Lying to yourself leaves you empty and hating who you are. Act, heal, and move forward.

Most of us know what it's like to wear a mask; I've worn so many over the years. Last month I had an emotional breakthrough, and it's moved me to become a better person. Now, I am on a mission to change the one thing I can. Me.

The next time I face fear, I will choose my reaction. I will not be paralyzed. I will move. I will act with courage. The next time a choice is laid before me I will choose the difficult path, because the right path is usually the hardest.

Every day I want to step closer in the direction of honesty and happiness for me and my family, even when it hurts. I have many struggles ahead. However, knowing that people love me without my mask gives me the courage to face life head on. With all I am.