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Altars Everywhere

Altars Everywhere: every generation has them. It's when attention, time, money, devotion are provided to someone, or something that is pretty much unworthy.

I attended Catholic parochial grade school, so I was well versed in the one true Altar. I learned right from wrong by watching Mr. Roger's Neighborhood; my parents, aunts and uncles all set stellar examples in being model citizens, on most days, anyway.

In my teens I immersed myself in listening to music, and not necessarily the music my parents thought I should be listening to -which is why I listened to it (I know you did the same). The messages in these songs influenced me greatly. The shock rock god himself, Alice Cooper, admits they made their shows naughty and crazy so that young audiences would "worship" this music even more because their parents forbid it, or denied them. It worked. I loved Alice Cooper - still do.

Which of these influences trumped the other in my life? All I can say is that although I always knew right from wrong, I skinned my knees many times over making bad decisions. I had many Altars in my life, too many. Myriad Altars is confusing, hurtful, unfocused, exhausting. I felt angry at the world. I felt like I just couldn't get it right. I was broken and hurt.

One day a thought struck me like a lightning bolt (or an oncoming train?!), what if I stopped the madness right here and right now? What if I silenced all the false narratives? What if I destroyed all the imposter Altars?

Trust me, it took major courage to intentionally reassess and realign my priorities, focus on my health, my happiness, my friendship circle, my influencers and my own influencing ability. I can't say I am perfect, but I can say I try daily to dedicate myself to the one true Altar. And with grace, try to live my life on the other side where my self-worth is no longer negotiable. I would challenge you to do the same. Life is good over here. Happy New Year!

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