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Sometimes it’s easy.  Other times it’s tough.  Ridiculously, tough.  Sometimes it’s defeating.  Then, it’s victorious.  Sometimes it’s beneficial.  Lots of times it’s sacrificial.  Sometimes it’s rainbows, sunshine, puppies, and cold beer.  And, sometimes it’s just hell.

But it is always beautiful.

Life.  On purpose, with a vision.  Messy.  Holding onto hope while expecting the impossible, while believing what no one else sees.  Different.  A life organized differently, uniquely prioritized and lived in a way that causes something significant and original to come to shape.  A life that is vulnerable enough to be out on a limb, and brave enough to jump.  And sometimes fail.  Miserably.

It’s paradoxal … to call this life a beautiful hell.  But, maybe that’s the only real way to define it.  The struggles, the doubts, the demons, the fear, the voices, the failures … all, hell.  All ugly.  All violent.  And yet, all a part of the puzzle that assembles us.  Part of the overall.  Part of the whole picture.  Part of what we see when we look in the mirror.  That sounds depressing.

But it shouldn’t be, because that’s life.  For every moment of doubt, there’s an opportunity to hope.  For every moment of fear, a chance to rise up and be brave.  For every unknown outcome, the opportunity to try.  And for every failure, the decision to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get right back to it.

And within the ugliness, depravity, and hopelessness … maybe it’s up to the dreamers and the creators to bring forth things of beauty.  Things that matter.  Things that reach and connect and inspire.  Maybe it’s up to us to invite people to consider a different story than the one they’re living.  To offer a different narrative than the ones playing out all around us.  Maybe it’s up to us, to transform hell for someone by doing things that matter.

Things that, well, are from a different kingdom.  One that is in this world, but not of this world.  One that is, other.  Let’s be other.