The first time I ever heard Katy Perry’s Firework, I loved it. Hell, I may have even gotten a little misty-eyed listening to the lyrics. If you’re not familiar, take a moment to watch the video. If you are familiar, watch it anyway, because it’s just a good one.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been there–at the end of my rope, rock bottom, in hell, whatever you want to call it–that a song like Perry’s hits a little closer to home. If you know me now, you might never guess my life was ever so miserable. Hell, if it weren’t for the battle scars, I might not believe it myself.

But the truth is, I spent a lot of years dancing very close to the edge and hoping for a miracle.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that there was no miracle. There was no magical elixir, no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, no miracle cure that I could hunt and track and chase down anywhere outside of myself. What I didn’t realize was that there was nothing wrong with my life or the world around me. The problem was me.

See, life has a way of getting you down if you let it. It’s easy to play the victim when the deck seems to be stacked against you. It’s easier to just roll over and wallow in the pain than to stand up and deal with it and fix things. And somehow, the pain just gets comfortable. You wrap it around yourself, like a blanket, insulating yourself from the rest of the world. It keeps you from getting too close to people. It keeps you from feeling much of anything at all.

At some point, we’re faced with a choice–let the pain overcome us and quit trying, or muster our last ounces of strength and courage and fight.

It’s amazing how different life looks after you’ve come back from the dead with a second chance.

There’s so much beauty in the world. So many good things to be thankful for. So many people who can teach us valuable lessons, if only we’d take the time to really look and listen. Perry’s right. We’re all fireworks. We’ve all got a uniquely beautiful spark within us. We’ve all got something to offer. We’re all here on this earth, right now at this moment, to do something extraordinary. We’re here to learn, to love, to listen, and to let our lights shine.

Anything less, and you’re wasting your time. So get out there people, and shine.

About the Author Lori Romano

I am a writer, photographer, wife, mother, dog owner, half-assed housekeeper and a self-proclaimed coffee and chocolate addict. One day, I will write a book.

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