By Kari Lynn Cotone
“The best part of learning is just loving where you’re at.”
This Allen Stone song perfectly describes the balance I’m fighting for at this point in my life. I’m an actor living in New York City. It’s an amazing adventure, incredibly hard and something I’m really proud of. The dangerous thing about chasing this dream and living in this city is that I’m constantly struggling with comparison and acceptance. On a weak day my mind is flooded with insecurities.
Am I good enough, pretty enough, working hard enough, kind enough, brave enough, smart enough, worthy enough?
It’s relentless and the list goes on forever.
I also have this habit of day dreaming. I've been thinking about what is going to happen next for as long as I can remember.
When I was a kid it manifested itself in anxiety, and as an adult it has become my favorite way to torture myself on subway rides.
I’m continually replaying moments in my life or imagining the future instead of loving and accepting where I’m at in that current moment. At some point in my adult life I decided to create this crystal clear vision for how I want my life to pan out. A detailed timeline--history book style. The hysterical thing is that I’m one thousand percent sure that God is cracking up watching me put endless time and energy into planning the rest of my life.
The days I struggle with these thoughts are the days that it becomes very clear whether or not my prayer life is a priority for me at that time.
I’ve seen the difference it makes when prayer is the first thing I turn to instead of the last and how essential it is in determining if I’m capable of handling these overwhelming insecurities with peaceful prospective.
"Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened." In this gospel Jesus is promising me that God will show me the next step if I just talk to Him like a friend. It's that simple. The days I start and end with prayer for guidance and trust lead me to better tackle my goals and serve the world.
When I talk to God outside of the one hour a week I spend at church I have the strength to wake up with a grateful heart for where I am that morning.
Not yesterday or tomorrow--just today. I’ve discovered this huge shift in my life when I’m focused on my relationship with God which directly effects my ability to accept and love myself. Instead of dreaming up possibilities of what could happen or what I wish would happen or whatever worldly thing is most important to me at that time, I receive this fiery passion and grace.
Jesus shows me that my brokenness can be filled with His unconditional love
which pours into my life through the people He has placed in it. The amazing truth is that we all have endless amounts of grace and love to give, begging to explode from our souls. And the world doesn’t just want us to share it, it needs us to. And loving each other can change the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KARI LYNN COTONE
Kari is a NYC based actor and singer. Originally from Cleveland, OH, she's incredibly grateful for her amazing family and the midwest for providing her with such a grounded and spiritual upbringing. When she's not auditioning you can find her doing cardio, eating pizza and sipping red wine (in that order). She is excited about the adventures to come while she continues to live in New York and purse her passions.