Jeannette, what’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done? 


When I was 29 years old I left an engagement that looked amazing from the outside but that kept me up at night with the constant, feverish, unrelenting mantra: this is not right, this is not right, this is not right.


I lived on the other side of the country with a man who was seriously wonderful in many ways. My mom was thrilled. His mom was thrilled. My girlfriends were gearing up to be bridesmaids. My father thought he was an “excellent choice.”


Somehow, at the very bottom of my distressed heart, I knew that if I married this wonderful person I would end up living a life that was not truly my own. I had another vision for myself that tugged at my sleeve and scared me to death. Each morning I woke up with the same prayer: Dear God, please show me the truth and give me the courage to embrace it.


When I left the engagement I did so with only my dog, a couple suitcases, and my favorite books. I moved in with my parents (my parents!) while I sorted things out and found a place to live. It was humbling and depressing. People were shocked and disappointed and yet little by little, one authentic step in front of the other, I managed to build the life I envisioned for myself. I couldn’t see it then, but choosing love over fear, truth over comfort, blew the doors wide open to a life I can stand up straight in.

Jeannette Encinias

Jeannette Encinias is a writer who knows that the written word is powerful and potentially life-changing when used deliberately and with great care. She writes compelling copy for spiritual entrepreneurs so that they may connect more deeply with their audiences. She also writes memoirs for individuals and their families, and helps professionals connect with their ideal readers by creating books with messages that go straight to the heart. She believes in handwritten letters, the health benefits of great music, and making art on the floor. You can follow her blog about the human spirit and learn how to translate your inspired ideas into influential words at

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