The words were piercing.
“I want to die—I can’t do this,” wrote the broken 26-year-old. The one with the cheating husband. The one who’s being abandoned. The one just trying to figure out how to breathe. How to pick herself up off the floor.
I don’t know this young lady. But I know what all of that feels like.
“I gave him everything.
“I have nothing—I hate myself.
“I’m empty—I’m a shell.”
Attitudes are more important than facts. – Karl A. Menninger
Hopefully she doesn’t really want to die.
I certainly don’t want to die. But for the first time in my life, I can at least relate to the thought process.
Sometimes, something hurts enough where flipping the switch to the OFF position doesn’t seem like the worst idea.
But it’s cowardly. Selfish. Wasted thought.
It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, “Always do what you are afraid to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Absence of Hope
People feel this all the time. Hopelessness. It’s heartbreaking.
Because that’s one of the things we need the most—hope. Hope is how you persevere. It’s how you (insert cliché metaphor here) climb the mountain, break through the wall, conquer fear.
Hope is why we wake up in the morning.
Hope that today can be better than yesterday. That tomorrow brings the promise of unlimited possibilities.
Hope is why we educate ourselves and our children.
Hope is why we pray.
Hope is why we go to work.
Hope is why we love.
Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. And sings to the tune without words, and never stops at all. – Emily Dickinson
Motivational clichés are annoying. I know. But they’re clichés because they’re predominantly true.
When one door closes, another door opens.
When you get laid off from your job, you eventually get a new one. A better one.
When your spouse or partner leaves you, in theory, you eventually get a new one. A better one? I don’t know. But that’s my hope.
We build muscles by breaking them down.
We temper steel in fire.
Diamonds are formed under the Earth’s most-intense pressures.
If You Can’t Be Strong for You, Be Strong for Others
I don’t know much.
But I do know this: NOTHING eliminates fear, worry and stress in my own life quite like the news of someone else going through tragedy.
What were you worried about around 7:30 a.m. EST on Sept. 11, 2001?
What was bothering you on Dec. 26, 2004 when the tsunami hit the Indonesian coast?
How bad was your day last December when 20 beautiful children were fatally shot along with six teachers trying to protect them in Newtown, Conn.?
Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others. – Plato
People need you.
If everything’s great in your life, people need you. Help them.
If everything is total shit? People STILL need you. Help them.
Light Up the Darkness
You may not believe in fate. Or karma. Or that everything happens for a reason.
I don’t really know what I believe in that department. Nor do I particularly care.
I believe in math, though. In statistics. Are you getting spoon fed copious amounts of shit? Hang tight. Because good is coming to balance the math equation. To level the scale on the other side of the equals sign.
I also believe in being a good human being. In treating other people with kindness and compassion. With respect. With love in its most basic human form.
If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. – Thomas Edison
It’s how I’m going to beat this.
It’s how I’m going to keep breathing.
It’s how I’m going to experience the sweet taste of whatever good thing is coming down the pipeline for me.
It’s how I’m going to keep my head up.
It’s how I’m going to be strong for others even when I don’t feel strong for myself.
Because we have LOTS of takers in this world. Shit tons of them. And I don’t want to be one. And I don’t want you to be one.
Find a way to give more than you take.
To be a positive force in a sometimes cruel world.
To light up the darkness.