Most of us, face life in various states of damage; we have all faced mental, physical or emotional trauma which leaves a mark. As hard as we try to hide it, those marks develop us, we decide if it is for better or bitter. The only certainty we have each day is: the day will end and we can’t go back and undo our scars. Each day new paths are forged and others become overgrown and fade behind us. I believe life should be a process of changing each moment to make it better than the one before.
On the other hand, I don’t always feel like living up to my own expectations and beliefs. Walking my talk is a huge undertaking, but to do less is hypocritical. Who I say I am when is a tenacious, optimistic, brave, strong, independent idealist. Sadly, this is exhausting and somedays I fall flat on my face. I lose my temper, my patience and compromise my values when it really counts. My only grace is I can admit complete humanity: I screw up. I try to go backwards, change the past by re-living the moments I should leave alone and recapture the things I already let slip away.
Being human makes me feel like everything I do is futile. What I touch today, turns to ash tomorrow. I throw my heart out for the world to see and live with fearless abandon, yet still the castles I build are made of hourglass sand and fade just like sand running through my fingers. An oddly depressing statement for someone most would call an optimist. I’m also a realist of the highest order: I believe the best is possible but know the worst is likely.
Admitting defeat, failure and disillusionment is a painful and generally slow process; the more reflective a person is the longer the process takes. To be human is to be defeated, a failure and disillusioned. Death, deception, heart break, disappointment, destruction, fear…. All are as much part of the human experience as breathing. Being human is to be broken. We are human, we fall: the best of us rise again. No one wants to discuss the ones who fall behind, most of us cannot admit when we are the one who falls behind.
Falling behind should not be a death sentence (though for some it is.) The moment you fall behind and cannot pick yourself up, is the moment you need to ask for help. The moment you face the illegitimate shame you feel and ask for the help you need, is the moment you go from falling behind to one of the best of human kind. We all fall, we all need help, the best of human kind are not the ones who pick themselves up but the ones who are humble enough to ask for help. Being self sufficient is a wonderful illusion, sadly it is an illusion of pride. No one stands alone, there are moments when we take the strength others have poured into us and stand alone but we do not truly escape the need for others ever.
Being human means offering a hand when needed, taking a hand when all else fails and somedays it means put down ambition and ‘do my best and leave the rest’ knowing ‘t’will all come right some day or night.’ No one stands alone, untested or perfect but we can all stand together in humility, gratitude and survival of the worst days.
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