When there is nowhere left to fall and the there is no room between you and the bottom;when there is nothing left to lose, nothing left to be afraid of, and when the outcome of your downfall has overcome you and all you can do is withstand and endure, of all times necessary, this is the time when it is most necessary to stand up and be counted.
The root of redemption is often born in the heart of tragic times; and with no hope, no recourse, and with no chance of salvation, this is the time for personal resurrection.
I recall a late night, early in the month of June, looking through a window of my small apartment and watching a rainbow-like halo form around the glowing orb of a streetlamp after an early summer’s rain. The time was quiet and the streets were wet. I was figuratively staring back into the face of my introspective self. I was tired but there was no sleep for me. I was caught in my thoughts and caught in the sad tragic recognition of my life, which had fallen in ways I never considered. I was lost in so many ways. I was alone for the first time in my life. I was away from my family. My father had been dead and gone for a long time. My Mother down south in her Southern Florida location with her back undergoing the slow agonizing process of degenerative spinal diseases and painful surgeries. I was lost in my own mind. I was lost to my financial insecurities. I was worried about the claustrophobic feeling of unsuccessful lonesomeness. I lost to my fears and I lost to the self-fulfilled prophecy of my marital and social failures.
Simply put,at the time, there was nowhere left for me to fall. There was no room between me and my bottom. I was alone in every sense of the word, fight off the cold shaking fears of loveless, lonely nights, in bed, staring at the glowing red numbers on my alarm clock or the double “0” numbers on my answering machine,which to me, indicated that no one called because no one cared.
I lost so many things but at the same time I hadn’t lost anything because the house I had lived in previously did not belong to me. Nothing belonged to me. All I had was some clothes, a few dishes, and an old television set with a built in VCR.
I had nothing else but bare naked walls, which were empty and un-decorated. The cupboards in my kitchen were empty. I had no silverware with the exception of a few spoons and forks left behind by the previous tenant. I didn’t even have a table to eat meals on.
All I had was a couch and a table tray. I had one VCR tape to watch, which was the movie Pulp Fiction that I watched this every day until the cable guy finally came to give me television.
I had to get a new mattress and a new boxes-spring. I was able to get dresser drawer as a gift from my mother. I was able to buy an area rug and a small nightstand with a little lamp. I had a small cat named Tiki, well, Tiki Marie to be exact.
She was a cute little girl, gray and white like a little cotton ball with steel-blue eyes and she was crazy at times, wild, with claws that came out because she was overly playful and slightly psychotic at times. But at least she was there for me. At least Tiki Marie was a life and because there was life, at least, I wasn’t alone.
Slowly but surely, I knew I needed to resurrect myself. I knew I needed to rebuild me; otherwise, I think I would have given in to the tragedy of my sadness. As hard as it was and as difficult as it was to get out of bed or keep moving, as hard as it was to get out of bed to go to work or as hard as it was to motivate me to even do the simplest of personal hygiene, such as brush my teeth, I knew that no matter how far I had fallen, I just couldn’t afford to fall anymore.
A time had come when the discomfort I felt in my surroundings outweighed my fears of being alone. A time came when I could not take the fighting anymore. A time came when I could not take the incomplete feeling I had of emptiness and inner contempt.
A time came when I recognized that had I stayed in the situations which kept me paralyzed in sadness; I would never escape if I never made the move to better myself.
In the aftermath of a downward spiral, my depression was intense like a heavy burden on my chest. My awareness was intact with the understanding that my choices had led me here, alone, to wonder how all of this happened in front of my very own eyes. I found myself here with no room left to fall and looking through the window of my small apartment. I stared down at the street of my old neighborhood, which I had returned to like the Prodigal Son after squandering his wealth. The black pavement in the road was wet and slick and the reflection from the streetlamps shimmered. Every so often, a car would pass and I could hear the tires driving over the wet streets with a chattering sound.
I grew up in this town and came home. I was lost but yet, I was found and living in familiar territory. In an effort to find myself, I came home (so-to-speak) because I grew tired of feeling lost and afraid.
I wanted to create my own transformation and find my own sense of redemption. This had to do with no one else but me and since it was me that placed me here and by living in a self-perpetuated downfall,my choices and my actions, my feelings and my ideas were all based out of insecure reactions and my assumptions resulting in the inaccurate math the insecure mind adds up, I found myself at the understanding that if I am to improve, then it will have to be me that takes the step towards improvement.
I felt as if I had lost everything, which meant, one by one, I would have to reacquire everything. I admit this way of thinking was intimidating but the learning process was truly valuable. It was here that I learned the difference between want and needs. This is when I began to learn about the programmed mind and the programmed lifestyle that I subscribed to.
I was trying to live the life I thought I was supposed to have because of a social mindset that I later realized is nonsense. I found myself interested in transformational change and viewed my downfall and all that led up to it as a stage in my life. And much like a caterpillar in its less remarkable stages, I saw this little apartment as my cocoon phase. It was here that my transformation began. It was here that I came to the understanding that a lot of my opinions and beliefs were based on other people’s opinions and beliefs. I realized that I had never dared to be myself, in which case, how could I ever enjoy being me if I was always trying to live up to someone else’s standards.
This is where I made my peace with my previous choices and made a commitment to me own evolution. I rid myself of fake friends or pretending friends. I rid myself off all the unnecessary weight that I carried around; whether the weight was guilt or resentment or if the burdens that ranged from things which were out of my control, the wreckage of my choices and the aftermath of angry, wasteful decisions, I decided to redefine my life and rebuild it from the ground up.
I look back and remember this time as one of the most difficult times but also, I see this time as the time of my redemption. This is when I decided to make it my turn.Rather than living for anyone else or regarding others before acknowledging me,myself, and I; this is when I began my greatest personal rebuild.
When there is no room left in the memory for more resentment, there is no further left to fall, and the eyes are opened to the lies and the heart is aware of the pain,there is no time better than this to gather one’s self and pull away from a programmed mind that never allowed me to be me and reach my best possible potential.
Looking out through a window at the street, figuratively speaking, I faced myself in the mirror and asked myself one poignantly valuable question.
When is it your turn?
When is it your turn to have the life you want to live?
When is your turn to be happy?
When it comes to personal improvement, I learned about the word “When.” This is a pivotal word and hinged upon so many different variables. I learned my biggest changes will only happened because “When,” became “Now.”
When is it your turn to have the life you want to live?
Until the answer to that question changes from when to now, I realized that I would always be waiting for the other variables in life to change. But people,places, and things do not change.
If it was up to me . . . then it is up to me, to which again, like the Prodigal son, yes, I was lost but at last, I had been found.