To Live

Remember something . . .
No classroom teaches experience. You can learn all the theories and you can learn about the ins and outs. You can learn about anything you want but nothing teaches us like experience does.

Experience is something you live through. Experience is when all the lessons in schoolbooks and all the theories go to the wayside.
It comes down to what’s in your gut.

There are books that tech how to parent a child. But what can a book do for you when you’re up at night, late, can’t sleep, and all you wonder is if your child is coming home or will the phone ring with the worst kind of news that no parent ever wants to hear?

No book can prepare you for life or death. No book will heal a broken heart. Certainly no book can heal a broken marriage.
This takes effort.

This is not to say that education is not helpful.
All I’m saying is nothing teaches us more about life than life itself.

The worst is when someone comes along and tells you what to do. Meanwhile, they have no idea what it feels like to live one day in your life. They don’t know about the measures of your pain. They’ve never felt what fear feels like to you. Truth is no one knows you better than you do.

Sometimes you might want to look away. Sometimes you feel confused. Sometimes you want to pull the hair out of your head; you want to scream because the world won’t stop moving, —in fact, nothing ever stops because life keeps going.

All the help in the world and all the friendly suggestions; all the support, and all the cheers from your corner will mean nothing if you don’t get in there and do the work yourself.
The truth is, no one can win for you.
You have to win for yourself.

And I get it.
Sometimes life is a lowdown, dirty, knuckle-bleeding fight. Sometimes you feel like you’re getting hit from every angle. Sometimes, you want to swing back but you just don’t know where to swing.

People might relate to you, which is helpful, but nobody feels what you feel. But no one gets it the way you do.

Even if we relate to each other; my pain is my pain and your pain is yours. It’s easy to tell someone what to do.
It’s easy to say how to fight back. But directions lack the feeling of pain or punishment, Directions do not determine how much you can endure. Directions just explain what to do. They never say anything about pain or what t costs to make it through.

You can hire the best attorneys. You can hire the best doctors. You can have the best coaches in the world, the best therapist, and the best of everything but life is still life, which means life does not interact with us according to our expectations. Life does not care if we have plans. Life just keeps moving. It’s what we do with life that makes us alive. Otherwise, we just exist

Two weeks back, I was asked about an anniversary of mine. I was asked about the 28 year mark of a lifestyle I chose, which is outside of the norm of most people’s standard.
No drinking, no drugs, no means of recreational or mind altering substances for 28 years.

Someone told me I was lucky.
Someone told me I should be grateful for what I have.
I explained, I don’t think luck had anything to do with this.
Sure, I was lucky that I survived a few things.
I can say this is true.
Sure, I am grateful that my time was served differently than say, locked up for life in prison.
But luck does not keep someone living a good lifestyle. Effort does this. I had to work at what I do. I had to bleed. I had to sweat. And I had to endure.

I had to learn how to coexist. I had to learn how to interact. I had to gain experience but the only way I could do that is if I made the decision to live.

Every single one of us is fortunate.
But fortune is relative.
Tell someone with more than a million dollars in the bank how lucky they are; meanwhile, with all the money in the world, their cash cannot buy back their child who is off, banged out someplace, or living homeless on the street, or sick in a hospital.

From this point onward, realize something:
Understand that whether you go or stay, fail or succeed; the rest of your life depends upon what you choose to do from this day onward. Understand that the depth of your effort is equal to the level of your accomplishment.

Understand the pain you feel, the strain, the cramps and the aches, and the sweat you spill, the sleep you lose, and the blood you draw will inevitably become the drive which pushes you across the finish line.

Everything you interact with; all your thoughts, all your emotion, all of your setbacks, obstacles, and all the reasons that stand in your way are the things that can hold you back and keep you sick (or depressed.)
How are you going to choose to navigate through them and make your way across the finish line?
Understand the hardest part of any victory is the belief that we can win after we’ve lost so much.

When the morning comes, you have to get up.
You have to get out of bed, stand up, and start your day, one small success at a time.
No matter how much you want to stay in bed, no matter how much it hurts, no matter how hard life hits you; you have to stand up.

Sometimes, I swear the world is a mad, mad place. I swear the things we want most will seem like they’re just beyond our grasp. Disappointment hits. We take two steps forward and then have to go ten steps back.
This sucks.
I get it

No victory will ever come without effort. Even if it does, it’s not like you really won anything. Even if you did, the effort to keep the win still requires your attention

Each morning when the alarm rings, we have to stand up.
And I get that it isn’t easy.
I get there is pain. I understand what doubt is. I certainly understand what a broken heart feels like.

Still, we have to stand up.

I found myself on the floor of a small bathroom after an attempt to commit the unthinkable.
I thought I was going to die . . .

But I didn’t.
I stood up.
As hard as it was to admit to what happened, I told on myself.
I stood up. I faced it.
I didn’t think about win or lose.
I just didn’t want to die anymore.

In the outcome of my downfall, I came to the moment of my own personal resurrection. I wanted to find my own redemption and in doing so, I wrote the words, “My redemption has nothing to do with your response.”
This is how I started my very first journal.

It’s not about winning or losing
It’s about living
And me, I want to live . . .

Don’t you?

One thought on “To Live

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