Memories From the Balcony – Please, Don’t Go

I will advise you now that in light of recent news, this one might be a bit tough to get through.
I mean this both literally as well as personally. But at the same time, this might not be for everybody. This is for everybody and anybody who questioned themselves or wondered about their worth.
This is for the person who decided to go, rather than stay. But more, this is about a permanent decision over temporary ideas. Albeit dark and lonely; albeit hard and difficult to get up or get away; and albeit impossible to see an outcome that is brighter than your expectation; this is for you.
I can’t say why or how it is that I’m here now. By all accounts and in spite of my own efforts – perhaps I shouldn’t be.
Perhaps I should be a mark in a column of casualties, but I’m not.
I’m still here, at least somewhat . . . .

It is worth it though. You do know that right?
Today and tomorrow is within our reach. We can touch this like the grass beneath our feet on a green field like the one I dream about from my youth. There’s a new sun about to come up. We can see it. We can feel it and if we reach out, maybe we can touch it.
Maybe . . .

I’d like this to be as upbeat as possible which, of course, is my intention.
My intention is to inspire both myself and you as well.
I want to offer a degree of separation between us and the thoughts.
My goal here is to open our eyes to see something more than just the next few hours or the next few days.

I’m not here to rescue us for a moment or just a few minutes. No, I’m aiming for more.
My reason for this is simple. I want more.
I want more for me and more for you as well. 
I want to hear about another success story because we’ve all seen and heard about too many tragedies.
We don’t need another tragedy.
We don’t need another catastrophe.
No, we need a moment in the sun. We need a victory. We need a reason to get up or to get out of bed.
Even if I’m alone with this idea, then so be it.
I’m alone (and it wouldn’t be the first time).
But I’m here.
Bleeding or not; hurting or not.
I’m still here which is where I want you to be.
Here and alive.

It is worth it though. Life is.

There is this thing which we call dawn and that means it’s a new day.
That means yesterday is over. This also means that today comes with a whole new set of rules and plans.
We can go left or right.
Let’s just try not to go backwards. That’s all I ask.
This means that we can either live or wait for life to happen.
We can either let the world move around us – or we can make our move.
We can take our lives back. You and me. Right here. Right now.
We can find our motivation. We can be inspired.
We can let go of the ropes that have tied us to every piece of blame, shame, guilt, fault or regret.
Or, we can let everything we think weigh us down and sink into our thoughts and do nothing about it. 

We can meet up for coffee, if you’d like.
We can talk.
We can take a walk.
We can do anything you want because I’d rather listen and be there when it counts than hear the news about someone else who left us way too early.
Please . . . Don’t go.

I’m saying this as a preacher. I’m not trying to win an award or be cool.
No. I have my own reasons for this.
I was almost a casualty.
But for some reason – I’m still here.
Sometimes, I may not understand why.
I’m not sure if I buy into the ideas of having a purpose or that there’s this bigger picture that’s out there – somewhere.
I know that people say this. I know that people tell me that there’s a purpose out there for me.
At the same time, I can tell when people understand (or don’t) because to people like us, nothing really makes sense.
There is no relief valve.
There’s no light at the end of the tunnel for us; so, we have to make our own light.
And that’s why I’m here.

It is my understanding that once my will and my intent overcomes my fear or the pain and anguish, then I can do anything.
I can go or stay. I can rise and fall. I can do anything – even quit. It’s only a decision.
I know this.
I also know what it’s like to be in the middle of indecision – should I go? Should I stay?
Should I take a chance or brave the wire and let go of all my dreams –
Should I give in and watch them fade away?
Or should I go in the next room and start writing my thoughts?
By the way, that’s what I did.
I put down the weapon and stepped away from myself.
I wrote out my first thought which was “my redemption has nothing to do with your response.”

There is something inhuman about life yet this is the most human and honest approach.
Are you ready for the news?
Life . . . is  . . . hard. 
We all know this.
Anyone who tells you that life is not hard – maybe they’re selling something.
Maybe not. But still, for most of us down here on this big conveyor belt we call earth –
Life . . . Is . . . Hard!

There is no negotiating this fact.
Sometimes it would appear as if there’s no way to negotiate anything.
I swear that sometimes it seems as if we’ve already signed on the dotted line and oops, it appears that we forgot to read the fine print.
Here it comes; more of the same.
At least, it seems this way sometimes.  

I opened up to you at the very beginning of this entry and said, “It is worth it.”
You know this, right?
To live
To try another time.
To get up, even if your legs are too weak or if your soul is just too beaten –
Please, don’t go.

It’s still worthwhile.
So am I . . . and so are you.

I keep hearing people say, “You have to find something worthwhile.”
I keep hearing people say that “You have to find your purpose.”
You have to find your reason.
I know that Mark Twain said “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”

I know people tell you to hold on.
I know what it’s like to sit across from someone and listen to them. You might love them too. You might appreciate everything they’ve told you.
Maybe you think about the people in your life and maybe love them more than anything – even more than life itself – or better yet, maybe you love them more than you love yourself yet nothing about this is enough to redirect you or make you whole inside. 
And that’s it right there. Isn’t it?
The emptiness – the vacant space.
The vapid existence – the fake smile.
The brave face – the tired grin.
The moment alone – and the realization that nothing will ever be whole or right or fixed.

It is painful too – to hear about the beautiful things in life.
It is painful to see inspiration or to hear about the motivation to get up and get moving.

I say this because I have sat in chairs and listened to the most incredible speakers. I have wept in the presence of greatness and before those whom I admire most.
I have listened to their details of overcoming the worst and how worthy we all are. But as I listened, somehow, I believed I was more worthless because of my lack of gratitude. It was here in the presence of my guilt and shame, or in the spiral of my blame, faults and regrets that I saw myself as hopeless.
I would hear about these people who overcame more than I could ever consider yet, me in my nominal little life, I couldn’t get out of my own way.

I listened to people talk. I wished that I could buy it.
I wished that I had it in me. I wished that I could just get up and shake this off; that I could change, right there, like turning on a dime, and then all of a sudden I could be healed. Do you understand me?
God – please, just don’t go.

I have seen people with physical disabilities who have to endure a world without the ability to stand or experience feeling or physical touch from the hand. I saw people who had literally nothing yet somehow they had everything to me.
They had this honest approach. They had heart. They had drive.
They had desire; but more, they had the moment of realization which is one of two best days of their life – one was realizing that they were born and two, they finally understood the reasons why.

I know about despair. I know about anxiety.
I know about the thoughts in your head that betray you and lead you into a tunnel which takes you into a room with no windows, no doors and no possible escape. 

I know about that pit. I know about that center of hopelessness which is constantly degrading and nothing stops the momentum.
And that’s just it.
You just want something to stop.
But nothing stops because the world keeps moving.
Time keeps ticking and as the minutes turn into hours and then become days – you start to find yourself degrading into a spiral.
I say this all the time. I talk about losing to this.
I compare this loss and say that we lose to our thinking the same way that water loses to a drain. 

It’s hard . . .
It’s hard to find hope.
It’s hard to see the possibilities when you can’t find the strength to stand up or get out of bed.
It’s hard when you look out the window and see how the world seems to keep going.
Everything around is is constantly moving and you just need a break.
You just want to step out of this,
But you can’t.
You can’t even find the motivation to take another step.

I’m not saying this is easy.
I’m not saying everything will be okay.
I’m not saying that agreeing with me will make you feel better.
I’m only saying that it’s worth it.

Please believe me. 
You’re worth it.

So, don’t go.

See, the reason I am telling you this and the reason for the details above is because over the last several years, I have had to overcome the cobwebs in my mind.
I have to find the meaning of light and hope.
I’ve had to create a way to understand life and find a new way of relating to information because otherwise, I swear, I couldn’t take another step.
I couldn’t go another day.
I couldn’t live another moment or take another breath because the way I was thinking was pushing me towards that dark tunnel.
The way I was thinking was leading me to that room with no windows, no doors and no possibility of escape

See, it’s been years since I almost left us.
What would I have done?
What would I have accomplished if I left?
What would have happened after my exit?

I don’t know “why” I survived the things I’ve survived.
I don’t know if this is the reason why I was born or if this is my purpose.
All I know is that for the last time, I made a deal with myself.
Either I go through with it or I choose to live and I never think this way again.

It’s funny though, I say this because I have never felt comfortable in the crowds. I have never felt comfortable with others or comfortable in classrooms, in schools, or in places where people are highly educated or empowered by a role or a position at work.
But put me in the mix.
Put me in front of the sickness.
Put me next to someone who swears, “That’s it!” and tells everyone how, “I just can’t take it anymore!”

I don’t fit right in most places which is odd for most people to hear – or, so I’m told.
No one believes me. I have panic attacks. I have social anxieties. I freak out is what I do.
I’m afraid of everyone and, certainly, I’m afraid to speak openly or out loud and in a crowd.
I struggle with anticipation. I’m always waiting for the impending doom.
I lose myself to the thought machine, which is not unusual in this world.
I have this thing which millions of others have too, no differently from me.
I’m afraid. I’m weak.
I have so much fear running through me and each day, I have to create something for myself.
I have to find a reason to get out of bed.
I have to build something of value.
I have to – otherwise, I’ll give up again. 

I have to find a reason.
I have to see something beautiful because otherwise I find myself a victim of theft.
And it’s easy to be stolen.
It’s easy to think about the ugliness. It’s easy to see how ugly things are too. Don’t believe me?
Just look around?

I have seen things that no one should see. Yet, I have seen so much less than others. I have lived through less but, to me, I have lived through tragedies. I have survived catastrophes – including my own and I mean the self-inflicted ones and for some reason – I’m still here.
And so are you – at least I hope so.
At least, I hope you see that now.

I know the world is a beautiful place. I know it is.
I know that love doesn’t make sense – especially when it’s love for yourself. 

I know that we never had the chance to talk.
It is worth it though – life is.

I don’t know why I’m here. I really don’t. 
But to hell with it. 
I’m here. 

I have this thing which I’ve been telling you about.
I have this thing that I’ve been working on.
It’s a trick that I’ve been building for years now.
It’s kept me alive –
I’d like to share it with you
That is, if you can keep a secret.

Just between us – for life or longer.
I’m here for you just . . .
Please, don’t go.

3 thoughts on “Memories From the Balcony – Please, Don’t Go

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