In fairness, I don’t know what kind of person I would be. I don’t know who I would be in combat or behind enemy lines. I am fortunate to say this and yet, I am fortunate to say that I will never know this. And yet, still, I am someone who loves my country.
I am someone who still believes in the beating heart and the souls, the lives, the hope and the dreams of our Nation. I believe in the standards, which I have been told about since a young age. Although I understand that changes need to be made, America, I love you with all of my heart.
I talk a lot about freedom. I talk about the freedom from self and the freedom from a life which is governed by criticism. I see us all as capable prisoners. We are prisoners to the different systems of control, the criticisms, the critics, and often, we live our life looking in the rearview mirror instead of looking ahead.
Before going forward, I want to reach out and say the paragraphs going forward are not about God, Himself (or Herself either. I don’t want to create any pronoun trouble). Instead, I am quoting something that I had read before. I am not subjecting anyone to my beliefs nor am I pushing the “God” thing on anyone. Not at all. But I do use two quotes below which I use for reference only to bring a sense of understanding.
I still see them sometimes, the bullies from my past. They visit my thoughts when I least expect them. I see them in both old ways and new ways.
I see them on their social media pages wit amazement. They are parents now. They have children of their own. And yet, I wonder how they would respond if anyone treated their child the way they used to treat others.
I wonder about a father of three and the one son with Down’s Syndrome. I wonder if the jokes he used to tell are still funny. Or, does he make the noises he used to make while picking on someone with special needs? Did his jokes change now that the jokes hit too close to home.
There is one lesson that I’ve learned which has been helpful to me. And this lesson comes after years of living with my own losses. This comes after me finding a sense of recovery, which has been ongoing after the loss of my Father and then certainly after the loss of my Mother. I have lost friends and relatives. I have seen death, up close and personal. and through it all; I have learned that above all, grief is very personal. It is not my place nor is it my right to compare my grief or suppose that mine is worse or better. Grief is grief and loss is loss. Period. End of sentence.
Be advised that yes, not everyone plays a fair game. Not everyone shares or is willing to take turns. In fact, there are people that look to take more than just their share. There is a “Me first” mentality in this world, and for the record, I see no reason to deny this. I see no reason to pretend like this does not exist. Instead, I prefer an honest assessment. I prefer a true inventory because as long as I am being honest, this allows me the ability to see the difference between things within my control and things that are not.
There is a true phenomenon that takes place when we live in the conversations in our mind. First, we take on the energy of these conversations. Next, we take on the emotion of these conversations, and finally, we become these conversations. This can go in either one of two ways. Either we think ourselves sick or we encourage ourselves to become strong.
The thought machine is an interesting place to be.
See, all the positive affirmations in the world and all the intellectual thinking does not exclude us from emotional truth, which is thought uses energy. Our thinking can be like a loose thread that unravels and becomes haywire. Thoughts can cause us to have that emotional avalanche; in which case I mean, one thought can lead to another idea, which trickles into another and snowballs into something uncontrollable.
This is life while caught in the thought machine.
There is the ongoing and sometimes unfortunate truth that life keeps moving without worrying about us or what we think, feel or have to say about it. Either way, life moves. Time is always gaining momentum and the pressures to “Be” keep mounting. In which case, words and helpful suggestions can become nothing more than superfluous noise. There is the ongoing and often unfortunate truth that life comes with heartbreak. Life comes with loss. There will be pain. There will be disappointment. There will be downfalls and setbacks, which come with no explanation, other than “It just didn’t fit.”
But goddammit and dammit all, sometimes.
It is time for us to address a common topic. It is time to recognize that unfortunately, there is loss. Dying is part of life. There are times however, when loss comes unexpectedly. There are times when loss defies the natural order of how life is supposed to be.
For example, it is unnatural for a parent to bury their child. It is unnatural when the older buries the younger. No matter what the age might be, although natural, the finality of death seems so unnatural to us; to be without someone, to never hear their voice again or see them in the flesh, to say goodbye but yet, to hold onto them with all we have because memory is all we have left is an idea that has become far too common.
We were younger once. We were young and unafraid. Remember? We were the kids from the town. We all knew each other. We knew the stories and the places where the stories began. I look back and laugh sometimes.
I see pictures from our youth. However, I am seldom in photos. I don’t know why this is but nevertheless, this is true. There aren’t many photos of me from when I was younger. Yet still, there are times when I come across pictures from when we were kids.
I can almost smell the smells and hear the songs. And the songs were everything. Perhaps I have said this before but the songs and the music we listened to were like matching anthems, each with their own spirit of revolution and independence and each with their own mood.
There are things in life that we all understand. We understand the difference between sunshine and rain. We understand the difference between daylight and nighttime. We understand what it means to lift something that weighs 5lbs as opposed to something that weighs 50lbs. We understand the sensation of touch and taste, sights and smell. These things make sense to us. Intellectually, we understand why time flies when we’re having fun or how it drags when we’re stuck in a place where we’d rather not be.