I can’t do it. I tried, I really did. I tried over and over again until it hurt. Attempt after attempt made no difference, eventually I had to admit I was not going to get there. Finally I gave up and asked for help. At first I fought the help because I knew it made me look incapable. Then when the help seemed to be working I started thinking maybe I could just pick it up from there and things would be fine. Maybe I could take over again and do it my way. Maybe no one would notice that I had been helped and would think I had it all figured out now, that I was just as good as ever.
But it didn’t work out that way. Instead I got busted for trying to cheat the system. I was found out for the fraud that I am. I was put on a list of all the failures out there, shown for the loser I really am. I made excuse after excuse, you would have thought I had written a book on giving excuses. In fact I could probably teach seminars to people who need more excuses in their lives. My story was now public and there was no going back. From here on out the road would be rough and there would be no sympathy for this weary traveler.
Convinced the sun would not shine on me anymore I sought seclusion. The best answer to being exposed by the light is to seek the cover of darkness. I plunged into the depths, looking for peace and quiet. I begged that no one would find me there. I wanted to be left alone, to wither away. It’s not that I disliked the sun, it’s just that I no longer felt its’ warmth the way I used to.
So down I dug, accepting the coldness, embracing the dark. Names don’t matter down here, faces aren’t important. Who you know is only an issue if you can’t carry on a conversation with yourself. The walls are friends, so is the ground. They don’t talk back but they are always there to lean on or lay on. They might be cold but there is no sudden exposure to fear, no concern for being found out by them.
But loneliness is no picnic. Empathy only works when there is some else in your life. The walls don’t count. You can hide for a long time as I have discovered, but eventually there are needs that surface, like companionship. So the attitudes have to change subtly in order to adjust to interfacing with other people. But alas, ambiguity becomes your soul mate. When confronted with society, with the intention of belonging, relationships become meetings that one must attend. Just as in the darkness, names and faces don’t matter. Predicting the flow of a conversation is easy and soon you can have the same one with everyone. It’s almost as if you are talking to yourself again.
Then one day you find yourself face to face with the sun. Something about it is appealing. You try and recall what it was, grasping for a memory or two, trying to remember. There is a touch of warmth and then it hits you. Slowly at first then more intensely you begin to sense something wonderful is taking place, but you have been so out of touch for so long that there is no natural progression. No first step and then the next, no graduation to some greater feeling. So you sit there stumped as to what could be taking place.
Seeking answers to these misplaced feelings is like only knowing English and trying to read Hebrew. I’m going the wrong way and I’m on the wrong page. What appears to be possible solutions are really just more questions that lead to further confusion. But this feeling is taking over now and the warmth I felt as a kid is returning whenever I think of the sun. The feeling is even greater when confronted with it.
Soon, all I seek is to be in that warmth, even if I don’t have all the answers. There are still many strangers around here, I know so few of them by face, let alone by name. But there is something about these faces. The same warmth I feel from the sun is somehow radiating from these people as well. There is compassion, there is a sense of belonging and there is hope. Hope that I will not have to retreat back to that place of darkness.
I don’t come out here seeking empathy. All I ever wanted was to get it right. When my best efforts failed and I sought help I thought I had to sell my very being to get it. What I never understood back then was how easy it was to get the help. It’s not that I didn’t know better, I suppose I knew all along, but there is no manual for this sort of thing, for life. Or at least that’s what I used to believe.
It has taken many years to come to the conclusion that help is something we get, and equally as important it is something we give. When you come face to face with the sun and know there is something special about it, understand that we are all underneath the same one. We are all seeking help in some way and we all have the ability to help in one way or another.
Living this life right takes many things. It takes patience, maturity, education and wisdom. It takes time and energy. In some cases it takes money. Most of all it takes help, and not just getting it but giving it too. Starting with the right attitude will get you a long way, but eventually you will come to a place where someone knows more than you do and you have to ask for help. If you don’t, you may find yourself talking to the walls. If you do, tell them hi for me, but the view is much better up here.
my life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.