Every day I wake up and I fight against my desire to stay hidden in the dark. I fight against the pain and exhaustion that invades every fiber of my being: pain which is not merely physical but mental, emotional, and spiritual as well.
My strongest desire is to avoid the conflict of engaging in relationship with the wounded people around me, because I don’t know how not to respond out of my own wounded being. Surrounded by people I love, isolated inside of myself, I get up every day and do the best I can.
When my eyes open, I let them remain open. I get up, I get dressed, and I do what needs to be done. Sometimes I do the very minimum of what needs to be done in order to get through, until I can hide again and take refuge from what is required to appear normal and functional to those in the larger world.
Despite the false starts, aborted attempts, and failed outcomes, I wake up, open my eyes, and try again today.
Some of this heaviness and pain is grief and sorrow the width and depth of an ocean it seems I was born into. Some of it is the accumulated toxicity dumped into my ocean, through accident or intent, by those unknowing or uncaring, incapable of perceiving the ongoing effects of their detritus discarded into my depths.
Ebb and flow, inhale and exhale, flex and stretch – each day I choose to wake up and move through the pain, again.
I know that goodness exists, it must, because if it didn’t, the pain would be less. I see beauty, innocence, hope, and love and I weep because I’ve seen and experienced the destruction of beauty, the victimization of innocence, the eradication of hope, and the distortion of love. Yet, each day I choose to open my eyes and keep breathing.
Some days that’s all I can manage to do.
On those days and in those moments, I know that if I was alone in the world and dependent only on my own strength, I would not open my eyes or stand upright. On those days, the strength that opens my eyes and stands me on my feet comes from the source of life, hope, love, and every good thing.
On those days I don’t know why my life is worth living, I just know that while I have life to live, I must live it, even if all it is, is surviving and getting by until I choose to open my eyes again tomorrow.