There’s a song by Bon Iver called “Skinny Love.” If you haven’t listened to it, you should. It’s beautiful. There’s something beautifully tragic about love. When love is lost, the ties cut, and the blood spilled, love is just as overwhelming as when it was alive and well. That’s the danger of love. It’s the most powerful thing known to man but it can be the greatest feeling you’ve experienced or the worst. It can foster life or bring death. It can and will bring you to your knees at some point in your life. Love is an absolute. It doesn’t fade or die off. Love is like a magnet. It requires two poles to pull separates together, otherwise it’s empty and grasping at nothing. Love is a dangerous and blinding force. It can make us do things we never expected and even then look back in disbelief. Love is the most wonderful and terrifying thing in the world. Having experienced it myself, I can’t say it’s always worth the risk, but that’s the thing about love, it doesn’t always give us a that choice.
What do you hold onto? What gets you through the day? When other things fail and people break promises, lie, and let you down, what do you count on? This past year has been the darkest of my adult life and despite so many terrible things happening around me, every time I try accept what is happening and find hope, more things go wrong, break down, fail, betray, lose. I have reached the point where hope feels not only naive, but foolish. My potential college majors and careers laid out in front of me all feel wrong. My home town feels foreign, and everywhere I look to move feels questionable. What is one left to hold onto at the end of the day? When the dark has overcome the light? When No potential options feel right and where you are feels wrong, where does one go? This is not a social commentary with a decisive point and direction at the end my friends. This is an admittance of defeat. This is a point of starting over and letting go of everything I once thought I knew. Caring less and living more. Focusing on being rather than planning. Life isn’t what I thought it was and now I’m forced to adapt.
The cruelest irony of all is that of the love story. The bitter truth is that the people we love the most, have the most potential to hurt us. The people that we give the most to, have the most to take from us. This is a constant and dangerous game we play in our lives. How can one truly love without being vulnerable? Yet, how can one truly love and use that vulnerability against someone? It is my humblest opinion that if one does in fact truly love another, they not only won’t, but can’t use those gifts given to them against their intended. If they at any point do, did they truly love? Were they mistaken? Was it infatuation? What causes the heart to become selfish to a level that it disregards the mental and emotional well being of someone close to it? People can sling blame and point the finger at past experiences, personal shortcomings, or a slew of other excuses but when it comes down to it, it is simply the lack of love that allows or causes pain in another. Many are not self-aware enough to even realize this but the ones who are have a responsibility to not let it happen. The most tragic part of this story is that more often than not it’s the ones who have been hurt the most who perpetuate the pain. They know the pain yet don’t take the required action or responsibility to end the cycle. This is one of the most tragic cycles of the human condition I’ve ever experienced. To the ones who have been hurt and made a decision to end the cycle I salute you. You, my friends are the lights of a world covered in shadow. This story is yet another that though I understand it, I’ll never truly comprehend it. I’m glad I don’t however, because if I found a way to understand it fully I feel like I would have to had justified it in my head. I am in no way advising that anyone should stop getting close to people or allowing themselves to love, but I urge you to be careful, as hard as that may be. I myself I’ve fallen prey to the swift fall into someone’s arms and I, better than most, understand how difficult it can be to take a step back and think when someone offers open arms and a kind heart. Learn from mine and your own experiences, though hard as it may be. Life is a series of ups and downs and then you die. The most important part of life is to make sure that no matter how much you love anyone, you make sure that your happiness is based in yourself. Once you’ve done that no one can ever take it from you. Understand the difference between happiness as a reaction to circumstances and happiness as a state of being. No matter how much anyone can offer, you have to make sure you they do not hold the key to the door that is your happiness. The happiest married couple I know once told me that as much as they loved each other and enjoyed being a part of each other’s lives, if something happened and they found themselves apart or alone, that life would go on. Tough as it may be, life would go on and they would find happiness not in another, but within themselves again. That, I believe, is one of the reasons they are the most happy, successful, and wonderfully married couple I have ever met. They know this one key element that so few others seem to. So to conclude my rant, I urge you to seek out the parts of yourself and things in life that make you happy and surround yourself mentally and physically with them.
We are all born sick. We all suffer. We all struggle. What so few people fail to realize is that it’s not what we’ve been through, or even what we are currently going through that defines us. Some people have gone through hell and back just to survive and yet most of the time you’d never know it because they don’t let it define them. Some people have had most of their life extremely easy with minor problems here and there and yet they try and use every single hardship, no matter how small, as a crutch. They lean on them and say “But you don’t know what I’ve been through,” when confronted about their actions. This difference, this decision, it is what makes us who we are. Do we sit back and try to get pity for the things that have happened to us or do we stand up and say “I’ve been hurt, betrayed, abused, lied to, and dragged through most of my life kicking and screaming but that doesn’t mean I can’t control where I step next.” We are not our problems or even our past. We are who we are, good and bad. We alone decide what is next for us. Every step, another conscious effort to move forward, stand still, or fall back. Those who have been through the most, those that are broken, yet still decide to love and keep moving forward, this are the rare gems. Those are the strongest people around. They usually never even know it, but that’s one of the things that makes them great. They just need someone around to hold their hand and remind them that their future is so much brighter than their past. Life simply isn’t about what has happened. It’s about what will happen. History only repeat itself when no one remembers it.
A sarcastic doctor on a no longer airing television show once said “Everybody lies.” There are even college courses on this very philosophy. Why though? Why do we lie? For convenience? Greed? Fear? Do we lie because we are taught to or would that even matter? Would we just observe how the liar gets away with the injustice scot free? Would we constantly work out the pros and cons in our heads? The cost of getting caught versus value of getting away with it. Is that all it comes down to for us? People, as a whole, are lying, thieving, manipulating, greedy little bastards. People say that in everyone theres is good. Well then people must put an awful lot of effort into hiding that good. The facts are that if people can’t handle the weight of telling the truth in the small, minuscule times that it hardly effects anyone, why should they be trusted with anything more? The bottom line that all lies can be tracked back to is selfishness. Selfishness is an epidemic in society and they lengths that people will go and the effort they will put forth simply to get what they want is mind boggling. They will do so at seemingly no care or consideration to the effects their actions, words, or lack of either have on other people. There are good people, and there are bad people. The bad far outnumber the good. The saddest reason for this is that it’s simply easier to be a bad person than it is not to. To be a good person is to accept responsibility for one’s thoughts and actions. This is not a popular way of life currently. In fact most people are willing to put incredible amounts of effort into avoiding responsibility of any sort. Everybody may lie, but remember this one last beautiful and satisfying thought, everybody also gets caught.
What is this thing called fear? By definition; An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. So fear is not the evidence of anything, it is the belief or expectancy of it. And if fear is the negative what is the positive? I mean, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction right? Well, if faith is the opposite of fear, fear being the negative and faith being the positive, they are the rulers of our lives. One of the two governs us with an iron fist. It influences our decisions, sometimes even making them for us all together. Unfortunately, sometimes people are overcome by the negative. They allow it to control who they are. Simply put if someone is not living a lifestyle of faith, they ARE living in fear. Faith is believing the positive and fear is believing the negative. The power of our mouths is infinite. Should anyone truly come to the realization of this and the world would change drastically in a matter of months. If we speak the positive into existence then we have the same effect on the negative. People obsess over their fears, because it’s easier than holding onto their hopes. People worry and worry about sicknesses and accidents and then they begin to cause themselves to believe that these things WILL or ARE happening. But the same effect can be applied to the positive. The steps to this freedom are first thinking something, then speaking it, then knowing it, then living. See I believe that the reason our tongues are so powerful, is because they can trick our mind. They can make us believe anything, it just has to be convincing enough. Ever know anyone who was absolutely terrified of becoming a certain way or doing something wrong? What ended up happening? In most cases it’s the unfortunate truth that they epitomize their fear. With that in mind wouldn’t it be nice to be able to epitomize your hopes, beliefs and dreams? What is the limit? What are we capable of? Well, in my opinion, the sky is the limit. I sincerely pity the people who live their lives in fear. Fear of what COULD happen, what MIGHT hurt them, fear of the unknown. Are they even truly living? Is it worth the caution? Is it worth the pain? I mean wouldn’t that be so incredibly limiting? What opportunities would be missed by fear of what they could be? Why would anyone ever want to live this way? It doesn’t make logical sense, right? Of course not! But in the society that we live in people often leave any logic they once clung to in the dark. They start operating out of emotions and feelings rather than logic and common sense. And wasn’t fear an emotion? Faith is a decision, fear is an emotion. What a revelation! That we can live by our own choices on what to believe rather than our fleeting emotions? I promise you that if presented to the highest educated psychologist, it would be almost comical. People live in fear because it’s easier! Yes, if you are not enraged by that then you need more air supply. People seem to do everything these days simply out of ease. It’s an apathetic mindset that is very self-destructive. It eases the chance of actually having repercussions for one’s actions. No one wants to be accountable these days it seems. But what is faith if not the accountability that forces us to take our thoughts captive and actually work at getting places in life, progressing, and bettering ourselves. People have to start manning up and becoming “old fashioned” as our forefathers were, or so little will be accomplished. What a glorious day when people gain this knowledge and actually apply it, but what a dark time until then. So what is this thing called fear? Well, if you ask me, it’s an excuse. What do you think?
What is this life? Why do we press forward? What do we have in store for our efforts? People say life is short, and relative to many things, it is. Why is it that life still eludes so many? Society tells me that right after high school you’re supposed to go to college and then start your career. It’s just that simple. Right? For the people in my generation I can count on one hand and still have room to call someone a loser the number of people I’ve seen actually get into a career after college, much less a career that has anything to do with what they now have a piece of paper declaring them educated in. I see people join the military. Some enjoy that life and some don’t. The point is that there is no longer a plethora of options for twenty-somethings anymore. Even if we go along with what society tells us to do, we are guaranteed nothing. No return for our effort, no happiness, and certainly no compensation. Times have changed and they aren’t in our favor. No longer do we have the chance to pick up our father’s trade, find an honest and decent living in a trade or anything else for that matter. We have gambles. We have the chance at having a happy and financially comfortable life but it is only a chance. There is little we can do in our own favor. By little, I mean the only, and I do mean only thing we can do to improve ourself, our life, and our happiness is to take control of our own lives, don’t live as we’re told but as we’ve learned. If you want to do something, live somewhere, experience something, do it. This mandate has been echoed all over society but so few seem to actually think about what it means. Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Own this day and the next. Stop hoping, hope is the bread of your mind. It has no nutrients or value. It will fatten you and leave you wanting flavor and meat. Stop hoping and do what you want, what is best for you in the long term, and what will make you happy. And for those immature out there, doing what you want does not exclude you from being responsible for your actions. You will be held accountable, one way or another. In the end, you simply have to live.