Saturday, August 21, 2010

The sun will come out tomorrow

Kind of a dark Saturday evening tonight. A blanket of clouds are overhead. Earlier this week we had some thunder and hail, and before that days and days of sunshine. I think when we have so much sunshine we take it for granted. In fact, after several weeks of it I'll admit I get annoyed of it. I lived in Seattle for eight years. I'm not used to this much sun. I say I'd move to Arizona, but who am I kidding. I would go crazy. Of course during the winter and the cold, and perhaps weeks and weeks of rain I'll miss the sun like a lost love. I'll long for it. I'll write blogs to it. I'll listen to music and think about a sunny late summer day in August. So I have to remember to appreciate it when it is here, because in a couple of months it won't be.

As the summer is sure to fade into fall and then winter, even life long loves eventually die. We come in this world alone and we die alone. As much as till death do us part resonates for the married and those clamoring to be married, life is a solo journey. Whether you live to those wedding vows or you don't and your heart gets broken into pieces we need to remember our happiness is our own. We may carry those people in our hearts but they may no longer carry us. We may not even be a passing thought anymore if that person has moved on with their life. This isn't to say that life isn't more meaningful with someone else. I believe it is. Shared experience can have a much greater impact than the individual one. Yet, to think that someone's emotions and feelings are the same as you experience them is untrue. They may be somewhere else already. That incredible moment you experience may not be the same for them.

The beauty of this though is no matter how devastated you can be from losing someone in your life, the seasons do change. The darkness eventually subsides and light peeks through your blinds. You pull yourself off the couch, clean your house, shave, get a job and things improve. The melancholy that you might have felt dissipates, fades into something else. Yet it can't be resentful to move on. It always has to be with appreciation and hope. I think gratitude is the number one killer of depression. If you can find things to be grateful in your life than it is pretty difficult to carry around miserably.

I read an article the other day about a man in Cleveland, Ohio who was incarcerated in prison for 26 years for a rape of a minor that new DNA evidence shows he did not commit. Twenty-six years of his life gone because he did not have legal representation and he was a black man who was identified by a witness in a line up. Twenty-six years of his life behind bars and he was innocent. The anger and resentment that I would feel I can't even comprehend. I think I would be mad at God. I think I would feel like I was being persecuted. That this world is unjust and that it is cruel. Yet this man was not bitter. He was not resentful. He was hopeful. He got his degree in jail. He contacted the Innocence Project and stated his case. With new representation he was found innocent of the crime and released from jail. He said that if he had been resentful and angry he wouldn't have made it. That place would have eaten him alive. He remained hopeful even under circumstances that would break most men.

We have to grasp optimism. Even the grayest day will eventually turn into night and then another morning to start over. If we do not embrace this then we become gray ourselves. Our senses dull, our heart hardens, and the only person who truly suffers is ourself. The one who hurt us or wronged us, or we hurt or wronged, they won't feel what we feel. They have their own emotions to deal with. We can't hurt for someone else. We can care about them. But their pain or lack of it, is their own. We can't make them feel something they won't. But if we don't embrace the hope and we hold onto the bitterness then those friends who support us stop calling. Life is too short to be dragged down by someone who can't pull themselves up. If this man who was in jail had been bitter and refused to embrace hope then he might have committed a crime in jail. He may never have gotten his degree nor contacted the Innocence Project. There are surely many others wrongly accused serving time who did not embrace hope and have died behind prison walls.

Yesterday I got a job. It isn't a dream job. Nothing I wrote about as a child growing up. It is a good job, and I'm lucky to have it. It's less than I made before but I also knew that risk when I quit the last place. It's a fresh start though. It's a new morning. So tonight I will go out with friends and celebrate. I'm appreciative of opportunity. There is always a new one and sometimes we have to lose something to gain something. I didn't start this blog until I had to. I missed it. I appreciate the people that read this, but if they don't it's ok. It's for me. I write for myself and I hope everyone does something for themselves, because this is our journey.

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