Posted on February 20, 2013
“We have to hold the people we love with an open palm…so they are free to fly away, and if it’s meant to be, they will come back to us.”- T.L.
Just because I’m losing, doesn’t mean I’m lost.
I’m going to tell you a story tonight. When I was three years old, there was a night where I was screaming and writhing in agony. The bottom right side of my abdomen was on fire. I was in pain, so much pain. I remember laying on my parents bed crying with such purpose that I could feel my chest tightening. I remember this feeling with such clarity that even to this day, when life throws its finest at me, and I have to shed a tear or two…the feeling strikes me with such familiarity that I almost stop in my tracks.
They took me to the E.R. and the doctors said that it was only the flu. I remember crawling back into the backseat of the car, still in pain, looking at the lights go by. I remember that later that night, I had this dream that I will never forget. In fact, whenever I get really sick, I seem to have this dream occur. The biggest waves I have ever seen crashed down upon me. Wave after wave I struggled to come up for air. I guess you could say I was drowning in this dream. Then, all of the sudden, just as the waves had hit me, the pain came roaring back into my stomach. I started screaming. I was back in the E.R.
The doctors told my parents that if my burst appendix was left unattended for a few more hour that I wouldn’t have made it. Toxins were pouring into my body and slowly killing me. Life had more in plan for me. As they had to take massive amounts of blood, eventually my veins collapsed and had to spend another week in the hospital. I eventually was out, two weeks later, and back on the prowl ready to start my life. From that point on, I have remembered a lot that has happened to me.
When it gets hard, it then gets better. When it gets better, it then gets hard.
I don’t think there is a more natural and balanced way of putting it. Until recently, I never really just drove somewhere to sit out and look at the stars. There was something profound about that night. Being completely surrounded by darkness, but yet, as I looked up at the sky, I saw something so bright. Things can get very dark sometimes, but if you pick your head up and you look around, you can see that there is beauty in everything. You can’t always make everything work. Moving on doesn’t always mean that you are quitting. It just means that the cards you have been dealt are not the ones you want to play with, and you have to fold sometimes to get to your next best hand.
We learn something from everything. And over the past couple of months, I cannot even begin to describe to you the lessons I have learned. I was reminded of the importance of love, of passion in the launching of a dream, and of what it truly means to never quit. But as I looked myself in the mirror today, I was also reminded of something that makes everything work. Integrity. Something that I keep coming back to over and over again. Because without it, nothing that I stand for can come out. I can’t show it to myself, and I certainly can’t show it to other people when things become thick. So here I am, hearing my fingers patter on the keys, a sound that has become familiar to me but has never lost its soothing qualities…hurting but not hurt…losing, but not lost. And in the end, the only sound I hear, is the bump in my chest, telling me that it is okay…and that I will give everything again.
The Better Man Project