Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Shall I Go Quietly Into That Good Night?

I have a friend who is currently going through the trauma of dealing with something that strikes fear into all of us.  It is the silent killer.  It is the killer that strikes seemingly at random.  It is the killer that cares nothing for all the good you may have done, neither the bad.  It is the killer that creeps up on you, unseen until too late.  Cancer.  With luck, my friend will get through this.  The prognosis has so far been favourable.  Through her, and her vivid and graphic descriptions of the torment and hell that she is going through, it has made me realise the fortune that life has thus far bestowed upon me, and for which I am extremely grateful.  I read her latest chapter this morning, as I lay comfortably in bed, supping from a mug of coffee and I felt nothing but compassion.  Once I had finished reading, I was struck by a thought and a series of questions:-

- What have I done in my life that makes my story worthy of telling?
- What do I really know about life, about hardship and suffering?
- What can I possibly teach people about love, when I am such a failure at it myself?

I've been writing my blog since 10th August 2012.  During that time, I've been viewed nearly 2,200 times.  As far as I am able to tell, amongst those 2,190 views, not one has come from my own family.  Not once, has my father, mother, brother or sister made any comment to me about my writing.  Even it they told me they thought it was terrible, at least I'd know that they had shown an interest.  And it's not as though I didn't share it with them, through e-mails, sending URL links, through conversations and through text messages.  What does that say about what I am trying to do?  What does it mean if my own family, the very people whose opinion matters more to me than any other, do not even deign to give the time to read and to understand what it is that I am trying to do.  On these pages, I am revealing my true self.  I am giving anyone and everyone the chance to know the real me.  I am giving an opportunity that most never give.  And that opportunity is being missed by those persons who I love the most.  What does that say about my worth and my value?  If I cannot even count my own family as fans of what I do?  Perhaps they are right, perhaps this is all nonsense.  Perhaps it is better to stop, to hold my thoughts within, and to go quietly into that good night.

What have I done with my life that is worthy of telling?  I suffered sometimes when I was young and I endured times of bullying and name calling at school.  But who hasn't?  I have been in a constant battle with my weight and my self image for as long as I have a memory.  In that, I know I am not alone.  I failed at school and left without reaching anywhere near my full potential.  There is no one else I can blame for that, other than myself.  I didn't work hard enough, I didn't put in the time, I rebelled and looked for the easy option.  I began my working life in a factory, on a production line.  I am certainly not the only person to do so, but what separates me from other people who began their working lives in the same way, and who perhaps had little or no choice in the matter, is that I chose it.  It seems that I purposely sought out failure.  That I purposely strove to under achieve.

Through hard work and endeavour, I was able to rectify some of my mistakes.  I found a job more suitable to my skills and abilities.  I progressed up the career ladder.   And with that progress came the material fruits of success that we think are so important.  My career allowed me to travel on business and to see the world.  My career allowed me to live overseas, to experience a new culture, to make new friends.  And what did I do with this career that was so good to me?  I walked away from it.  I threw it away, I sold it and I gave it way.  And with it, I disposed of everything else that was associated with it.  I deconstructed my life.  I set myself back to where I had been at the very beginning, only perhaps now, there was no way to start over.  Perhaps now, I am further behind than I ever was.  Once again, I strove to destroy me life.

With my love life, I have been the architect of all of my problems.  I chose the wrong people to fall in love with.  I pursued love that was unworthy of me.  I chased the love of which I believed I was deserving.  It is my fault that I am yet to find lasting love with that special someone.  There is no remarkable tragedy, no huge injustice, worthy of a Hollywood movie.  Just a series of poor choices and judgement calls.  If my love life were a movie, you would be waiting a long time for any happy ending.  You would give up part way through watching, you would lose any empathy and you would become frustrated at seeing someone persevere, where there was simply no hope of success.  So what can I teach about love?  I have never had a conventional long term relationship.  I have never known the feelings of deep comfort and security that come from sharing your life with a loving partner.  Doesn't that make me a hypocrite?  Doesn't that make whatever I write about love to be false?

I have no riveting story to tell.  Many of the people I have met along my journey seem to think that I possess a story that is worthy and deserving of being told.  My blog has been my attempt to do just that.  I didn't begin to write because someone told me to do it, I began to write because finally I wanted to achieve something that I have long harboured as a desire.  But what do I really have to say?  I am after all, just an ordinary man, doing ordinary things and I am the architect and the creator of all that has happened to me.  All of the good and all of the bad.  It has all been created by my hand.

But did I really create all this by myself?  What is it that has driven me forward throughout my entire life?  I have never sat and bemoaned any of the situations in which I found myself.  No, sorry, that is not true.  I have done that, I am no different to anyone else in needing time to understand, to comprehend the situation.  But I never sit idle for long.  I am driven by a strong and deep desire to do more, to be more, to be better than I am today.  Where does this come from?  The answer is simply that it comes from my heart.  Perhaps I have been fortunate to discover the power that resides inside of my heart earlier in life than others.  I can see when I look back on the choices I have made in life, that one thing is abundantly clear: Every choice has been made by my heart.  Perhaps it is this, that is the story I have to tell.  Perhaps this is the message I need to share.

I do know that each of us has our own path in life and none of those paths can ever be the same.  Each is unique, each has its own story, its own time and its own place.  It is difficult to understand what is happening to us and why it is happening to us, when we are caught up in the maelstrom.  Only after, when we sit down in the quiet aftermath, can we comprehend it.  Every thing happens for a reason, and that reason is to drive you onwards towards your spiritual evolution.  Maybe I didn't need to suffer the way others have to suffer in order to understand the message of life.  Perhaps, I was fortunate to have formed a connection with my heart from an early age.

Maybe, the value in my life is simply this:  I am an ordinary person, there is nothing special or remarkable about me.  I have never claimed to be any different, nor do I seek to be.  I am only that which I am.  And perhaps, through expressing myself here, through the pages of this blog, I can reach through to others who also consider themselves ordinary.  Perhaps, with my words, I can inspire change, I can inspire personal growth, and I can inspire a spiritual evolution.  When you read the stories of history, the names and the deeds of the heroes are always mentioned.  But in every story, there are astounding deeds of bravery and heroism committed by many, who forever remain nameless.  Each of us is a hero.  Each of us has a remarkable story to tell.

Let make one thing very clear.  I shall never go quietly into that good night.  Any person that I have ever encountered since I found my voice, since I began to discover the real me, will know that I never go quietly.  I never give up the fight until I know in my heart that it is lost.  And I will never change.  I will keep on striving forward.  I will continue to follow my heart.  I will continue to walk my one true path.  And if this is a story that is worthy of telling, then I will tell it.  I trust it to you to decide whether there is worthiness in my words.  Whether you can find meaning in what I say.  I hope that you stay with me on the journey. 


1 comment:

  1. You actually made me think of Edison and what he said about inventing the light bulb when you wrote about love. He said something along the lines of:

    "I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have
    succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have
    eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will

    So as long as you learned something from all those experiences, then it was worth it.