My beliefs have been forged through the life-quakes of sorrow that have shaken me to my core.
One of these life-quakes came when I was 13 years old. As a result of running through a pitch-dark room and smacking my head on a door-jam, I lost sight in the only eye in which I had vision. After three months of surgeries, I was told by my doctors there was nothing more they could do. There was too much scar tissue and the retina was beyond repair. I would be completely blind for the remainder of my life. Even with the immense love and support of those around me, I felt shaken, utterly alone, vulnerable and terrified.
The following year was one of the most internally tumultuous times of my life. My world seemed to pulse and convulse as I re-learned how to navigate my way through it. I felt like a newborn, an alien. I had to find my footing, my beliefs, in a new landscape. My beliefs did not manifest with a sudden flash of light, but gently formed over time.
I believe we need one another.
No matter what we try to tell ourselves or how independent we think we are, we desperately need community, relationship, and a place to fall when we are too weak to stand on our own.
There were those who were not strong enough to be there for my fall, but my family was there—they were my soft place. I believe that those who do not find their way through and beyond the depths of grief are those who do not have, or will not accept, the love and support of family, friends and community. I ache for them.
I believe sorrow is the sister of joy.
During this life journey I have taken many heart-wrenching plunges into sorrows’ depths: the death of loved ones; loss of vision; divorce; depression; etc. While my capacities for feeling and expressing grief have deepened in the midst of these sorrows, I have experienced a parallel capacity for joy. In the end, I believe this beautiful depth of human experience can only exude from those who have tasted sorrow down to the last excruciating drop, gratefully taken the hands that reach out to them and awaken one day to discover they are standing once more with their cup overflowing with joy.
I believe my cup is running over.
I clearly see the path that has led me to this moment. I know, at the slightest tilting of events, sorrow’s touch could lie just around the next bend. However, for now, joy, love, laughter and possibility are mine.
I believe it is vital to embrace life, to hold and be held by those I love, to allow tears to flow with unabashed abandon, to feel the sun on my face, to smell the dew in the morning mist, to be present, to belly laugh as often as possible, and to know that miracles do happen.
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