Monday, November 21, 2005

not a victim

i am not about to say anything novel or groundbreaking. this is some very matter-of-fact common sense stuff i'm about to talk about. but it needs to be talked about. cause too often we find ourselves in situations that we could/would/should, but simply don't, avoid. this post is inspired by some conversations i've had with some loved ones that i wish i could make decisions for...

three words.


i am not on prozac or paxil or zoloft or anything like that. no offense to those who are. believe me, i think i understand to some extent what you're going through. sometimes it's all just too much. i don't mean a little blue. i mean stop this ride and let me get off. i mean the hell with everything. because sometimes it's all just too much. that's why prohibition didn't work. why weed is probably as popular now as it's ever been, if not more. why smack is back. why some people, despite what they know, still try that first hit of crack, why people share their bodies with no discretion on how it may affect their spirit, why people stay in relationships that drain them more than enrich their lives, or why people become stagnant and bitter.

ask my friends. i am strange. often strangely optimistic. strangely upbeat. peculiarly silly or happy. certainly not all the time. but enough for people to sometimes earnestly ask me, what you been smoking? what you been drinking? ok, no. that's not it.

i simply make a concerted effort to be this way. i must be this way. i must find the small joys where ever i can. i must create joy in the spaces where it is needed. i must play the peacemaker between myself and this complicated and often harsh world i live in. because if i don't, i might as well start looking for my crack pipe. i might as well come up with some bs injury to start my oxycontin habit with. i must find things to have faith in

- like the presence of Divinity in our midst. the possibility that people can impact each other's lives positively, whether it's through the social work my best friend does for a living or through the elevating words of some of my poet friends, or whether it's me sharing my struggle on the web so others know that being okay takes effort. i must sometimes laugh to keep from crying, dance with what seems like my last breath to keep from collapsing. i must. it is the difference between me being someone i like and me becoming a zombie, going through life grumbling, complaining, growling at others, contributing to the spiritual pollution that endangers anyone not resolved enough to fight against it and through it for a breath of life sustaining, life affirming, life encouraging air.

this effort is made in the form of choice. every second i breathe i have a choice. i can change my attitude at will.
i can change my actions with a changed attitude. i can change my circumstances through changed actions. and my changed circumstances can change my attitude. that can go positively or negatively. and everybody makes the choice which - i'd rather break my neck to go for the positive. i don't expect everything to go my way. i don't expect to enjoy every moment of this life. but i can expect more out of myself than resigned complacency in the face of that which threatens my peace.

so i have to be mindful of the perspective i choose to take, while i try to embrace a balance between the extremes of victimization and absolute power. there will be good and bad.
i can learn from both. i can remember during the good that as long as i live, challenges will come. i can choose to hold on during the bad, or succumb to the madness. this is a perspective that i choose that helps me to stay balanced. i'm aiming for balance. i'm aiming for peace.