I have been lost, my friends. So very lost. The me I knew, the life I had, the way I lived… it went by the wayside. Misplaced in a year full of chaos and change. The days tumbled into nights, and then back into mornings to do it all over again. It all became about survival. Survive another day. Survive until it all made sense again. Hoping and praying it could. Some day it would, it had to. Just not today. Probably not tomorrow either but some day. Some day it would be right again. Just get to that day.
And I wasn’t sure how it could but I knew it must. It had to. Move forward and make it. Keep progressing until life looked like it was supposed to, until it felt like it was supposed to. Not like this. Not like losing. Life isn’t just about losing. If you play long enough, you’ll eventually win. Right? Keep the faith and keep hope alive.
Now, if you didn’t already know, it can be a maddening undertaking trying to keep Hope alive. Particularly when Despair lurks around the corner. Indeed, if Hope is the thing with feathers that gives the soul its song, Despair is the secret ninja with stealth that works in the dark to slaughter all our wispy Hope. Exhaustion its backdrop, Fear its weapon of choice.
And at some point, I don’t know where because maybe it’s different for you but at some point, after so much loss you start to assume that’s all you were meant for. To lose and to lose some more and eventually you become paranoid of what’s left. Almost afraid to gain more because why? If it was only going to be lost, I’ll just save myself the pain and not take it then.
That’s exactly where I’ve been, my friends. Afraid to stay, afraid to gain, afraid to lose. Caught in a terrible paradigm of not wanting more because it hurts so much to lose, knowing I really didn’t want anymore of that. But afraid that if I didn’t gain more then when the loss came, I’d lose what I had left and knowing I really, really couldn’t handle that.
And so Exhaustion crippled my soul, Fear invaded my heart and Despair worked away at killing my Hope. Slashing at it every day, wearing it down, until it didn’t have the strength to fight anymore. It stilled its feathers inside me and went dormant. And I knew it had gone quiet but not what to do about it. And the last remaining tiny flicker of a shadow that Hope had now become in me hoped with all its downy might that I would find out how to fix it. But I didn’t. I couldn’t.
Then the most amazing thing happened. Right there, in the middle of a normal looking morning, in the midst of protecting my tiny little bubble of what’s left of life, I heard something. A video someone had posted on Facebook. And it doesn’t even matter really which one it was (but if you think it really does matter, watch it here) because the point is, when I watched it, I felt a flutter in me. The tiniest movement inside me. In fact it was so small, I wasn’t even sure it had happened until I replayed the video. Then I played it again. And again.
And the funniest thing happened as I watched it over and over again. That flutter turned into a quiver and then into a rush until it became a wave that surged all the way to my heart. It hit it me so hard, I lost my breath and tears flooded my eyes. And as I sat there, blinking back the tears, I listened and suddenly I knew how to fix it.
I realized that in all that time, in all that losing, I had forgotten my secret weapon but I remembered it now. The thing that Trumps it all is Passion. Yes, PASSION!! It ignites the soul and sets your cells on fire. It’s a fever, a vigor, a fury inside, I don’t care what you call it! But it’s Purpose and I’d forgotten that I’d conquered Fear and vanquished Despair before with it. Pure zeal, a zest for life beats it ALL and invigorates a tired, weary, battered soul. It was so simple. How had I forgotten? Passion changes EVERYTHING.
I remember now, my friends. And I remember just because I’m losing doesn’t mean I’m lost. I just got lost.