What’s it to You?

It’s been an interesting week.  I’m still so grateful for my life. I know I say it often, but it’s true…everybody is going through something.  And a lot of what we’re going through blows chunks.  BUT here we are, breathing air, eyes blinking, heart beating; still talking and thinking and finding excuses to laugh and smile and hold hands and hug.  WE ARE ALIVE.  That means a lot to me.

It means we still have a chance, y’all.  We have another chance to get it right.  Another chance to make peace with a friend we haven’t talked to in ages.  Another chance to forgive a wrong committed against us:  A chance to let go of the past and be free.

We have a chance to make a difference in the lives around us.  Be the person our families need us to be. Be the spouses we promised we would be when we made those vows everybody seems to ignore these days.  Be a mentor to someone seeking direction. Humble ourselves and be mentored by someone who already knows the way so that we can avoid some pitfalls along the way.

There are a lot of things about my life I really wish I could change.  And I wish that some of the people I love with all my heart would just agree to try moving forward together instead of staying put apart.  Part of taking the chance to make it right is knowing when to dive into the water and rescue the drowning hopes of another.  And sometimes it’s acknowledging that, when the fight against your efforts to help is costing you your own life, you need to head for shore and save yourself.  I despise the time honored adage for its painful truth: He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. There are times when the battle is lost, but the fight was valiant and something to be learned from…as long as you know when to let go and live.  To LIVE, it must be done.

I LOVE Lauryn Hill…  This girl is a BEAST with a turn of phrase! In her song, Ex-Factor, she was the first person to challenge my thinking on what it means to truly be devoted to something or someone.  It was in this song I saw that, it may seem noble to say that you would die for a person but, what happens when you’re done dying and the person you died for is left without you?  How much more noble would it be to spend your efforts doing everything within your power to LIVE for them?  I think, to live is the brave thing to do. Live to comfort.  Live to sustain. Live to fight again; to love again; to disagree again; to make peace again, side by side, rather than leave an un-fillable void, forcing the one you’ve died for to stand and fight alone.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  Loss is not always avoidable. I get it.  But there are some cases, literally and figuratively, where to let go is the cop out, because we just cannot see how it could turn out any other way.  How many times have we heard the tales of people giving up and quitting just inches and seconds away from the cavalry riding to the rescue, or the floodgates rushing open? The fear of the unknown has done more to destroy relationships, lives, hopes and dreams than anything I could possibly think of.

It is against this fear that I challenge you to rage. Take all of your passion and hope and love and RAGE!  Rage against the willingness to be complacent when you know that change must come.  Rage against exhaustion and battle-fatigue.  Pick up your weapons and fight again.  If you must, execute a tactical retreat for a moment. Cry out for help and let someone fight for you.  Catch your breath, clear your head then GET UP AND FIGHT AGAIN.  Rage against the mindset of hopelessness.  Know that this is the battle to which you were called and if you were called to fight then you were called to WIN.

There will always be people who will ask you why you fight the way you do.  They will question your wisdom. They will question your sanity. They will question your right.  Doubters will come to challenge you. They will ask you, “Does it take all that?”

When they ask, “Why this fight, what’s it to you?” Square your shoulders, raise your chin, fix a steely gaze directly into their eyes and declare, “It’s my life and I WANT TO LIVE!!”


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