Choose Struggle, Choose to Create

Pain is a given.
No one in this life will escape without hurting.
No one enjoys pain. No one orders up tests or trials in this life. No one jumps up and down in line, hoping they’ll get selected to have another trauma or misery, scar or issue to add to their life.
Doesn’t matter.
Pain is a given.

Within this pain, we have two choices. As always, we have to choose.

 

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ONE
Denial. Bury your head in the metaphorical sand. Seek distractions. Never live in your own body, in the present moment. Don’t work on your issues. Don’t face your demons. Never face your secrets. Hide. Avoid. Refuse to believe. Push others away. Refuse to grow, work on your failings (because we all have our failings).

TWO
We do the work. We struggle through our challenges and fail we may, but we get back on. We let go of what has died. We move forward to what we need. We learn from the past but leave it there. We take the punches as they come, and we figure out how to work around them, hit back, or turn everything upside down and create our own arena of war. We face our demons, our failings, our mistakes. We learn from them and we learn how to destroy shame, turn it into something brilliant and vibrant.

If we choose option one, all we feel is the pain of this life.
If we choose the second option – yes, we’re going to feel pain. But we also get this spectacular, miraculous, gorgeous, chaotic, mess of joys and peace, possibilities and these amazing experiences we never thought possible.

We always have the option to either create or destroy our own life.
Pain is never an option in this life. It’s a given. Why not go through pain to grow, change, and become, so we can then experience joy, peace, and the ability to thrive? Passiveness isn’t going to get us anywhere. No one enjoys treading water, playing the waiting game. No one enjoys hurting for nothing. Well, no one enjoys hurting, period. Gather your hopes, dreams, touchstones and friends. The pieces of yourself that anchor to your very soul. Pain will come regardless. But please, don’t allow it to rule your life. Live through it until it breaks open to magnificence. This life is livable if we choose to stretch past what we think we can do.

 

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Thanksgiving

The term “thanksgiving” is defined in most dictionaries as ‘an expression of gratitude’.

Around this time of the year, I get really humbled. There’s this feeling that permeates my day-to-day as I take to heart the meaning of Thanksgiving, in a basic way. As an expression of gratitude.

Because I have a lot to be grateful for.

I have a lot of love, support, and kindness in my life now.

I’m so grateful for change.

The changes in my life that have brought me to the place I am in life. The changes I’ve decided to make on my own. The fact that I, as a human being, do not exist in a fixed or forced state and I can change.

My family. My friends. My job. And family includes my dog.

I think I take a lot of things for granted. Things the homeless people I see every week are suffering from lack of. A place to live. My own bed. Food. Heart and air conditioning. Running water. Electricity. And I have more than that. I have conveniences. A phone. Internet. Music. Cable. Books.

I am overwhelmingly grateful for the few true and unbelievably real friends I have who know what I’m going through and offer me understanding, honestly, love, patience, an ear to bend, and a shoulder to lean on (even through the internet).

My family is such a blessing. I have learned so much from them. I can never number the greatness of experience and support I have gained because of them.

Not to mention that my family and friends have always supported me through my writing endeavors. Even the past year as I haven’t written a single creative word. And I probably went a bit mad because of it.

I have learned so much.

I turned twenty-four recently and though I am a late bloomer in life and wish that I’d been published by now, gained a job sooner, and gathered my health enough to function sooner – I am finding that I’m actually glad what has happened has followed the path and timeline it has.

I cannot thank the kind people in my life enough. It’s a new experience for me, kindness.

I am so ever grateful for love. The impact it can have, if I allow it.

For the opportunities to grow and open my eyes.

For stories. For all the authors who helped me escape into another world.

The spark inside me (or, as Robin Williams put it, the spark of madness) that has always  held me firm in the knowledge that I am a writer.

Also, the pain I’ve experienced. I’m not masochistic by any means, but suffering what I have allows the joy in my life now to really mean something beyond the capture of words.

Art in all its various forms. Beauty. Inspiration. Blogging. Chocolate (come on, you saw that one coming). Donuts! Hugs. Real emotion. Books, movies, music, and tv shows that create emotional resonance within me, spark something, ignite something raw. Quotes. Time. Life. Second chances. Earphones. Sweaters. Boots. Pillows. Notebooks.

Men who see women as equal human beings and not sex toys. Women who don’t consider ‘being a man’ to mean jerk behavior, size, lack of emotions, arrogance, coldness, being controlling, or the kind of car he has. I’m glad for equal rights for women.

Those who love their pets and fight for animal rights and against animal abuse.

Did I mention donuts? Thank you donuts, for being so cheap.

I am grateful for the chance to live in this crazy world and create a life of my own, one with meaning. There is so much in my life that I am grateful for. It is so much clearer, easier to see now that I feel I’m beginning to see through my own eyes and feel via my own heart.

I am thankful for hope.

 

What are you thankful for?

 

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If Only

 

It’s beautiful how the truth can be, isn’t it.

Pretty ugly too.

I think it’s the duality, the beauty it creates.

Depending on the paintbrush.

Depending on the canvas.

On the ‘why’.

 

Even as the tear drops drip,

And lips pout red,

Something grows inside,

As truth is fed.

 

It’s really quite simple.

But that doesn’t make it easy.

It’s really not that hard…

Once you’ve learned how to see.

 

I’m actually quite balanced, in reality.

It’s only once I hide the darker sides of me.

Space constricts, the soul burns.

And it turns out, it must hurt before it learns.

 

The rest takes over.

It amplifies don’t you see.

It stretches, laughs into the void.

As it rises, grows overtop all of me.

 

But the truth can’t hate it.

Not even as I drown.

Truth can only be.

Truth can only burn.

 

The darkness is salvageable even as is hides.

A shadow can’t survive, can’t breathe.

Not without the light in the dark.

And so I’m lost.

Swimming in absolutes and falsities.

 

If only I’d learn to listen.

If only I’d gather myself whole.

 

I’m not completely barren,

I’m not left to rot.

 

But the truth can’t speak.

It can only burn.

 

If only, if only

If only, I’d learn.

 

by Daphne Shadows

 

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