Monday, August 18, 2014

Survive


Sometimes, we feel very down. Down and out. Depressed. So low that it seems this black hole we’re in is a never ending cyclone of despair, pain and anger.

All this negativity swirls, rising up to a crescendo we can’t bear to listen anymore. We close our ears, our hands pressed to the sides of our head, trying as much as possible to filter all of this out.

At times, though, it can be a calm sea of disappointment, a strangely soothing oasis of ire and anger. It is tempting to wallow in it, to soak ourselves in the pain and the sorrow.

After all, what is life without pain? Pain is one of, if not the very principle of life; to not feel pain is to be lifeless. You may be breathing, but you are not alive. It is one of the standard against which sentience is measured.

I may be wrong here, but the very deep meanings garnered in our journeys are usually made even more meaningful by the stumbles we take along the way. The punches to the solar plexus, the slaps to the face and the enziguris to the back of the head are all little lessons and events that punctuate our existence with shame and ridicule at times.

In the long run, the bigger picture is made more colourful by them.

Sometimes, though, there is too much pain. Too much shame. The heart breaks, wrenching under unbelievable pressure. It squeezes out its very essence, the beats of our life beaten into submission That pressure builds, over time, to the breaking point we did not know exist. Unless we find the faucet in time, we can’t help but feel…trapped, helpless, alone.

Feeling and knowing, however, are two different things.

Ending it all is not that difficult, truth be told. There are many different ways people have chosen to end their journeys. In the blink of an eye, a cut of the wrist will let it all out...literally, and it will all be over before you know it. The irony, though, is that it is not without its pain. Funny, that. Right near the end, the very thing that makes us alive becomes unbearable to the end point.

At least, that’s what I suspect. It could very well be that such endings have no real, physical pain to speak of, but I think it’s likely to be excruciating on some level.

What is most certain is that it most definitely will be painful for those we leave behind.

This is the part we sometimes forget. Then again, who knows? Perhaps it is even in their very consideration that we are driven to such acts. Perhaps, in the belief that our non-existence will make their lives easier, our loved ones will move on, capable of braving this new world without us just fine.

The opposite is true. Many would indeed go on, but their journey now charts a new course, a path hitherto unthought of. This is not the choice we'd like to take, but we have no power to dictate it. The direction is set, with only the speed of our travels determining how far along we get there.

It is a path filled with pain and sorrow. It is not a pretty journey. Our lives are interconnected webs of love, happiness and joy. There are, of course, negative emotions there too, but the fact remains that we cannot and will not redress balances simply by not being there.

At times like this, what do we do? A basic principle: when we don’t know, fall back on what we do know. Seek help. Release the pressure. Talking, you may be surprised to find out, is a form of release. Listening might even do so. Others more qualified will be able to help, for it comes in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes, just talking to a person who has nothing to say may be the best form of help. For others, a more hands-on approach is required, a step-by-step guide to overcoming this unbearable pressure.

For the human race is not built to live by itself. All through history, it is been proven time and again that greatness is achieved never through singular means, but on the shoulders of giants working together. The greater the magnanimity, the better the achievement. Even though some of these actions have led to pain for others, it does not mask the achievement attained in unity. Whether we are all in agreement is probably another matter.

Nevertheless, relying on others is paramount, for no man is an island, and no voice in the wilderness fades into insignificance. As much as the independence to those who make their stand against this can be admired, we want to achieve. We want to win.

In the twenty first century, at a time when the ending of human lives becomes even more prevalent, we must remember that survival is the new winning. Endure, as Alfred said to Bruce, as it means that our story continues; it is our stories that allows us to taste the sweet champagnes of life, for we are the stories we are told and tell.

And there’s no version of our story where we don’t come out the winner.

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