Lessons from dying…

My most profound thoughts seem to occur at the most inopportune times. Usually while driving or in the shower and I have no way to document them. I’ve learned to carry pen and notebook almost everywhere I go and most definitely by my bedside, so in those moments when I confuse dreams with reality, I have some form of documentation.

I usually don’t like to look back on the things I’ve written. I prefer not to live in the past or even revisit a moment once it has gone, not even the good ones.  I know I wouldn’t be the same person if my life had been mapped out with rainbows and kittens, smiles and endless laughter. I often wonder who on earth I would have become and feel glad I’m not her, I’m glad to be me.

Everything is a lesson. Every single thing… every single day. It took me 41 years to realize this. Every horrible experience, every tragedy, every heartbreak, every disappointment has taught me something either about life or about myself. I’ve been molded by the pain I carry. It has allowed me to appreciate joy when I run into it.

I wouldn’t be the same person without all this emotional scaring and I am convinced that I was designed to bear it. I am sure my closest friends and family would disagree at times as they’ve watched the decent into depression or despair. I am sure they would tell you that looking at the scars on my body or waiting in hospital ER’s is not an indication that I was designed to bear the weight of this life, but I have a totally different outlook.

For every time I have cheated death, every incident that I have been teetering on the edge of the cliff…something in me has fought it’s way back. And every moment that I breathe, every moment that I have left is an opportunity.

I still revisit the camping trip I went on recently and how all things aligned so that I was utterly aware that I was connected to ALL things. Every experience, not just my own…but that in my movement through this life, I am both affected and affecting everything around me.

This gift…this opportunity, I have come so close to ending it. And I’ll be honest, I am grateful for those times too. I know exactly what it feels like to be at the very end of this journey. I know what it is like to sit numbly staring into nothing, praying that I’ll be understood for leaving my family and friends behind because the ache and hole in my heart is too much to bear and the thought that death is the only escape from my own twisted mind. I know what it is like to wake up on the other side and realize that something inside me just wouldn’t die…and to be disappointed that I couldn’t even get that right…and drive to work and pretend like I didn’t just spend the last 8 hours trying to die. I know that pain.

I know that pain.

And who would I be without that knowledge? I wouldn’t be the same. I would be her, not me and I am okay now being me.

I am grateful for those times. I am now on the other side of that darkness. There are times, I’m not going to lie when it grips me and invites me back in. And from time to time, I flirt with those edges and sway in the doorway of it’s seduction but I always leave a light on…I’ve learned my lesson…

I can say that although life has shaped me, it did not break me.

Not entirely of course.



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