Monday, July 6, 2015

A Quest; An Epiphany.

I don't resent my father because he wasn't around for nearly a decade. Honestly, I don't. Some people may not understand or agree, and that's okay. Whatever the opinion, I've never felt more at peace in my whole life.  

That wasn't always the case, though.

I learned an enormous amount about life and about myself in the years spent estranged from my father, by default - not choice. An adolescent-turned-young adult-turned-actual adult, thousands of miles away from who and what I once called home, I was alone, in Los Angeles. So very alone at times. Excruciatingly, even. As hard as it was, I wouldn't trade the experience and knowledge gained for anything in the world.

I struggled. Boy, did I struggle. More often than not, I longed for someone to lend a helping hand when I felt pretty low. Or two helping hands - strong ones - to pick me up off the floor when I thought I couldn't get up myself. I despised it at the time, but I learned to pick myself up. I learned, more importantly, that I could pick myself up.

I was strong enough.

With each year that passed, I got even stronger, more resilient, and ultimately, I became what I considered triumphant. I gained a greater sense of self being forcibly independent, even if I didn't realize it at that point. I learned that placing expectations on someone else to do something for you will inevitably lead to a letdown. And consequently, resentment. This took years of patience, experience, and acceptance to fully grasp, and didn't come without successive disappointment.

The disappointment came at a time when I was fiercely loyal to my friends - to a fault, which I can acknowledge now. It was likely a subconscious thing, that I somehow wanted to prove to myself that I wasn't going to be like my father and leave anyone high and dry, in any capacity.  

I was going to be better. 

What I didn't recognize, however, was that I was forming expectations for what people should do for me in return; I was confusing the idea of being loved with heightened expectations for reciprocity. I was unknowingly setting myself up for most of the disappointment I had felt.

I experienced great loss during these years, as well. And then greater loss. And even greater loss than that. I wallowed, I self-pitied, I searched for answers. I kicked and screamed and cried when I didn't find any. I desperately sought some sort of understanding of my life, why I was given one that coexisted with so much pain, yet answers seemed so unattainable.

My accomplishments had become fueled by the resentment I let fester. And bucketloads of anger. Whatever the achievement and whatever the size, I was constantly finding myself unhappy and further away from the internal peace and serenity that I was truly in need of.

 Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. - Buddha            

One day, I woke up and it was like an internal switch had flipped, on or off, depending on how you looked at it: contentment on, despair off.

It was as simple as that.

I have no idea what triggered it, and to be completely honest, I've been too scared to ever question it. All I know is that I woke up one day and it was decided that my cup was half full, not half empty. It was decided that I was grateful to even have a fucking cup.

This lead me to the notion that an empty cup could be even better than one half full. An empty cup has the potential to be filled, and with whatever you choose to fill it with. The potential there is kind of beautiful, isn't it?  And I'll tell ya, resentment ain't goin' in my cup anymore. That stuff pours out way too fast, and it'll fill my cup way too quickly. I need to make room for the good stuff.

As much room as I can for the good stuff.

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