Thursday, August 11, 2011


I have a picture of myself that I carry around in my planner. The picture was taken when I was about 4. The 4 year old in that picture had already experienced many things other people won't ever experience in their entire lives. Yet, that 4 year old is joyful, vibrant, buoyant. It is my favorite picture of myself and I carry it around to remind me that this is the most essential part of me, the joy that has always been a part of my being.

There are times in life when I have forgotten that person. When I have been angry, resentful, sad, when I have wanted everyone to leave me alone. That is part of who I am too. The grief, sadness, and even the anger have made me more in touch with the joy, even though that seems strange. And all of these emotions and feelings are part of what it feels like to be human.

Lately, when I am around people who are unhappy, I have a keen awareness that I know what it feels like to be unhappy. I know the years it took to be able to even think about my brother and his death and not be completely overtaken with anger, sadness, or loss. I know about running away faster and faster thinking you can out run the past or at least pretend it did not happen. And I know what I know now, that sometimes people get through it and get on with their lives. That peace can find you at the oddest of times in the most unexpected of ways. I am also aware that I cannot assume when meeting someone where they have been, what they have seen, and the events that have made them who they are.

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