I drove west yesterday morning. A gentle mist bathed the rolling foothills leading into the Rockies in delicate morning light. I drove west, the verdant lands laid out before me, a lush valley of possibility, of horses and cattle grazing, of geese swimming across reflective ponds mirroring the gun-metal grey sky above.
I was on the road to present to a Grade 11 class at the high school in Canmore. It is something I have done for several years now, twice a year, drive west to talk to youth about life and giving and falling into the darkness and journeys into the light.
I use the story of my fall into the hell of an abusive relationship as the framework for my message that — life is filled with possibility. We all fall down. It’s the believing we must lay there that limits the possibility of more in our lives than we ever imagined.
When I was finished speaking, and after the last student had asked a question, the teacher asked. “I’m curious. Why do you do this. Why do you share that story. It must be hard or does it get easier with time?”
“It isn’t hard nor easy,” I responded. “It is what it is. A story that is a metaphor for life. A story that exposes the darkness. And my desire is to expose the darkness, to awaken each of us to the light within so that we shine so brightly, there is no possibility of darkness consuming our lives.”
Someone once asked me — do you ever fear getting stuck in that story. Of being dragged down by it?
I can’t be, I replied. I can’t be dragged down by it because it is not ‘my story’. It is just a 4 year, 9 month segment of my story. My story is so much more than that moment in time. My story is about the difference I want to make in the world. My story is about what I’m doing to inspire people. To touch their hearts and open their minds to their truth. To expanding their thinking into knowing — we are magnificent human beings. We are each capable of more than we ever imagined, and if someone is telling you that you can’t, do.”
Years ago, I drove west with ‘the bad man’ who would have me believe his abuse was all I deserved. When I awoke from that living hell, I knew. Life is a precious gift. We are all miracles of life and my responsibility was to live this ‘one wild and precious life’ in the rapture of now, free of the belief — his abuse was all I deserved.
And in that knowing, I began to share the truth of what happened to me — not just what he did, but what happened to me that brought me so far down on the road of life all I wanted to do was to die.
Life is meant for living.
And yet, as I type, every 40 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone commits suicide.
And yet, as I type, every 40 seconds, everywhere in the world, 6,999,999,999 people choose to live.
It is the paradox of life. Someone, somewhere chooses to exit yet everywhere, billions of others choose to live.
And we focus on the few in an effort to make their choice different.
Perhaps, if we were to focus on making this world different. Perhaps if in this moment we all were to take a collective breath and choose to make this world such an incredible, amazing, beautiful and peaceful place no one would choose to leave. No one would want to go, away.
What could we do in the limitless possibility of now?
I drove west yesterday, spoke with a group of teenagers on the brink of that time when the question they are asked always begins with, “What do you plan on doing…?”
Perhaps, the question isn’t ‘what do you plan’. Perhaps the best question we can all ask today is, “What will we create, right now, right in this moment to ensure all 7 billion of us living and breathing of this one air, one planet, one ozone choose to stay?”