“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” -Joseph Campbell-
I have lost a lot of friends in my life. Each time I came face to face with the pain of loss, I was presented with a choice. In looking back at my life, I have come to realize that the choice was always the same.
At age 18, for five years I squandered away my existence, lost in the world of drugs. Three friends who shared this life with me are no longer alive today due to the degree to which we immersed ourselves in despair and self-destruction.
As common place as this may sound, the truth is almost overnight, my life changed forever with a terrifying experience.
One night I was sitting in a strangers home doing drugs. When I found myself unable to move, paralyzed if you will. It was as if I was tied to the chair. As I listened to the sirens of the police cars. I knew our little party was going to be busted. Every one was running around and their I sat. Unable to move. Just then I was picked up by man, and was carried out the back door, thrown in a truck as we raced down a back road. That was the last night I did drugs. Never wanting to be in the position again.
Within the next few weekends three of my drugging buddies die of overdoses.
It triggered something in me to stop living with disregard for human life. I left my life of despair. And ended up marrying the man who picked me up on that night.
But, there was a lot of pain that I hid inside from my childhood. No one knew anything about. Soon that pain had taken over my life. It took me until my children were grown, to have the courage to tell a counselor the entire experience of my childhood and what I was experiencing because of it. That’s when I began to heal. Only when I told my secrets I was hiding all those years.
As I was holding on the pain, it had destroyed my emotional health, my physical health, and my spiritual health. I was suffering from a mood disorder that was wrecking havoc on my life. I was diagnosed with cancer, digestive system problems, migraines, and on and on it went.
I have come to learn that no matter what change you want to make in life, you have to fight for it and break through the hundreds of walls that come in the way of your true destiny.
Dr. Martin Luther King said, “change does not roll in on wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
The true measure of our lives is how we face that struggle is not the absence of fear, but the ability to persevere despite it. It is through struggle that we discover our potential. Beyond those fateful frontiers of our comfort zone we find our growth and freedom.
Every time death comes into my life, we are presented with the same choices: To embrace the struggle and create meaning beyond our boundaries of our existence or to life in our comfort zones of our own reality.
Sometimes we bring meaning to our lives through the wars going on within ourselves. But, we have to learn how to bring meaning by working in our conflict zones.