My sister taught me a beautiful phrase: “Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” As brilliant as she is she doesn’t take credit for it. It’s a combination of quotes by James M. Barrie (Peter Pan playwright) and Plato. A wonderful phrase that I remind myself of often.
My sunny attitude. My glass half-full approach. I know it can be irritating. Annoying, even. I know I’ve lost some readers based on my posts and comments. And while I do feel down from time to time it doesn’t happen very often. There are times when I wish I was a bit more balanced. Could see through to reality. I’d avoid disappointment that way. But I know myself too well – and I’m not changing any time soon.
“Have you ever been close to tragedy
Or been close to folks who have
Have you ever felt a pain so powerful
So heavy you collapse” – My mother was an intensive care nurse. If we had a splinter, she showed us someone with a broken arm. If we had a broken arm, she’d show us someone with leukemia. Someone out there always had it worse than us. Now that approach certainly didn’t validate the pain we were in (and there’s enough fodder for a whole other post). But it did show us it could be worse.
“Have you ever had the odds stacked up so high
You need a strength most don’t possess
Or has it ever come down to do or die
You’ve got to rise above the rest” – Some of you out there are struggling with such pain. Physical. Mental. Financial. Struggles you keep private. Struggles you blog about to get off your chest. Illnesses that won’t leave your bodies. Depression that comes with the holidays. I want to be there to listen. I want to send hugs to all of you. I hate suffering, which is why I’m such a terrible nurse.
“I’m not a coward,
I’ve just never been tested
I’d like to think that if I was,
I would pass
Look at the tested and think there but for the grace go
I might be a coward,
I’m afraid of what I might find out” – I’ve had my fair share of struggle or pain. I lived a dysfunctional childhood that crept into my adulthood. But I turned out okay. But real tragedy? “There, but by the grace of God, go I.” (John Bradford) I feel so lucky sometimes. No, a lot of the time. I know my life is easy compared to some. And selfishly, secretly, I hope it continues. I don’t want to discover the coward I really am.
“I’ve never had to knock on wood
But I know someone who has
Which makes me wonder if I could” – I knock on “wood” all the time. I knock on my head. It makes people laugh. While they’re searching for wood to knock I offer them my head. I tease about my own ignorance of the woes of the world. I purposely don’t focus on local news anymore. I live near a major, metropolitan city. Murders. Gang violence. Drugs. I don’t need to clutter my pretty little head with that stuff. “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” (Thomas Gray)
“I’ve never had to knock on wood
And I’m glad I haven’t yet
Because I’m sure it isn’t good
That’s the impression that I get” – So, no. I’ve never really HAD to knock on wood. But my heart goes out to those of you who have. I’ve lived a pretty lucky life. I do my best to help those who haven’t. And during this happy (for me) holiday season I have become acutely aware from all the reading I’ve been doing in Blog World that if you truly have to knock on wood there is some deep pain going on. Without sounding too much like a beauty queen I’m wishing and praying for all of you out there to be at peace. To find and treasure the joy around you. To have quiet minds and healthful bodies. I am who I am – so you’re still going to see sunshine and roses here on most days. But please know I am aware of the struggles out there. I’m just doing what I can to help share some of my joy.
The Impression That I Get – by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones