When you’ve gone through hell
and come out on the other side, alive,
part of the hell that you’ve gone through
stays with you.
It doesn’t matter how far you walk past the threshold,
how many obstacles you overcome or mountains you climb,
at the end of the day,
when you’re alone with yourself,
everything you’ve ever been, done, possessed or lost,
all the things you thought you’d forgotten and
all those tiny scraps of hell that you thought
you’d left behind on your path
are still with you,
still holding on for dear life;
and experience has shown me that
we can never fully get rid of them.
But human beings can live despite anything.
We can grow and learn to reinterpret our pasts,
to frame or experiences so that they don’t determine
who we are,
so that can we choose who we are going to be
in the face of all that we’ve ever known.
It takes work.
It takes courage.
It takes telling the devil whispering in your ear
when you’re cold and tired and angry and lonely
to just fuck off
and let you be the person you were born to be.
Sometimes it’s a struggle,
sometimes it seems like a fight for your life,
and sometimes it actually is.
This is what it means to me
to live a life of purpose,
to walk humbly under God’s grace,
to fulfil a destiny and shape one’s karma,
to keep on walking when the weight of the world
seems to be dragging you down by your ankles,
to fight the good fight
to be a hero,
to be courageous when nobody’s watching
and be the human being you really want to be –
this is what it means