I’ve been hearing how satisfying it is to allow oneself to be vulnerable.
Tear down those walls, they say.
Only then will you feel real joy.
Live each day to the fullest, they say,
doing whatever it is you were meant to do.
Follow your passion, they say,
but first figure out what your passion is.
What they don’t really focus on, though,
is how terrifying it is to do any of this.
I built these walls three decades ago.
I know what to expect.
They protect me from feeling too much,
when the news has only death to deliver,
when my spouse says something hurtful that will stay with me for years,
when my boss overlooks me in favor of my colleague.
These walls have kept me from drowning in sorrow.
But they’ve done something else, too.
They’ve removed me,
made me irrelevant.
I’ve spent so long crouched within them, I no longer feel like a part of this world.
Is that what’s happening to all of us?
We’re not just building walls to divide borders,
we’re building walls around our hearts?
I don’t like what’s happening to us.
allowing others to take over,
allowing power and money to take precedence over life.
If tearing down my walls is what I need to do to become more a part of this world,
to the point where the sorrow might overwhelm me,
but it might move me, too,
and push me out of my comfort zone,
then that is exactly what I’m going to do.
The thing is,
I cry every day.
My heart shudders all the time.
I feel more scared than ever.
But I don’t want to hide anymore.
I don’t know why God made me this way,
a hulking mass of depression, anxiety, and pessimism,
but I need to believe that I am who I am
for a reason.
The truth is,
we are living in monstrous times.
The worst monsters are the ones we can’t see,
but that manipulate us anyway.
How can we get rid of something we can’t even see?
Well, we built invisible walls around us, didn’t we?
If we can create invisible forces,
we can certainly learn to get rid of them, too.
If we shed the walls, we shed the chains.
If we shed the chains, we’re free to “fight” the monsters,
the ones we can see, as well as the ones we can’t:
the power that corrupts
and the people who wield that power,
the imbalance where money is more valuable than human lives,
the suffering of those people, who,
even though we can’t see them or they’re just a soundbite in our system,
and they feel so far away,
are still a part of this world,
and a part of us.
Just because the powers-that-be thought it best to divide us into nations, races, and religions,
doesn’t mean we should let them separate us in spirit.
We are all one.
So to hell with it if I cry when I watch the news.
At least then I might actually take action
in ending this misery,
because the truth is,
we live in monstrous times,
but these are the only times we’re going to get.
Let’s turn them into something else,
so that years later,
when our children and grandchildren remember us,
“Man, those were such wonderful times.
Everyone cared, everyone was an activist.
Everyone did their part in unifying this world,
which is the main reason
we live in such peaceful times