I often find myself forgetting how blessed I am. There have been many times, partially due to my battles with depression, in which I catch myself considering how much better my life would be if <insert completely pointless item here>, instead of remembering how much good stuff I truly do have going on at any given moment.
Sure, I’d love to be a bestselling author, I’d love to be able to tell my day job to shove it, I’d adore the prospect of owning myself a nice house on a large piece of land (preferably with some fish-filled water). But, honestly, I’m really happy with my life. . . I just forget that fact at times.
Unfortunately, the times that I come to the realization that I really do appreciate all the blessings I have been given in this life are due to finding out how poorly other folks have got it.
Even more disappointing (in myself) is the fact that it’s not hearing stories about the homeless or the unemployed or the dying that typically bring my whininess to light. . . it’s the stories of those who are struggling with the one thing I find myself taking too much for granted. Love.
There have only seriously been a couple times in my life where I have actually felt the troubling nature of not being loved. They hit me hard. In fact, through all of the struggles I’ve had in life, whether they be financial, loss, or failed dreams, the ones that stick with me are the few times in my life where I actually reached a point where I felt as though nobody loved me.
But I have been blessed. Seriously blessed. With love. No matter what else is going on in life. . . which still tend to be the other three mentioned above, I seem to always have love to fall back on. When I have a rough day in the figurative trenches, all I need do is see my children and they quickly begin melting away. And, if they somehow don’t work, there’s still a woman in my life who I’ve managed to keep around for ten years that seems to somehow still want me around.
I’m blessed, and I’m incredibly grateful for it.
But, here’s the problem. The times in which I actually realize I’m blessed almost always come with a price, and that price is seeing other people who are currently in the place I’ve been in so few times in my life. . . feeling unloved. These revelations always tend to come up so incredibly randomly (although also rather timely) that they hit me like a brick wall. Suddenly I go from inappropriately feeling sorry for myself for some stupid excuse I give for needing to feel sorry for myself, to feeling despair because I honestly don’t know how to help these people that I truly believe deserve all the love that the world has to give them. These are people whom I personally believe deserve love much more than I do. I’ve seriously done nothing to earn the blessings I’ve received, yet these folks are some of the most loving and philanthropic people I know, and the one thing they strive to attain is love.
I still remember the earliest revelation of such a situation. I had a friend in high school who wanted, more than anything, to get married and start his life. Sure, he was a little over-eager to move to that stage of his life, considering his age and all, and this eagerness certainly did a lot towards pushing any interested members of his chosen gender away, since, you know, they were also in high school and rather happy with the portion of their life that should be dedicated to gaining a better understanding of one’s self.
But this friend of mine (one whom I’ve unfortunately lost along the way), would get so despondent over the situation. He felt completely unloved, although he had so much love to give. And it tore me apart. I wanted to scream at him to relax and just let love happen, instead of forcing it upon anyone who shows any amount of interest. There were times where I wanted to do so in a rather violent way even. I watched this friend whom I had known for years swirl into this period of complete despair, each connection with another human being becoming that much more difficult because of his ever-growing need to be loved. He was in a cycle that threatened to tear him apart, and quite possibly did so on a number of occasions.
I’m happy to report that he is married now (and I believe has a child either in the works or already in this world, like I said, we’ve unfortunately parted company). All reports make it sound as though he has finally made it to the place in life he so long strived to reach. And even though I find myself in a situation where I’m not exactly allowed to see this version of him personally, it warms my heart to know that he’s finally gotten there.
As I’ve become an older man, with older friends, however, I’ve found myself seeing so many more heart-wrenching moments, namely through the difficulty that is ending a marriage (or long-term partnership). I don’t care how necessary it may have become for the dissolution of the pairing, watching that road unfurl before two people breaks my heart. I, being the closeted romantic that I am, find myself yearning for them to find a way to patch things up, all the time knowing they have passed the point of no return. And it happens so damned often. I know that if I were in the same situation, having that promise of “till death” become a prison sentence would kill me. The idea that my wife and I could ever be to the point where our differences were irreconcilable would destroy me.
And I think of that whenever I see these situations going on among my friends and family. I think of where I’d be personally, were it me in their shoes. And I want more than anything to find a way to help them, knowing that any assistance I could offer would be nothing more than a short-term solution to something they have to work through on their own.
I hate it.
I hate knowing that anyone out there feels unloved. It is, in my opinion, the worst thing that a person could be without. And I pray that anyone who ever finds themselves in that situation, is able to get to a place where they no longer feel that way.
For what it’s worth, I love you, and, I really don’t care who you are, if you need me, I promise to try my best to be there for you. It does happen to be one of the few situations where my wife allows me out of the house 😉
Have a good one!