Believe What You Will

In my usual fashion, this blog is likely to be one that begins talking about one thing, and ends up talking about something completely different. So, to preface, my reason for this post is simple: I am tired of what I see all around me. I am tired of the world falling apart and disaster after disaster, both natural and those human-caused.

Despite that fatigue, I am also still occasionally guilty of being something that I find even more agitating: hopeless, floundering, romantics.Yes, my natural inclination towards cynicism and bitterness (which is something that I generally keep hidden from public view), is still periodically overwhelmed by longstanding belief that love conquers all.

How freaking romantic and sweet, right?

Not quite.

The thing is, I want to believe in love. I want to believe in romanticism and the power of the heart. I want to believe that the way you treat those whom you love is commensurate with how you’ll be treated in return. I want to trust that people will make decisions that don’t ever hurt those who they care for, and that love will never falter in the face of selfishness, bigotry, greed and hatred. I want to believe in the golden rule-esque concept that you get what you give and that the reward is in the giving and all that other feel good nonsense.

But those things are simply not true of the world we live in.

The world is ugly.

We live in a world of “If it bleeds, it leads” on the local news. We are constantly inundated with the gruesome, the grotesque and the bizarre. We are swallowed up daily by the dregs of society and sadness that emanates from one corner of the earth to the other. Drug-addled face eating zombies, bisexual cannibal wannabe serial killers with a taste for human flesh and the bright lights of Hollywood, or just your standard, heartbreaking tale of child who wandered away from his supervision: the world is full of sadness. Pure, unmitigated sadness and rotten-awfulness that sucks the ever-loving life out most people until they fall over as an empty shell of what used to be a living, breathing, feeling, person.

The inherent failure with believing the world isn’t as it seems, and that there’s still hope for the hopeless is this: the proof ain’t exactly in the pudding. Those who give, are taken advantage of. Those who trust, see their hearts broken and their trust destroyed. Those who work tirelessly to save their families and friends with unquestioned and unstoppable love routinely see themselves played the fool by people who will do nothing but leech on their kindness.

Love is kind, and unselfish and doesn’t happen because you expect something back, but at some point, things have to level off and some equilibrium has to be found. You can’t keep taking on emotional water without realizing that eventually your ship will sink. That poses an interesting problem for those who traditionally travel on the boat of love: when you sink, do you sink alone? Do you ask all those who have been on board to kindly remove themselves as you prepare for submersion or do you just take them down with the ship?

I don’t think that people enjoy hurting others. On the contrary, I think  it happens as a result of laziness of thought or deeds or ignorance as to how our actions affect others.  It happens as we look out for own interests and let the needs of others get lost in the fray. It happens because we believe that without taking care of ourselves first, we can’t effectively give to anyone else. It’s an approach and mentality that is destined to hurt others and eventually, yourself.

I am at a point in my life where things don’t make a lot of sense, as much as it pains me to admit that. I touched a bit on that in my last blog and don’t feel the need to rehash everything I wrote there.

Truth is, I am not sure why I am writing this because I don’t know that I have any answer as to how to fix the world. I guess what I think is that you pretty much have two choices: be happy, or don’t. I know full well that no matter how my life ends up, anyone who I allow to become a part of it is going to have to deal with the fact that I want to be happy. I want to give all of me and pay no regard to the past. No regard for the errors made out of ignorance. I willfully submit myself to ridicule and exposing the inner-workings of my thoughts and fears to those who I will know in the future because I can’t, under any circumstance, settle for less than 100% from myself and from whomever that may be. I am sure that’s a terrifying proposition to some, but as I approach my 34th birthday, I just can’t consider the games and dances of youth.

I see my errors and I see the ugliness in the world. I see what is valuable in me and I see what is still worth fighting for around me. I know the difference between sadness and dispair, joy and contentment. I have spent a good percentage of my life with joy in my heart and I have had my momentary, yet harrowing, drops into misery. I have always been able to pull myself out with the help of my friends and family and I have not always deserved their kindness. I have, at times, taken advantage of the kindness of others. I will not anymore. I will put myself out there, and if it means I get cut and I bleed for being nothing but hopeful, then so be it.

At some point, someone is going to get the best from me, and they are going to be glad they did.

I want to believe, and so I will.

You can’t stop me, world.

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