Where does grit and courage come from? Is it an outside force or something deep within? I feel it comes from both inside and out. Moms with children can attest to this, its grit that keeps you sane and moving forward when it feels like there is nothing more to give. I have my own gritty stories…
Just when I thought I couldn’t handle any more, I felt a violent tug on my body. I was screaming down that dang tunnel again, shrieking “I want to go back to my real life, I want to make better choices” landed on deaf ears I was alone in this journey. On and on I hurdled this time was longer. I came to a rough halt in a shadowy graveyard, the street lights giving enough illumination to see inscriptions on the headstones.
Looking down at myself I felt quite stupid, the boxers I had on were the ones Bev had bought me as a gag gift for Christmas last year and they were covered in red hearts and lips. In any other situation I would have laughed and drank some beer but here I didn’t even know where here was.
I reached overhead and pulled on the chain of a single bare bulb hanging in the middle of the room. Light flooded the space blinding me for a few seconds, I must have looked a fright, my eyes bloodshot, beard unshaven, in my boxers, barefoot the situation would have bordered on comical had I not been feeling so much fear. The basement was empty.
It was turning into one of THOSE days. Nothing…… when I say nothing that’s exactly what I mean, nothing was going right. The mercury showed hot as heck. I was camped out in my living room feeling quite sorry for myself. My wife Bev had run off for a weekend of fun with her girlfriends. “You’re on your own” her parting words of sarcasm slapped me across the face, as she slammed out the door.
Standing at the edge,gazing out into the vastness of the ocean, my toes sinking into its soft gritty sand. Listening to your roar of defiance at anyone who dares tread your waters. If I listen closely I can hear your rhythm, your song, your heartbeat. I see how you lavish kisses on the sandy shores of pristine sugary white beaches, yet harshly pound stately gray rocks who stand guard along other shores.The creatures within your watery boundaries lift their voices in harmony with yours and sing a song, serenading the stars and moon overhead.
What thoughts does this word invoke? A mighty warrior out slaying a dragon, no sweat involved, muscles rippling, hair perfectly blowing in the wind. The dragon swoops down to devour said warrior and with one slash of his sword, plooofff…. the dragon falls to his feet in a billow of smoke and soot, dead as a door knob. The warrior blows on his knuckles, leans against his sword while taking a selfie for all the world to see his fearless deed of the day.
“I think I have it all figured out”, I said as I madly dashed around trying to do everything at once. The house was a wreck and my children were right in the middle loving the messiness. I thought if I did more it would magically get better. I WAS WRONG!
Love yourself? What are you talking about, that is odd or is it? Let’s dive into this headfirst and explore the depth of this rich truth. I know how rich it is because once I started on this journey of diving deeper into my mind, connecting with all the rawness that lay within and giving it the love and attention it was craving, I began to find peace within myself. Any time we have massive hurt and allow it to fester, all kinds of fear, bitterness, hate, self-doubt, self- loathing will claw at your insides.
I sit here with a far away look on my face. My mind has wandered back in time and I don’t even notice the wind blowing outside my window. In the corner of my mind I found a memory, a memory filled with laughter and the smell of popcorn. With the voice of my dad reading one of his books to my sister and me. We sit crossed legged on the floor as he unravels this story. He had a gift of telling stories with sound effects.