Carmen Reitnour gave me an amazing book and I want to share a passage that just hit me so hard. It's so pure and raw of what it really means to be human. I think at some point in everyone's life--unless they are unnaturally lucky--you sort of get cynical about life. It's so full of pain, and hurt. Sometimes its a bad childhood to recover from, for me, it was growing up and things seeming to fall apart from how perfect they were. The realization that life isn't easy and learning to deal with it and recover from the hurt is just part of it. At some point things will not be easy. But we all live in pursuit of some kind of happiness. It's universal to all of humanity to try and find some form of joy and to avoid all life's pain.
"He had been won't to despise emotions: girls were emotional, girls were weak, emotions--tears--were weakness. But this morning he was thinking that being a great brain in a tower, nothing but a brain, wouldn't be much fun. No excitement, no dog to love, no joy in the blue sky--no feelings at all. But feelings--feelings are emotions! He was suddenly overwhelmed by the revelation that what makes life worth living is, precisely, the emotions. But, then--this was awful!--maybe girls with their tears and laughter were getting more out of life. Shattering! He checked himself: showing one's emotions was not the thing: having them was. Still, he was dizzy with the revelation. What is beauty but something that is responded to with emotion? Courage, at least partly, is emotional. All the splendour of life. But if the best of life is, in fact, emotional, then one wanted the highest, purest emotions: and that meant joy. Joy was the highest. How a did one find joy? In books it seemed to be found in love--a great love--though maybe for the saints there was joy in the love of God. He didn't aspire to that though, he didn't even believe in God. Certainly not! So, if he wanted the heights of joy, he must have, if he could find, a great love. But in the books again, great joy through love seemed always to go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still, the joy would be worth the pain--if, indeed, they went together. If there were a choice--and he suspected that there was--a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of sage, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths." ---A Severe Mercy (Sheldon Vanauken)
"The highs will make you fly, but the lows make you want to die..." - Missy Higgins
Ah, emotions. I've always despised them. Because there is no way to control how you feel. And for me, being a girl, it effects my entire body. If something huge in my life happens to cause me a great amount of pain, my whole body hurts. I don't eat, I have trouble sleeping. I try to do both but am incapable of doing anything but just praying, and waiting for the pain to dull. Despite wanting to avoid those kind of lows...you realize that low was in response to losing something amazing, be it love, someone close to you (death), or any other high in your life. It hurts so badly because you don't want to see it go. So at some point you decide if it's worth it. And in the above is a boy coming to the conclusion that great joy, which is often accompanied by great pain, is a much better choice in life that living a mediocre, sage, boring, "safe" life, with no significance. (This is only the beginning of the book of course).
"Only after disaster can we be resurrected." ---Tyler Durden (Fight Club)
It is because of the pain in my life that I have grown. It's because of the pain in my life I continue to grow. Without it, I'd still be a carefree six year old. Which, may have been safe. Maybe happy. Maybe a place that you constantly want to go back too. But you could never stay there. There is a desire in everyone to grow, to explore, to understand life, to impact others and the world. Ignorance is bliss, but it's hard to find happiness in ignorance. It's like an oxymoron. You may wish you didn't know somethings, but in a state of unknowing you'd only restart the search of that knowledge. It is a quest God instilled in us from creation. Discovery and...curiosity.
I see it as a good thing. I see it as a process. I understand now why older people are either bitter towards life or full of wisdom and optimism, with very few riding in the middle.
And love, well, that's a big part of it. A desire deeply set in most, a picture of God's love for us. And something I greatly look forward too when the timing is right.
Frank Costello: How's your mother?
Man in Bar: She's on her way out.
Frank Costello: We all are, act accordingly.