I have been in too many destructive relationships. I was married to a drug addict, with her for a total of seven years. Stood by her trying to help, trying to be strong, trying to live up to my vows. In the end she cheated on me, betrayed my trust. I spent four years with a serial cheater. I almost married my high school sweetheart who, in addition to also cheating on me, was violently abusive. Prior to her I was with another drug addict who was physically abusive and accused me of being the abuser when I dared to defend myself.
I served for a year, while in the US Army, in a country that ripped itself apart in a genocidal civil war. I drove through towns that had ethnically cleanesed themselves several times over with each group retaliating by slaughtering members of the other ethnic groups. I was forced to watch a video of a young Serbian boy who stepped on a landmine while playing soccer destroying his leg up to his knee as I was a designated combat lifesaver. I watched a boy in such shock he didn’t scream or cry. I listened as my fellow soldiers cracked jokes and made fun of the “stupid look” on his face. All I could think about was how I loved playing soccer when I was that boy’s age and a little part of my soul died.
While in Bosnia I drove past a school that endured mortar fire while in session. Towns that had no windows in any houses. Vicious symbols painted on each of the houses marking the residents as belonging to certain ethnic groups.
I have been in positions to witness the worse of humanity, to endure the most vile humiliations and tribulations a person can suffer. I have placed my trust and loyalty in those undeserving. I have had my heart broken repeatedly. I have seen what war does to a country, what hate can do when successfully orchestrated. I have been denigrated and torn apart.
In spite of all of this I have faith in our world. I have hope. I look up at the sky, I seek out the microcosms beneath our feet. I trust people to be the best that they can be. I give my heart away freely. I trust openly. I know that there is more good in this world, more beauty, more amazement than anything else. We just have to accept to see it instead of the fear that is fed to us on a daily basis.
My heart is filled with such love and optimism. A brilliant light stands by my side with fun, wit, and excitement and emboldened with such optimism. I now see even more. I see things like these clouds, proud like the scrapings of some amazing titan left behind for us to ponder and wonder at. Find the wonder in the world and begin to change it. #TheWorldISee