Life isn’t equal. There are some people who have a much harder time than others. And it doesn’t matter what the cause of damage is – whether it’s sexual abuse, being born into a family and a country that treats you less than you should be, mental illness, addiction, depression, physical illness, suffering insufferable loss or the myriad of hurts that the world has on offer.
Everyone wears their life experience differently.When I was younger I used to think people had choices and if they made the right choices they’d be fine. And to a certain extent that’s true. But it really isn’t that simple is it?
One of my sisters is sick. And yet she’s made certain choices in her life that have led her to a path of extraordinary happiness. I’ve actually never met anyone who takes life on in such a full way.
She sees the end of her life and she lives today like its her last. I imagine a lot of people would be crushed by her circumstances myself included – and truthfully reaching that place was a journey for her and continues to be.
But she has a beautiful uplifting resilience that is just a part of her DNA.
I meet others on the streets near where I work (thanks to not having a shelter) and through Potato Heads, a volunteer group that cooks up tasty taters and fixin’s for residents of the downtown Eastside – where life looks like it has worn much harder. But I still see beautiful resilience – it’s rougher, it’s harder, it’s often toothless and riddled with addiction and hunger but I see a lot of other things too – community, laughter, sharing, friendship and love. I see people living life as best they can and resiliently getting by.
I guess what I’m saying is I can’t fix anything. I can’t fix problems in my family – I can’t fix people’s lives for them. But I want to offer people a soft place to land even if all that is, is a moment of sharing something – a story, a joke, a laugh, a little heart ache, a compliment, just a little something.
I think life is less about big things than it is about all the little things that make up your day. I try and gather as many small moments of beauty that I can each day knowing I can’t change anything except this one single moment in time that I’m sharing with a person. A human moment. A moment that bridges our differences and our life experiences. A hopeful moment that is right now. Where resilience meets beautiful resilience. It’s all I have to offer.