(Heart among the clouds. Excerpts from a favorite post.)
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
…But getting back to the “love” that I think Dr. King refers to or at least my my take on it and how my understanding of it has been woven into my life. I’ve written quite a bit about the transformation (of sorts) and rediscovery that’s occurred since my injury and how I’ve expressed a better comprehension of the love I needed to afford myself, those around me whether biologically or geographically, and degrees of love I needed to afford the basic elements in or near my life…
Now to be clear, anyone who knows me would never make the assertion that I express “love” for everything that happens in my life, or “love” about the totality of each person that surrounds me and those I have come across. By virtue of me being “me” with my own personal tastes, preferences, and varying tolerance for certain traits, some things eventually fall into the category of “less than loved”, under-appreciated, or tangentially annoying over time. I’m sure there may be a more tactful presentation of the foregoing blunt characterization but in lieu of an apology, I’ll just attribute this translucent honesty as a product of my age and brain injury.
However there is a precursor to whatever final conclusion is reached in my individual dealings and exploration of people and things so bear with me for a bit longer and I’ll start with this quote that I think is as spectacular in its message and presentation as the one by Dr. King: “Keep love in your heart. A life is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring. Who, being loved, is poor?” – Oscar Wilde…
I have before me each day a gift of 1,440 minutes and there are generally static elements that I awake to with the comfort of knowing that love for and from them will continue to surround me absent any traumatic disruption in the forces that bond us together. But by freeing and opening up myself to not just my normal routine but also the unexpected elements that present themselves, I’ve afforded myself the opportunity, possibility, and increased the probability that I will discover different aspects of “love” that can be so readily available in a life that is too magnificent to habitually ignore. It seems that the further I lean in that direction, the farther I distance myself from patterns that lead to the intractable management of more undesirable feelings and their manifestations.
The beauty of parts of our humanity is due to the fact that we are able to experience a wide gauntlet of emotions although it is rare that we entirely become masters of them no matter how diligently we attempt to keep them cornered. How often is it that we are immersed in moments where we attempt to command the sensations of heart and mind so they somehow correspond to both the adulation and criticism directed our way?
Still I’m fairly confident that it boils down to a choice of how we approach each day. Oftentimes they don’t end up as perfect as we hoped for but I’ve never been sure of the number of guaranteed outcomes we’re entitled to even when we think our best efforts have been made. Still, we can better define how most days develop for ourselves and the proportionate amounts of “love” that can be summoned from all things gently explainable and even those supremely mysterious.
And so it goes that “the way you perceive and react to the world is a choice.” – David Foster Wallace. And if given that choice, wouldn’t it be better that our expressions be symptomatic of emotions more associated with anything resembling “love” that reflect the brightness surrounding the beauty we can be behold, as opposed to anything diametrically different that darkens the best of each of those particular aspects.
It seems like a logical choice once I get past the illogical distractions and given the alternatives that could erode them, I’ll just try to seek and express the “love” that lightens all those things that continue to surround me!