Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You can't save everyone

This is a hard one.

Crazy hard to accept, but true nonetheless.

You don't know the whole story of any other human being. Not of your kids, your parents, your spouse, your siblings, your co-workers. No one. You don't and you never will. Even if you were to walk side by side through each and every moment of your lives together, you still can't know how a person is distilling their life experience in their own heart and mind. You may never really know what motivates someone to do what they do. You may never understand their choices. You have to learn to trust that the people in your life are capable of walking their own paths and are going to do so. They may do beautifully with the lives they have been given or they may take tragic turns and everything in between. Relationships can be blissful and they can be torturous. And while your relationships may mean everything to you, you have to know where others end and you begin. Ultimately you have your own path. And they have theirs.


You don't get to walk the path for someone else (even if you desperately want to spare them or save them, or help them, or heal them) and they can't walk yours for you, and they won't always be with you on your journey. Sometimes people die. Sometimes people leave. Sometimes people are only here for a season and it hurts to the core when they leave but your path was never theirs to walk. Sometimes people are with you but they can't really be WITH you. Sometimes people are unreachable. Sometimes, like today, you learn that someone in your family attempted a murder/suicide...maybe they succeeded. You have to decide what to do with that. You are the only one that you know will be with you when you come to the end of your journey.

You have to choose how you want to walk in the world. You have to choose whether you will add to the love or the pain in the world. I hope you choose love. I hope you are able to. And the people who help you do that...embrace them. Love them. Cherish them. Thank them. Relish them. But don't confuse them with you. Don't hold them responsible for your choices. Don't make them, and their eternal presence in your life a requirement for your happiness, or your sanity, or your reason for being.

I hope you can celebrate your path. Celebrate when paths cross. Grieve when paths diverge. Pray for those who have been lost. Remain open. Above all, remain open. Love your journey even if it scares you.

Now, I think I'll go take a walk.

-Laura Young-

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