If I look back on my life to date, I am overwhelmed by how blessed I’ve been. If I had been able to get past the heavy curtain of depression over the years, I would’ve been able to see it too. But I couldn’t. And I won’t say I’ve ripped down the curtain and walked on through to the other side of life, but I’ve definitely pushed it aside far enough to see through and stretch one leg across the threshold.
In doing so I see the beauty of life that I’ve been missing. I’ve always been very good at recognizing the amazing things that line life, but I’ve never been able to recognize it in my own life. Occasionally I’ll stop and tear up because of the amazing quality of those little things. It’s almost as amazing to me how few people see them, or how few see and don’t appreciate. People who are used to having friends and people who like them don’t get that a smile or a “How are you?” in the hall mean a lot. And, in the same vein, they don’t see the value in doing those small things for others, because who cares? I care. There are others who care. Others who hurt and panic and feel totally alone 95% of the time.
Not my point though. My point is that I’m finally getting it. I’m finally seeing how beautiful life is. I’m no longer envious of the joy in others’ lives. I’m joyful for them. I smile more and worry less. I realize that I’ve gotten almost everything I’ve ever asked for in life, from my family, from God, from myself and life. I’ve gotten a trip to Europe, cross-country plane tickets, visits from loved ones that seemed impossible, great jobs, a new car, countless gifts, intense signs of affection, loves that lasted long enough to stay in my memory forever, smiles from crushes, chances to shine, respect from colleagues, the opportunity to do what I love every day, the feeling of having a warm dog curl up next to me and nose me for pets, the feeling of a lover’s caress in the day or night, the view of a carefully carved landscape that takes the breath from my lungs, the tearful realization that God loves me no matter how screwed up I may be, the chance to share all that joy with everyone I can…
That’s where I need to go next. I see the beauty, I feel the joy, now I need to pass it on in every way I can. To recognize where I can serve and love and appreciate so that that person will go home or out into the world and share those same positive things with everyone they meet. In small ways and big. I want to do all I can. The cycle of joy is pretty darn awesome.