A Tale of Two Paths

In the work that I do now, I get to witness people at some of their lowest points. The biggest observation I’ve made is my internal response to these experiences.

I have found these intense events fall under two categories: people who have bad things happen to them; and people who bring about bad things to happen to them.

There are people, who at this very moment, are finding out a loved one has died, that their house has burned down, that their car has been broken into and stolen. These people woke up this morning and had no clue what their day would end up like. They figured it would be another Thursday in a lifetime of Thursdays. And at breakfast, it was just another Thursday.

But by dinner tonight, not so much.

Then there are the other people. This group is not blind sided by the events of their day. They are aware of what their reality is, because they helped build it. They have spent their lifetime of Thursdays exposing themselves to people and events that are not healthy for them. They have made choices every day that have helped them get to the chaos they exist in.

They stay with their husband/wife when they should probably leave; especially when he/she has beaten them, again. They sneak out a window when their parents have forbidden them to leave the house, to meet someone who does not have their best intentions at heart. They have one more drink, one more joint, more, more, more. And finally, they sit up and question how they got to where they are now. What did they do to deserve this? In a word – nothing. But they are the authors of their own horror story. What they don’t realize is that they have laid every brick in the wall. They could choose a different way. It’s one step at a time, but it might as well be a 10 foot stair.

My heart bleeds for the people who get a phone call and find out their world is upside down. I want to reach out to them.

For the person who is angry at the world and doesn’t understand why their 18-year-old daughter is a drug addict when she’s been getting high every weekend since her children were born…

Well, I guess I’ll just have to work on that level of compassion.

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