Sunday, January 08, 2006

To Thine Ownself Be True

One of my first post for this year was all about new beginnings and having a new attitude. Over the past few months I'd grown more and more depressed and maudlin. At times I found I could barely summon the courage and strength to get out of bed. I felt lost and alone. Something was wrong. I not only didn't know how to fix it, but I wasn't even sure what was at the bottom of my feelings of hopelessness and isolation.
I knew a good part of it was the seasonal depression I experience every year around Christmas. I'm sorry but Christmas just isn't a good time for me. It hasn't been for years.
What was strange was that it came on earlier this year. Usually I love Thanksgiving and even Halloween. But not this year. Clearly something was wrong. I just couldn't grasp what it was.

The last week of December I did a lot of soul searching. I spent hours thinking and pondering, trying to pinpoint when things started to change.
It hadn't gone unnoticed by me that the number of people who visit my blog has diminished over the past year. But, it wasn't just my blog. There were others, in my 'real world', who were slowly slipping away.
Clearly my 'passion' offend some. Being human I cared that people I valued (both real and virtual) in my life, felt uncomfortable around me. It bothered me that some of those people simply stopped coming around.
Gradually I learned to suppress my feelings. After all the last thing I wanted to do was "offend' anyone. Yes, God forbid "I" offend them. So what if their narrowminded, bigoted point of views, or their lack of compassion or concern offended me?
It was then I realized where lay the roots of my 'depression'. In trying to appease others, to make others more comfortable around me, I was loosing ME. The part of me that makes me, "ME". My passion.
Apparently "I" am a woman incapable of apathy. When I care, I CARE. And I can't keep it to myself. When I see what I perceive to be a wrong, I am compelled by something deep inside of me to speak out. When I fight that need, when I force it to lie down and be silent, all of me goes silent. I knew then I had to make some hard choices. Either I chose to follow my heart, and refuse to silence that voice that cries out inside of me, at the slightest sign of injustice or cruelty, or I close my eyes, put my 'happy face' and pretend not to see or care. Choose the ladder and I'd have a plethora of friends, the former and I most likely would find myself spending a great deal of time alone.

After much soul searching I came to understand, if I bury what is essentially "ME", I am of no value to anyone. Least of all myself. The answer, while somewhat painful, was simple.
Because at the end of the road when we are all held accountable, when our maker says "What did YOU do to help...", I need to be able to say "Lord I did the best I could...".
I cared enough to get involved. To take a stand and to speak up.
As one by one they stripped away at the things I've held dear about my country. I spoke out.
As they took the Christian faith and turned it into a means of browbeating, judging, and berating people, I fought back. I reached down deep inside of me, screwed up my courage and I took a stand.
Along the way it cost me. People I thought were my friends turned their backs and walked away. When I was attacked, few came to my defense. Still I stood my ground.
The Lord said " Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me."[Matthew 25:40]
This Lord is how I chose to serve. By speaking out for those who have no voice.
This computer is my voice. It is my means of making a difference. I will use whatever means I have at my disposal to do what I can to make a difference.
If few come and read, so be it. If few will stand beside me, I will stand alone.
On the other hand, if in some small way I give even one person the strength to stand up and be counted, then I will have served well.

This is me. This is who I am. I can be nothing less.


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