Day 269 - Life Vilipended No More.
I know my love of vocabulary is weird. But I actually have an entire journal of saved words that I like. I also have an entire journal of quotations. I know, weirdo.
For those that do not share my love of words or vocab, vilipend means to to hold or treat as of little worth or account; to express a low opinion of...
And that is how I have done my life. Treating it as if it had little worth or value. Why? I am not even sure...I think that I was just born with this desire to self destruct. Sometimes everything can be just fine and I am overwhelmed with a desire to not be here anymore. It all just feels so meaningless. Like everything I work for and toward is just not worth the effort.
And if there is one sin I have committed for the entirety of my life, it has been my failure to value equally each moment of life I have been graced with...let me explain.
My seeds of self destruction run deep. Even though I have been sober for 25+ years, that does not mean that I have actually lived fully all of those days. There were probably as many days that I was just living through and didn’t enjoy it at all. That is why for the alcoholic standing on the outside of recovery that it is such a hard choice to walk across the line...we know that the work will be life lasting and hard. And we do not know that we really want to do it...
But something happens to a person who is graced with life time, with the advance of age, you come to appreciate this thing you take for granted in a new way. You come to watch the body you depend upon fail, age, sag and decay. You see that time is fleeting and that you are never sure at what moment you are going to run out of time.
Two people I care about are currently fighting for their lives. They have been dealt crushing blows in the health department and they now have a path in front of them that isn’t stable or fun. Each moment precious in its fleeing nature. They both are holding on for dear life and do not vilipend any of it. Contrarily, they are holding on tight.
Perhaps my lack of value for something I have been given so much of is mere evidence of my selfishness. Perhaps it is just the privilege of youth. Perhaps it is the gift of health. Whatever one may call it, I am greatly humbled by my own lack of appreciation.
If vilipend is how I have toyed with life, perhaps the antidote to that is to cherish. To relish. To hold close and dear. Like a small child with a much prized stuffed toy. Hold to my life and each breath with a delicate but strong grasp. I am contrary action person. When I know my disease is activated, I know that I have to do the one thing that I do not want to do. I have to call when I don’t want to, show up when I would rather hide under the bed, be honest when I would prefer to lie, live when I would rather die.
We only get this one precious human life. Just one. We are not promised another...it is amazing and humbling to me that I have wasted so much of it, failing to see the value and miracle of each breath. In and out, over and over for years. Anyone who has had the privilege and responsibility of bearing witness to someone’s last breath, knows the sanctity. Knows the import. Is humbled by the grace given to those still breathing.
I no longer vilipend my life or life at all. I see clearly that each moment is filled with all that I need. I can take it for granted and allow the moments of difficulty to rob me of each precious moment or I can do the contrary thing and praise each breath for its life giving force and cherish the fuck out of it.
I can see that I am blessed. Hold on dearly to what I have been given. I can see that my low opinion of life, love and all that matters has never really served me well. Hiding in the shadows, cold and lonely. It takes courage to really walk out into the sunlight and make a decision to stay there. To banish the thoughts addiction brings to bear. As with everything in my life, contrary action is the answer. All the time. Helping me one more time to find the grace that seems so elusive to me but is really always present...no matter what, all I need to do is breathe.