Contemplating By Chuck Murphree
It is a risky exploration when you start asking yourself if your life has had meaning. Through this contemplation, you may start to wonder if others find any meaning in you?
You will look your demons in the eye and ask them for an explanation for your suffering, but then you will realize your question goes on deaf ears.
There will come a time when you will think of leaving everything behind, sparing others of your inner pain that found its way out.
Perhaps, you will gently whisper to the world, “You will not hear from me for a while, yet, I will remain present.”
You will sit and think about the last conversations that you had and did not even know it at the time. The words of those that have died haunt you. However, the ones who remain are the real ghosts because they are still here, somewhere, and the words linger just above your shoulders. You scratch at an itchy brain trying not to forget what they said, what you said.
There will be moments when you will sit with yourself and wonder if being moral and ethical was worth it? It seems like the world doesn’t like a good man. There’s nothing for them to talk about and hate.
Will there be a moment in your life when you see your worth? Will it stand before you and welcome you, or run away scared?
How would you ever have known that the external pain would be worse than what comes from within?
Why does it feel like you are choking every day but the words still come out and the food goes down?
You don’t do it for recognition, but you do have thoughts if people appreciate the time you take to help them with their mental health? Is that selfish for thinking that? You wonder if they realize each time you give to them, it takes away from you and leaves you depleted? Yes, it is selfish. It is why you had to learn to pace yourself and tell some “No” because you need to recharge your empathy. Yet, saying “No” to those that also seek your offering, depletes you even more sometimes. Yes, you are selfish.
Will you run out of reserves? Then what?
Going back to thoughts of worth. It is something you wish you could feel, being worthy of love. The person you love most may sit across from you and tell you they love you, but you struggle to believe them because you struggle to believe yourself.
You are an imposter. That’s what it feels like when you walk into your life each morning.
There are times when you force yourself out the door and into reality, pretending with a smile that you are proficient at what you do, so you smile with confidence. There are moments where you wonder if they see through you, and then you want to be invisible, shrinking into the corners.
Why did anxiety come to you? Perhaps, it was the two-thousand souls that surrounded you in the hallways and you felt responsible for them all and when they had a bad experience. At least, you think that’s when it started. Or maybe, the happenings in your life decided to deplete you all at once? That’s what happens when the box where you compartmentalized everything comes undone. Mental duct tape doesn’t hold forever.
You offered some words to the world, and even though the positive messages came filtering in and should have been enough, it never was. You then wonder if what you have given matters? Is it good enough? You try to hang onto the good reviews, the statements of love and hope, and you grasp with your short fingernails and crooked teeth everything you can to hold onto the moments of enlightenment when a young reader told you that your story had saved them.
Why do you never feel enough? You have an idea where it comes from because it has been with you since you were young, never scoring enough touchdowns or running the race fast enough. The bad marks in red pen. The blowing leaves you left in the yard. The two hours you spent mindfully talking and you were made to feel that it should have been four. The notes you wrote that were temporarily received, but to you they were permanent. The times you told her she was beautiful but it seemed like the words fell to the floor along with the scattered mess you left there. The giving of your soul, even when you placed yourself in the danger of critics with more power than you, but you knew it was the right thing to do. Was anyone else there to pick up the broken pieces or was it taken for granted? The time you created something for those with different skin than you, and everyone came for your blood, on all sides, and you stood and took it all because it was what was good for the youthful smiles that stood with you. When you kept the kids interests first but everyone else kept their own. For all the greetings that weren’t received. For the times you gave and gave and gave but it never felt enough.
Why is it the place you feel most at peace is among the trees, sitting with a good book, contemplating life? Where the sunset between the pines and leaves you whole. “Stay there,” you tell yourself. “Stay and be alone.”
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