Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hurts Like Heaven

The way life has been taking me these past few weeks has made me recognize people again. Individuals with stories. Outsiders with hopes and dreams. Socialites with dirty secrets. The soft spoken with loud tales. The outspoken with unspeakable challenges. People are kind of beautiful that way. We're all hiding things and bearing heavy burdens in our hearts while effortlessly pretending all is well.

People are experts at building facades. We're the wardens of our own prisons. We're the monsters hiding under our own beds. We're the gatekeepers to our own fortresses.

One of my favorite books of all time is A Thousand Splendid Suns. It is hauntingly and heartbreakingly beautiful. Never has a book brought me down with so much emotional weight, but in the end, the heartache is what makes the experience beautiful. The book has so many ugly chapters but is beautiful in the power that it has over you. It is beautiful in the impact it casts upon the reader. It is beautiful in the way it inspires.

I had the chance to talk to my lovely friend Kenna the other day. She told me that it's quite easy to ask why all of the challenges of her life have happened to her. But the answer is that these challenges make us more able to relate to others. We become tools in the lives of other by our shortcomings and mistakes. We become a friend to those who think they have no where to turn to. We become a bridge that links past pains to future happiness. We become impactful and inspirational.

Everyone person that will ever walk the earth is a book filled with ugly chapters. We carry horrible secrets, mistakes, shortcomings, faults, and illnesses. We are all far from perfect. No two books are exactly the same. However, if we use these ugly chapters to teach, uplift, and inspire others, ugly things are made beautiful. Suddenly we discover purpose and a reason to continue. We understand our place in the universe. We recognize light in places that are very dark.

Be willing to open these books when invited. Be willing to listen to the experiences of others. Be willing to take in their triumphs and downfalls. We all have a lot to learn from each other.

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