I have a cold...or some sort of respiratory crap rumbling around in my chest, causing me to wheeze and growl like a junkyard dog. Yet I feel surprisingly good this evening. It is cold here in S. Michigan with some snow showers. It's "good" snow though...light, fluffy, powder. The kind that is ALMOST no issue to shovel....almost.
Sitting at PawPaw's (My Grandfather's) desk, in the glow of a single lamp (plus laptop screen glow light)with a nice, hot mug of strong, black coffee. My thoughts at the moment keep leading me back to one word that also describes the dominant emotion I feel right now as well: Gratitude.
I am thinking of my friends...and how grateful I am to have them. I know the true meaning of friendship today because of them. They are special people, I am fortunate to know them and have them in my life.
Not all that long ago, I had NO real conception of friendship. I didn't know really what it meant. Of all the acquaintances and friendships I had during my past, only two were what I would call true friends and they are my friends to this day. It just so happens they are married to each other and with out them, I'm not so sure I'd even be here right now...
[RVO/JVO: I love you two more then you'll ever know....Well, now that I'm talking directly to you: Yea, the rumors are true...I suppose I'm that Jesus Freak Jim and I always made taunted and made fun of...Rhondi, break it to him easy when you tell him! Hope to see you both soon - T]
But after those two incredible folks... I had NOTHING, no true friends. And don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be critical...I wasn't a very nice person myself. I really didn't want to waste time cultivating relationships, JEEZ...who the hell cared...I just thought about me, myself and I. I didn't want to take the time or effort to blow smoke up somebody else's ass...too much work for minimal return. I actually THOUGHT that way?! Incredible huh? I was a total DICK and didn't much care if you thought so...as long as it didn't interfere with my partying...
Today it is different. People care about me and I really care about them. I used to view relationships as a commitment (a dirty word back then, haha!) and therefore a hassle. I was really missing the point. I saw NO benefit in it, just the negative side...people were NEEDY, they wanted part of my time. Which partially was cool except they always wanted the part I wasn't willing to give up!
I will admit that I get emotional, that I AM emotional right now as I think about the several people who have been so important to me as I tread this often dark and scary, unknown path to Spiritual TRUTH. With out your love, guidance friendship and concern...I'm not so sure I'd have been able to stay the course.
I used to revel in the fact that I was a LONER. The Lone Wolf, an individualists who did things HIS way and listened to no one. Why in the world I was ever proud of that I'll never know. The reality was I was a LONELY soul, afraid, unsure of who he was or where I fit into the grand scheme of life...
Not only lonely but in the end, totally ALONE. My best ideas, my very best intentions nearly killed me. They left me hopeless, lonely, afraid...tied to bed, in a cold, dark hospital room totally alone. Hardly the the image of myself I had conjured up and had held onto so unrealistically for all those years.
Today and this I know, one call...one text and someone will be here if I am in need. I mean I call and they are there for me. And it's reciprocal...I'm your friend, if you need me, I'm there...My friends care...how do I know this? Because they show me every day. Because they are here...every time I need them.
As far as me being alone...I'll never be alone again. Today I know that as alone as I felt during those darkest of days , I truly was NEVER alone.
The choice was always mine. I thought I believed that something was "out there" but I just didn't know what it was. And I figured that whatever it was wouldn't want to have anything to do with a person as bad as me...Today I realize with no doubt what so ever that GOD was always with me just as he is today. And that all I ever needed to do was stop fighting it, denying it and believe.
So I did and now things have simplified even more: I believe...I FOLLOW.