In one lifetime, we all feel enough pain; the pain of loss, the pain of age, and the pain of love. It is extremely easy to get lost in this world. Our paths become unclear and we lose our purpose, and our very heart. Unfortunately, when we lose our heart, we lose our soul. Too many times, when love walks out the door, we often walk out on hope - and worst we walk out on God and ourselves.
There are so many obstacles set before us, in this journey of life. How we navigate those obstacles, begin to define who you are as a person. You can choose to be bitter and lose yourself, or you can take each painful lesson and become stronger - knowing that you will have better days ahead. I am no stranger to loss and a slave to my own emotions at times. Often times, we cannot see beyond our own pain; but in time we learn to see in clarity again. Sometimes it takes a fall to regain that clarity. And more so, it takes a painful lesson that teaches us to walk away from our own hubris and find our way back home.
Heaven exists in the simplicity of life. I know that now. It took a group of young homeless kids to open my eyes. 2018 July - It was a cool summer day in Portland, Oregon, where I went out for my morning run. I had only slept for three hours, but I still managed to stumble my way onto the pavement, putting one foot in front of the next, in a slow cadence. The beautiful scenery and the crisp air distracted me from my tired body. In one second, I found myself miles out from where I started, and so I headed back to my friend's house where I was staying. On the way back, I ran past a group of kids; their ages ranged between 18 to 25 - they were all homeless living on the street. Without shelter, food, or water, they seemed very happy. They were singing, talking, and playing a deprecated guitar. I ran past them without a thought, but about 100 yard out - their voices of song and laughter echoed in my mind. It haunted me so much, that I ran back to the Starbucks near where they were situated at. I bought all the sandwiches off the shelf. The girl at the counter asked me if I was hungry. I replied, no, but they are - as I pointed to the kids that can be seen through the glass panes. She smiled back at me and rang me out. I walked up to the kids and handed them the sandwiches. Their faces lit up as if Christmas had come. I spent sometime talking to them, and what I realized, was how happy they were with very little. They had something that money could not purchase - each other and each other's friendship! After a while, I shook all their hands. They thanked me profusely, but I thanked them in return - for they had given me something far more valuable than the sandwiches. They gave me back my perspective!
When I got back to Houston, I took an Uber back home to my apartment. And as I observed the expensive cars on the road; BMW's, Mercedes, Hummers, Cadillac's - I realized that everyone was honking at each other, throwing obscenities, and looked downright miserable in their luxury vehicles. Immediately my mind went back to those kids, and how their faces shined with happiness and content, while the people in their expensive cars were filled with road rage and anger. It was such a contrast. A contrast of hope versus hopelessness, a contrast of contentment versus greed, and one of humility versus arrogance. This thought completed the continuity in my mind - the full realization that I too, was caught up in the superficiality of the world - but was never truly happy. I knew that I lost myself trying to climb the Corporate Ladder. I lost myself in titles, promotions, and more money - yet it was never enough. It was in that same moment of realization, that I decided, that I would no longer be lost. Instead, it was time for me to fight my way back into the light! The days and weeks after this realization began to transform my life. My journey of life truly had began - this time it is in the pursuit of happiness, for others! This was the first sign, that the Universe had given to me. And soon in the weeks after, the Universe would give me more and more purpose - and spoke to me directly - For the first time in my life, I could finally hear God. He was whispering to me the entire time, but I chose not to listen - and instead I allowed the trappings of life to bear witness to my soul. This time, I am listening - and I hear the wonderful message and purpose he has granted and gifted upon me.
I urge you not to lose yourself - as it is very simple to do. Whether you believe in God or not, or whatever religion you follow - I want you to know that we are all bound by the same universe and the same energy. So please, with quiet solitude, find yourself once again, if you are lost. And if you feel you are losing yourself - please fight to keep your spirit and heart. May God always bring you the joys of love and the wisdom to appreciate this world for its beauty.
It’s not what got, it’s what you give. It isn’t the life you choose, it’s the life you live!