When I was younger, I used to coast along the paths of life and follow the courses.
When I entered the school system, I grew up with the conventional wisdom to study hard so that I would get the right job, be successful, marry, raise a family, look after my parents and that would complete my life cycle.
All was good and the cycle was in place.
But the idyllic scenario took a sudden and steep turn later in my life.
A series of difficult events, coupled with changes in the world economy, meant that this cycle was not a feasible or even possible one any more.
The dreams I had lived for came crashing down and I had to adapt to survive.
Personal ties had to be cut and false friends had to be kept at arm’s length.
Arguments occurred, and long festering issues had to be brought into the open.
Thankfully many of these issues were honestly and lovingly resolved, but many others could not and we agreed to disagree.
While ties were severed, or reinvented, other friendships and relationships were also built and renewed during this time, and I could not be more grateful for those souls who came into my life.
They were all united by these four words — “We’ve got your back.” The best four words I had heard in a long time.
My hitherto closed shell had now been forced open, and I realised that to survive, I would rather be dangerous than passive.
I decided that I would be true to myself from now on. Not that I had been a fraud previously but that I needed to take my own self and personal needs more seriously from now on.
The die had been cast. Even if I wanted to, I now can never return to what I was before. I have burnt the bridges behind me and the houses and structures ahead of me are a blur.
They say that on a clear day, one can see into forever.
But could my path be the wrong one, one that I have trudged headlong into without any consideration for what my loved ones, friends or loved ones?
Then I take comfort that the very fact that I am asking these questions probably indicates that I have not abdicated all reason completely.
Does it not mean instead that I am seeking and turning to the Hound of Heaven, the light of my soul, without whom I cannot seek and find my being?
I once knew people whom I held in high honour. But in return for the respect we paid to them, they turned against me and my loved ones with vehement rage.
But the Hound of Heaven reins me in, as if on an invisible leash, and guides me not to return evil with evil.
The Hound knows my heart, speaks my defence, and strengthens my heart for what further ugliness, and beauty, is to come.
And then I hear the still small voice : “ It will be all right, son. It will be all right. Stand your ground and it will be all right. You may think that things are falling apart but they are actually falling into place.”
And then I am at peace because I know who, and whose, I am.
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