Dana asked me the other day what has happened in my life to make me ... well, me. I know she is looking for an answer like I was dropped on my head NUMEROUS times or that I was locked in a dark closet for years or maybe my momma smoked a little happy weed when she was prego with my eggo. All of these could be possibilities but I don't remember any of them. But that ain't sayin much. That happy weed coulda fried most my brain cells anyways.
But I know what you were askin Dana - the whole acceptance and love thang. And I don't really have an answer except for this:
Nature + Nurture = You. I know. Deep, deep thoughts. Aren't you glad I didn't charge ya for this?
First let me say I have ALWAYS been a sensitive kid. Like, embarrassingly sensitive. I was the sixth grader who cried at Fox and the Hound. I was the eighth grader who cried at Carrie. I was the junior that cried at the Feed The Children commercials. I cry at the thought of possibly the potential of someone being treated unfairly. My feelings could and would get hurt at the drop of a hat. I felt others' pain maybe more than I did my own (Mom, remember my hunger strike after the homeless man at King's Island?) It is just how I have always been...a blubbering cryin basket case.
On the other hand, I think life's experiences teach you some valuable lessons. And inevitably, hurts. But it is all about what you do with that...do you play the victim or shake it off and make something of it?
Cause you know what I believe?
I believe that our personal passion is often rooted in our personal pain.
And it seems to me the deeper our pain, the deeper our passion.
Have you noticed this about people? The one who has experienced something difficult is then the one who can make a difference with others going through the same thing?
A pregnant teen grows up to run a pregnancy crisis center?
Or the young boy who gets caught up in drugs becomes the counselor at the local clinic?
Because life's lessons have a tendency to humble us and chip off the arrogance of your youth. At least it did for me.
So, I guess Dana, if there is anyone in this world who has needed forgiveness and acceptance more than me ... I have not met them. I, at one time or another, have embodied all the ugliness I can imagine. I know I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I use to be.
And at then end of the day, if I could possibly, maybe, even a little help someone feel loved for being exactly who they are - then how could I not?
How about you? What is your passion? Do you agree or do you still think it might be the happy weed? Maybe even as we speak?