Life Sucks And Then You Die.....Or....
I FIND THE NUMBER STAGGERING
90,500 separate searches were made on Google last month using those six words. Life sucks and then you die!
Am I the only one who finds that profoundly sad?
Now I suspect that many of those 90,500 were just searching that sentence because they had nothing better to do with their time. Some may have searched it because they are sarcastic little smartasses. Still, I am guessing that a number of those searches were made by people who truly believe that life is rotten and there is nothing more to this living gig.
I say that because I have known such people. Hell, I am saying it because, at one time, I was one of those people.
There was a time during the mid-to-late 80’s when it would not have taken much to convince me that there was nothing more to life than misery and unhappiness. My marriage was rapidly declining. Alcohol owned my soul, and each and every day required a major effort just to get out of bed and fake it for another day. What was the point in living if life consisted of nothing more than sadness and self-loathing?
And yet twenty-four years later here I am, living large and loving life in Olympia, Washington.
How did this transformation take place? How did I go from shades of black to a full-blown Technicolor feast of life?
I made a decision to start living and quit dying!
IT DOES NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT
Most major changes occur over a period of time, and the change that happened in me was no different. I had to stumble and bumble my way through the 90’s, and I took a major fall in 2006, but the foundation for a better life had been laid. I knew, after some reflection, that alcohol had to be banished. I knew that my personal problems were mostly of my own making, and that I needed to decommission the old Bill and sign up for a new, improved model. I knew those things with great clarity but still, change takes time.
For me, progress was measured with two steps forward and often times three steps back, but to my credit I never turned around and retreated. I was always facing the direction in which I believed salvation could be found. There were days I finished on the plus side of the ledger of progress. There were days I felt I had not moved at all, and a tiredness overcame me, so bone-deep as to leave me almost catatonic. Still I did not give up.
OBSERVATION AND EXPERIENCE
I knew from my childhood that life was good. I had experienced it. I saw the truth in the faces of other people as well. One cannot fake genuine happiness. It shines from your eyes and radiates to all those around you. Give a five-year old a new puppy and you will see living proof that life does not suck. Watch a mother nurse her child and you will know in your heart that life does not suck. Take a moment to observe life around you and you will see countless examples that prove that many believe that life does not suck.
So if I believed that life sucked then I needed to find what those others had found, the secret, the explanation, the truth that they knew and I did not.
Where does one go? How do you find that which is missing when you barely know what it looks like? How do we program into a GPS unit the coordinates for the corner of Happiness and Contentment?
In my case, I learned from those who already resided there. I watched them closely and took mental notes. I tried to emulate their actions and fake it until I could make it on my own. I observed that they loved others unconditionally. I observed that they helped others unselfishly and I noticed that they were humble and that they laughed often. I found them to be kind, caring, compassionate and empathetic.
And through observation I learned.
DOES LIFE SUCK?
No! That is an emphatic no! I have known people who did not have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, and they loved life and found magic in each day. It would have been so easy for them to say that life sucked, but instead they embraced every single moment of every single day as the incredible gift it is.
Other than those who have mental disorders and are incapable of positive thought patterns, life is really what you make it. What are your expectations? If they are too lofty and you fail to meet them then yes, I can see where you might find life a bit sucky. However, the fault is not in the nature of life but rather in your expectations.
Once we grasp that reality then taking the necessary steps towards happiness becomes possible.
YES, WE DIE
Some sooner than others, but dying is part of the living gig and there are no guarantees. We come with a limited lifetime warranty and the One issuing the warranty is the only One aware of when that warranty expires.
We have choices while that warranty is still in effect. We can live life to the fullest or we can just survive. I have known five people who chose to die before their time, and I find great sadness in it. For me, there really is only one choice, and that is to squeeze every ounce of life out of the time I have left. Who am I to assume that I have tomorrow? If I make that assumption then I am a fool.
I say strap on some PIPO (positive in/positive out) and set about living this life like a hummingbird on speed. I say get out and meet some positive people and I say help others. I say turn your damn life around so you see the sunshine rather than the ever-present storm clouds.
Don’t tell me that life sucks because I ain’t buying it. Tell me, instead, how you plan on changing your outlook on life, and tell me how you are going to become a positive influence on the lives of others.
It is too damn easy to quit on life. Show me how you are going to fight for it.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)