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North American Dreaming: Broken Keys

William Burkholder, writing from personal experience, brings words of great comfort.

I once stood at the dark gates of suicide, playing with lock and latch.

I took the time to survey its dark form. This gateway with bloody hinge, rusted with flesh and bone. I reasoned at the time, that I was the architect, the designer of this passage and in a way, I was.

I had at least fashioned the key, a homemade escapade of foolishness, wrought on the irons of heartache’s beginnings. This beginning. aye, there is a story in itself, but best saved for another time.

I look back now and recall those moments, when all seemed lost, when each movement for me was a feeble assertion at a masquerade of normal. When one lives in the extreme limits of Love, they are sure to fall, and fall hard.

However, this is not really about then, it is about now and what I was able to glean from that experience. In the simplest of terms, from one who has been there. "It is not, nor ever will be, that bad, where walking through that gate could ever be an option.

Epiphany comes at the strangest times. I guess those moments of enlightenment come at the most important times in our lives. When our vulnerabilities open our minds and hearts to the reality and truth of things. The truth of our weaknesses.

Such things pry open our eyes, unplug our ears, forcing us to hear and see the reality of our mistakes. I would like to think that I am not a boastful man, however I am proud of my humility, Ha! If that makes any sense. Because if it were not for that, My eyes and ears would have stayed tightly shut and I may have just taken the step through that dark opening.

So maybe being proud of it is not the right term, grateful might be a better coinage to use here, for I am grateful for each and everyday, each and every sunrise that God gifts to me.

I claim no stake, no monopoly on heartache. It is a forgone fact that it exists in many lives.

So does ability to rise above ourselves, to rise above our heartache and self perpetrations.

My message is that EACH of us have those strengths. We all have the ability to snap those keys off in the lock, rendering that horrific passage inoperative.

A simple sunrise sixteen years ago taught me this, allowed me to break my key and get to the business of living. My convictions, and my lessons are mine, not to be forced upon others, but simply shared with the sincerest of hopes that a light will come on for those in pain, just as it did for me.


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