There is only so much torture we can go through—the rest is just showing off.  My grandfather used to say that to me, typically after I had just been through something very difficult.  We are all going through difficult isolated times at the moment.  We have labeled it a pandemic. “Stay at Home” orders are in most states.  Again, there are different groups of people.  Those that are afraid to leave their homes in fear of exposing to the virus.  Another group are being cautious, yet still venturing out to find hiking trails they haven’t stepped on in years.  The last group, have no clue yet what quarantine or social distancing actually are.  Washing their hands properly is an anomaly.  Their thoughts are they will slap the virus in the face and whomever wins the battle is meant to be.  Those people need more than hand sanitizer.

No matter which of the groups you’re in—we are all in this together.

It’s in times like these we can ponder life.  We can make a situation as difficult or as simple as desired.  Kind of like fishing.  Think about it.  Fishing isn’t really about fishing.  It’s about letting things happen.  When you throw the line into the water, what happens next isn’t within your control.  You sit and wait.  The water treading against the boat, or the shoreline, whichever you happen to be.  The fisherman can sit in peace and enjoy the sounds of nature.  The calm nurturing their soul.  Or—people with no patience nor the ability to relax will stress out—become impatient—pull their line in and recast again and again all the while complaining about how bad the fishing is.  Their music blaring.  Stress emblazoning their bodies.  Until they no longer enjoy what fishing is all about.  Because in that moment of peaceful nature, we can either meditate in the calm.  Or we can push away the pain of our thoughts—and find something to fill the void until we are a ball of stress no longer able to bounce.

We are told that love is what life is all about.  Love is vulnerable—warm—sometimes painful.  A friend of mine was depressed the other day—she is single with no current prospects.  She’s jumped from one relationship to another—never spending time with herself.  Being by yourself isn’t “alone”.  Some of the loneliest people have been married for years.  We are individually capable of making ourselves happy or sad.  The people we choose to be create our sense of worth.  Afford us the ability to like ourselves—or criticize as well.  We are our most harsh critic.  What outside stimulus affects that is up to us.

So if it is love that unites us.  Walks us through the dark times.  Gives us the strength to push through to happiness again.  If it’s love that lifts us out of our darkness.  When people put their lies on you—attack you—try to take you out because of jealousy—hate—insecurity.  Remember to let the love from those around you carry you through.  Let it bring you back into the brightness of life.  The truth is, ignorance and hate hold hands.  They try to blind us.  Smother us with darkness.  They try to destroy the light of hope.  Take away what make us happy.  If we pay attention—drive the negative away—our love can consume the darkness and drive out the hate.  That love might not change everyone.  For their darkness runs too deep.  You might still run up against people who like their darkness, or have become so consumed they are blinded by it.  Their hate is all they know.  It’s what they survive on.

When we are exposed to that darkness and hate.  It’s in those moments we have to hold on to those that shine their light on us.  Fill us with love.  We have to hold on to those that give our life meaning—are there for us no matter the cost.  Because it’s that love that brings us hope.  If we live the truth—love completely—accept each other at who they truly are—then our lights will shine brightly and drive out all hate and darkness.

I’ve let darkness infect the great love of my life.  Let past experiences knee jerk my response to the darkness.  Let that darkness create suspicion —lies—tear what was genuine into shreds of doubt.  Only to awake to figure out it wasn’t the love that wasn’t pure—but the darkness trying to rip it apart.  If the past could be repeated—if mulligans were afforded in life—I would hold on to that love —hold on to the light from it—use it to push the darkness away.  My hope —that love remains and will find its way to shine  through again.  For true love never waivers.  It has peaks and valleys— but remains strong—and will always find its way to shine again.

Thoughts lead us to purpose.  When that purpose becomes strong enough—action takes over.  Actions form habits—which in time those habits build our character.  It’s that character that fixes our destiny.

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of their opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of their difficulties.

In this time of uncertainty—find your purpose—let it move you to action.  We have control of our destiny as long as we don’t allow darkness to invade it.

Stay Healthy!