Finding The Strength Within
by Paul Donahue

Tears of pain, leave a trail of sorrow as they dry upon my cheeks. It is hard for them to even begin to well, for the pain is buried deep beneath the surface of my life. It usually takes a heart-felt melodramatic book or movie to get them flowing. Within the pain of my family history lies an ocean of unfathomable emotion. The rage and anger that moves as the tides of years pass us by, become even more engulfing.

As I watch my relationships with the ones I love, have loved and the ones that I know love me for me. I see a tsunami of betrayal and the loss of boundaries. For we have been raised to allow our emotions to control our behavior more so than our intellect. I could only wish to express my feelings without punishment from within, from the self hate and loathing I had been taught as a child. I am learning. I am aware. I am awakening!

I am coming into balance for the first time in my life as I sit here at thirty-nine, as my tear filled eyes become more focused on what is real and what is not, what it truth and what is not. And for that I am blessed beyond measure in this life.

It is never too late to know thy self. For I think, therefore I am, as long as I am true to thy own self. Out of all this pain from the abyss I have become less self-centered, less self-pitying and much more compassionate towards others. But when I really look at life from a distance, I see that it truly is all about convenience for most of us. Least we be inconvenienced. Whether it be raising a family, chartering a career or volunteering our services to our fellow man. There is always the sense of what is in it for me.

A mature person that has grown up as the season come and go may see it differently for they were sowed in a garden of unconditional love. I on the other hand experienced my foundation of life through chaos and confusion, not knowing that spring, summer, fall and winter had as well, come and gone. The over shadowing and over bearing of my mother's feelings suffocated all those that were in her mist. For she too was a child born out of chaos and confusion and, however short her life was, she never made it into the class room of life that teaches the lessons we really need to learn to live to be happy, joyous and free and seeing love as not a thing of convenience. Love is an action, it is not just a mere word to be spoken and actions speak louder than words in the end.

Her broad of children all have different sights and sounds of memories from what they grew from, so are familiar to them as mine are to me. And yet others have a completely opposite understanding of events that unfolded around us all. Socrates said: Realty is the perception of time and space how it exists in our minds. I think for me I wasn't even present within my own mind and body. Just my spirit seemed to witness my salvation as I crawled, walked and ran from it all as I became a man.

Today, I stand on my own two feet, secure in my truth as I know it to be, regardless of the contentions of some of my fellow siblings. Their truth is theirs and this is mine. And with that said, may the seeds of growth, that are sown here today, create an even healthier out look for generations to come.

I am just learning to feel my truth and understand my history for what it is and not for what others would have it be. This is my life and I am free to share my experience, strength and hope as I wish. There is no such thing as defamation of character when you don't even know what it means to have a character. We didn't live by any healthy principals whether they be moral or valued. As far as I know, we just came into being and were pretty much left to our own devices, as we tried to stay alive in a world that has yet to eat any of us alive. But God only knows what tomorrow will bring. As long as I stay awake from here on out, I have a chance of knowing what it means to be love and be loved and to have had a full life. And for that I am grateful beyond any words I could write upon these pages. Godspeed!