What I have to say may offend some people, however I write it with concern and love. I went to my Aunts funeral service today, a celebration of her life said the Pastor.Now my Aunt was 70 and considering the trials she had endured in her life I guess that was not a bad age. This was a mixed affair for me, I didn’t feel a huge sense of loss for my Aunt, we were just not that close. It was sad to see the brokenness of those close to her. There was a real sadness as I looked at her children, my contemporaries, the ravages of drug addiction and alcoholism were all over them. One of them is terminally ill because of his addictions. I had good memories by and large of my Aunt but I was painfully aware of how hard her life had been, a narrative of abuse ran through her early life, then within marriage that continued as well. She was a wonderful creative sewer and cook and a beautiful dancer. I know that the state of her children broke her heart on a regular basis. Now some of the reasons these cousins of mine are like they are is genetic with a predisposition to addictions running through the family line. Some of it was environmental as well with a narrative of sexual abuse running through as well. I understand these two issues well,
It could be argued that they had good reason to turn to booze and drugs but the question that resonated through my mind is why did they succumb and others in similar circumstances not? I have written about factors in change in previous postings, looking at how fear is a major driver in this. But the largest driver in all of this is really about choice, taking personal responsibility for our lives. There are many things that happen to us in our life time, many not fair and some very hurtful and destructive, some of these are a result of poor decisions some we have had no influence over but we always have a choice. Our choice is not in whether these things happen to us or not but in how we react to them.
Funerals are for the living as a friend of mine said and I gave what comfort I could but the greatest comfort I took was in talking with some of my other cousins who had a similar narrative run through their lives and seeing that they had broken the mold creating life and hope and an alternative narrative for themselves and their children and their childrens children, hope, life and love. I came away with a lighter heart and a reminder of the power of choice.
Winning the battle of a healthy mind which means winning the battle of a healthy body is about actively making choices, weight loss and fitness is never accidental it is a deliberate act. If it ha to be then it is up to me.
Live well, love with passion and remember that we are only ever the thickness of an artery wall away from eternity. Try to mend bridges rather than burn them and remeber there is always another way we always have choice.