On Death and Dying 

I died a while ago, not completely, just a small piece of me. Maybe someone noticed, maybe not. It matters to no one but me. I am not afraid of dying. I have said for many years now, "I could die tomorrow and I would die happy because I have done just about everything I have wanted to do. I don't want to die tomorrow because there are many more things I would like to do, but
when my time comes, I will accept it unconditionally." 

The piece of me that died recently will be missed at times but in its place is a piece of me that died many years ago. Guess what? That long ago dead piece came back. It replaced the piece of me, which has just died. I have sometimes wished for that long ago dead piece to return. The method of death of the present piece was not pretty but I strive to find no fault in its passing. It had lived out its usefulness and the time had come for the resurrection of my former piece of self. I embrace it. 

Once upon a time, long ago and in another place in time, I was soft, very, very soft. Gentle natured, just a bit spirited but generally quiet and unobtrusive. Meek and mild mannered would have described me quite well. As time went by, my psyche changed, maturing into an assertive, out spoken, opinionated persona. Whether it was for the better or worse, it happened, allowing me to survive. There were times I longed for that soft gentle person to return but deep down inside I knew it would make it very difficult to exist successfully through my trials and tribulations, or so I thought. How was I to know? Where was I to turn for guidance? I had done for myself for so long, I had no idea where to turn for alternative answers. I had my life and that of many others to watch out for and care for. I felt compelled to push myself to the maximum of my capabilities and beyond. What drove me? I can only make assumptions, most of which are not happy ones. 

Growing up with a controlling father who would comment "Well, that is good but there is 1% room for improvement", upon seeing a 99% test grade or report card mark I had worked so very hard to achieve. Living with what I thought would be my life-mate, the third significant man in my life, for whom
I could never seem to please either. A fourth, my second attempt at a life-mate, again brought nothing but failure. The inability to "be good enough" was constantly tormenting me. Teasing me, eating away slowly but steadily at my soul, tiny piece by piece. Contemplation brought no relief or answers to my search for success. I discovered just how controlling my father was some 20 years after he ended my first "romance". 

I had always been attracted to "the boy next door". The subject of my affections, in my mind, became a reality when I was a senior in high school. We began dating, as little as my father would allow. I can still feel the strong emotional bond that grew inside me towards this man/boy. Secretly we became engaged. My heart was overjoyed. So overjoyed I could no longer contain the secret and made a plan to share my joy with my family consisting of mom, dad and younger sister. As we traveled to my grandparent's home one weekend, I blurted out my exciting news. Expecting elation, I was given despair. My mom was very reserved in her comments, my father was vehement. He had planned out my life before my birth and NOTHING was going to get in his plan's way. NOTHING, not even my happiness. My father
had saved for his daughters to attend college, there was no way he would allow me to get married at my age in lieu of completing his plans. I was told to return the ring and I never heard from the man/boy again. All my life, since that day, I lived with the belief that again, I had not been good enough. Otherwise, why would he not have ever contacted me? It was about 20 years\ and many-attempted self-analysis' later that I heard from my mom the real story. Apparently my father, who was not only a lawyer but also a town judge at the time, informed the man/boy that if he ever made any type of contact with me, my father would see to it he was placed in jail for a long long time. All those years of believing I was not good enough were the result of my father's attempt to control my life. Little did he realize how successful he had been. I went on to college and a different path from my original desire. 

I can not know how different my life might have been, had I been allowed to marry at that young age. I do know that I like who I am and what I stand for. Who knows what would have become of me had I married so many years ago? Neither you nor I can change the past, we can only meditate on it and
hopefully learn from it. I am not now bitter, now have I ever been about the occurrences in my life. Bitterness does nothing but eat away at your soul by your own acceptance of it. There are so many other things attempting to eat away at our soul's, it seems futile to allow your own psyche to cannibalize as well. I find it much healthier to feel sympathy towards those who would seek to destroy my soul. 

Back to my recent death. Another attempt to rip a part of my soul from me, so it seems. The loss of things I had always held dear to me tore at my inner peace. I strove to find reason for this. I strove to find meaning for my pain. I strove to rectify a horrible situation. I strove with all my heart and being to not allow the bitterness to overcome me. So far, I have succeeded. I gave in to the fact that I could not "control" my destiny, I could only place my well being in God's hands, to do with what He would. I have passed my strife onto God and with it went the pain and suffering I had been enduring deep into
my soul. As I passed this on to God, the "tough survivor" in me died at that moment and in its place I was gifted with the return of my "soft, gentle soul piece". The calmness that accompanied this transformation is unequaled. I know in my heart I can still survive, yet I no longer have to be "the tough
guy" persona I had grown to believe was necessary for survival. I have learned many things in my hour of desperation and will do all within my power to implement these gifts given to me. I do not long for that which was taken from me. I accept what God has planned for me and pray that I may please Him in all His wisdom by traveling my path honorably. 

By the way, I know now that I am good enough, at least good enough for my God and me. What more could a person ask for, but to know they are good enough? 

Copyright by barefoot warrior


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