“Let go, be confident, know that now is only a moment, and if today is as bad as it gets understand that by tomorrow today would have ended. Be gracious, accept each extended hand offered to pull you back from the somewhere you cannot escape. Be diligent.
Remember all the times you could have pressed quit, but you hit continue.
A simple smile could be the first-aid kit that someone has been looking for. If you believe with absolute honesty that you’re doing everything you can–do more.
Listen to the insight of those who have been there but have come back. Everyone knows pain, we are not meant to carry it forever.”
Shane Koyczan is legit, as you have just witnessed. There is so much going on in all of his poems that you have to hear them a few times to take them all in.
I love this one in particular, because I remember pressing continue when I wanted to quit. It was early 2008. I had finally stopped being so stubborn and took the hands of those willing to help. I developed deep compassion and empathy for all those in pain. I understood that no matter the circumstances pain plays out the same.
I had bad days filled with glimpses of good. And the nuggets of goodness were enough to remind me that just on the other side of the clouds, the sun was shining on those who needed a turn.
I un-clenched my hands and let go, just as described. I allowed myself to mend and heal through stories of those who had come back from their own tragedy–stronger, proud, alive.
When the good days began to outnumber the bad, I started to find joy in the unlikeliest of places. Or was it the gratitude that had shifted the bad to the good? Either way, I was smiling again. Offering my hand to others. Standing tall in my strength, supporting my own spine … it had been a while.
I’m better for having known it. Beauty knows no boundary when it is compared to darkness.
I choose to see the light.
I haven’t had a bad day since I started paying attention. Late 2008-early 2009.
I leave you with this: Listen to that poem one more time. Close your eyes and just listen.