vendredi 10 juin 2011

WHEN LIVING BECOMES AN EXPLOIT

They may have known days of relief, when the bitter memories disappear. They may have loved a beautiful song, enjoyed a delicious meal. They may have met someone special, lived a great love story. They may have entered into a deeper relationship with their maker. They surely may have known days of happiness again …

Though there are no ideals in the world, let your family be one for you. Keep on surviving for them. No matter what you might think, they are the ones who really love you. They are the only ones you’ve got in this world.

When the dark days come, the sadness and the anger overwhelm you. One thing remains on your mind: get rid of this body which produces such suffering.

Life is synonymous with happiness, joy, gladness. To be happy is not a privilege for human beings. We are actually ‘living’ when we are happy because it is the real nature of life. You can live a hundred years in this state without getting worried about the act of living. Some people are blessed with living these days. It is great grace to be always cheerful in your life.
Others are not thus. There are some people who find it hard to enjoy living. Some come into the world with a sad countenance. Some become gloomy as they grow up. Some isolate themselves, especially when they are highly sensitive to the functioning of the world around them. Some withdraw from society in rebellion to the ways of the world. Others lose their joy of living due to some sad events that come their way.

To these people, living has become a burden. The dark days are so frequent leading them to question the meaning of their existence. The bright days may be 99 but the one dark day is so dreary that you forget you had ever been happy in your life. It erases from your memory all the beauties you had ever cherished so that you are tempted to cause the irreparable damage.

I ask myself in the dark days: “How have I been able to live 26 years on earth when it is so hard to live?”

This article is for you. You who are often taken in these dark days: those days in which you feel of no importance to anybody; in which you feel guilty of the evil that happen to people; in which you think you are to blame for the negative events that occur in the world; in which you hate all people around you and feel they hate you too. For you whose dreams have been crushed, who loath your dreams that fell short of your expectations. For you whose hopes have disappointed, who have given up in your search for happiness.

I had my crisis in 1998 when I was 16. I felt to be the most evil person in the world. I numbered my sins and they were more than the sand on the shore. I was ashamed of them. I hated my family and believed they hated me too. I wanted to kill everybody and didn’t care anymore about the realisation of my dreams. Then I thought of putting an end to my miserable life.

There were about 12 of us in my family and the house was not always quiet. The building was overcrowded, the neighbourhood, full of noisy people. Yet I was a solitary being. I had no friends and rarely spoke to anyone except at school. Extremely quiet at home, I lived in my mind's eye. I imagined fantastic stories and was taken in a world of my own creation.
I was in Form Four and was certain to fail my exams. I thought my success at school was the only thing that made my family a little relieved of me. I considered that if I failed, my family would hate me completely. Apart from school, I could do nothing well. I went on nursing evil thoughts and these invaded my heart. I soon made a resolution and didn’t care about the consequences. Thus, all was set for my departure in 1998.

This is 2007. I thank God for saving my life. If I had left in 1998, I wouldn’t have seen the beauties of the year 2000. What a memorable time with my family! If I had gone earlier, I wouldn’t have known Don Moen’s and Paul Wilbur’s music, Rivers of Joy, Jerusalem Arise and Baruch Ha Ba which made me so joyful. I wouldn’t have seen the Olympic Games of 2000 and 2004 or the World Cups of ’98, ‘02 and ‘06. I wouldn’t have written songs to the Lord and known Him as He has been revealed to me these last years.
I am so grateful to God who did not allow me to take away my life in my ignorance, deceived by my thoughts. If I had left in 1998, I would have lost much and most important, would have caused tremendous suffering to my family.

I am writing for you who are passing through difficult moments right now; you who are in these dark days. You who are desperate about your situation. You who are angry with the people around you. You who feel nobody understands you. You who are undergoing a hard time and something mounts up in your mind as a solution.

Nobody Violence Nobody Suicide

Today, the dark days are even more frequent. I sometimes question God “Where is the abundant life you have come to give? All I see around is my misery. Yes, I am in Europe. I am an African in a European university. What a prestige! I have a room all for myself. I have all things I need. Everything is great materially. Thank you Lord.
“But now, say not that I am ungrateful but permit me to tell what I feel inside. I am terribly, deeply, profoundly SAD. In Cameroon I was sad and told you to bring me here for me to be happy. I promised I would do many things for you when I get here. Forgive me; I feel I can't because I hate this place. I hated Douala and today, I hate this city even more. I don’t care about good food, watching films, meeting the Dutch players, de Boer, van Nistelrooy… whom I have sought for 10 years. I don’t want to return to Douala, I don’t want to live in this place, I don’t want to go to school, I don’t care about anything. I hate this life. I don’t want to live. I don’t want to make any efforts. Set me free.”

One evening, I stood before the cross on a churchyard and wept for the pain. I felt that I was nothing, that I had nothing, that I knew nothing. All I could utter were the words of this song; I believe in the Lord, I believe in Jesus. I doubted the sincerity of my words but I trusted in my confession. I felt these nine words were all I could claim as mine in this world. This was all I had though with no faith, no works, no love.

And you will cry, cry and cry again till you are worn out. You will cry until your strength fails. You will cry so that you won’t sleep at night. You will cry all night so that you won’t wake up in the morning. You will cry so that you won’t get out of bed, so that you won’t eat.

Had I ever known living to be so difficult?

I can’t bear it. The sadness is piercing; it penetrates right into my heart. I am so sad. I can find no way out. God what is this? The solution is to get rid of this body so that the sadness may vanish. But my family, my family loves me. Do unto others what you want them to do unto you. I will not forgive if any commits such act. How could I do this to them? But why do they love me?
Look at me, see the evil in me. How can they love me who want to repay their good with evil? They did everything for me to further my studies in Europe so that I may succeed and ‘save’ them from poverty back at home. Now I don’t want to do anything in this place and I am scared of facing them. I don’t want to see their disappointment. Why do they place their hopes in me? I can't help them. I am nothing, I don’t know anything. Let them forget me and let me go to my place.

In 2003, I recounted my crisis of 1998 to one of my sisters and she was alarmed and utterd: "How could you ever think that we didn't love you?” Yet I had spent most of my childhood and teenage believing that they hated me; to the extent of considering something beyond repair.

I wrote this article after seeing a report on American soldiers who committed suicide after returning from the war in Iraq. One was 23, another was particularly handsome. I was still in my dark days yet I was grieved to see young people taking away their lives. I felt sorry for them though the day wasn’t bright for me. I had understood that the dark days, though may last for a night, for a day, a week, a month, a year, for years …, yet shall pass and the bright days shall come. As sure as the day comes after the night, so will the bright days come after the dark ones.

You who have been crushed by life, who don’t find your place anywhere in society, who see yourself on the sidelines, who feel that there is nothing again for you here on earth. You who think that all is finished for you, you who are lonely and feel nobody loves you, who have lost hope, who are desperate about your life; who are on the brink of suicide. You who are stranded in life with an impression of being caught in a trap; you didn’t ask to be here yet you are forced to bear with this hard-knock life.

Living is an exploit and we are all heroes.

I had a nightmare. I was in a church before the Blessed Sacrament. As I prayed, a horror fell on me. I heard an overwhelming voice rebuking me: “You say that you want to leave. Come now.” Fear seized me. I knew the voice had come to take me away. That was what I had asked for before I slept that night. I was afraid and started to cry saying: “No, I don’t want to go.” Then I woke up terribly frightened. I became scared of death. I rose up and prayed that I didn’t want to die anymore.

No matter how hard live has been afterwards, I had never wanted to die

Everybody’s suffering is unique in the world. Nobody can know what you are passing through. But as a companion, now passing through hard times, one who once had given credit to suicide, this message is for us. There is still hope, there is still a dream for us, we are called to do something great. We are called to be heroes.

What is your exploit?

To cry, to cry and yet to sleep again, though at 4am. What is your exploit? To sleep, to sleep and yet to wake up again though at 3pm. To fast, to fast and yet to eat again, though after 2 days. To stay indoors, to shut yourself in, and yet to go out again though after a week. To go out, to forget everything, to greet people, to laugh, to eat, to watch TV, to play, to come back home in the evening. To feel the sadness swelling up again and… to cry again. To cry, to cry yet to sleep again though at 3 am. To sleep, to sleep and yet to wake up again though at 6 am. And this, for the rest of the day, for the rest of the week, for the rest of the month, for the rest of the year, years...

This is your exploit: to live, to live and to live, again and again, and always to live.

We are living beings and have been created to live. Don’t question why it is so. This is what we are. It might be unfair, but that is what we are. Live, though it is so hard. Live again and again and again, for that is what you are, a living being. And this will be your exploit in the world.

Another certain fact is that one day we shall all leave this world. We all are pilgrims here. We could live two hundred years on earth, yet we shall one day depart. None of us was here two hundred years ago. Where were we when the things we read in history took place? I wasn’t here during Bob Marley’s time but here I am. I was not, now I am. After a time, I won’t be. Why then hasten the departure?
No one can create life; no one can bring back to life those who have died. This miracle is great. I live though I don’t know the mysteries thereof. I am certain Someone does know the reason of my life. It cannot be purposeless. I have been given this life; it is not of my own making. I won’t lift up my hand to it take away for I don’t know the power that lies therein.

I will endure, I will bear all things, I will survive, I will live and I will be a hero. Though life had been like a burden to me, I have accomplished an exploit. I am of the category you would call heroes. What is my exploit? I have lived.

I am writing in one of those dark days.

Live though you have no work; though you have no money; though people laugh at you; though you have no one to love; though you have no husband, no wife, no child; though you still depend on your parents; though your juniors overtake you; though you have failed; though you feel so bad inside. Live still. You are a hero because you keep on living, even in the face of such shame, humiliation and bitterness. Live still.

Remember always: you are a Hero.
Live buddy, LIVE.

Written by Margaret Newmeli
16 November 2007
Modified in October 2009, February 2010