People often say that you shouldn’t make excuses, that you should just go and do, well what if what you believe or feel isn’t an excuse? What if the way you’re thinking was a fact to you and not an excuse? What many perceive as an excuse may not be – excuses sound different to everyone.
For instance, if I say I am worthless, from my perspective I am basing that statement on my experiences, or the way I was raised, and the way I’ve been treated—therefore, how can you say to me, or I to you, that what you believe is an excuse?
People want you to think, believe, act, the way they would in any given situation, but the truth is, they aren’t you, so how can they tell you what to feel? And who are they anyway? A lot of people struggle their entire lives with identity crisis. Who am I? What an I? Does anyone see me?
Let’s get personal for a moment, when I was born, I was told my grandmother didn’t want anything to do with me, but we ultimately became the best of everything—she was everything to me. I miss her dearly, she treated me like a precious, priceless, gem to be adored and wanted, but that all came to a crashing end when I was sixteen.
At the age of eleven or so, I found out that my mother never wanted me, she, to this day, wished I was never born. She said I am a mistake, and that she regretted not having an abortion—really? Did I mess up her life? Did I do something to her that would make her feel this way? The only answer is yes, but only based on her perspective. She used me has an excuse why her life didn’t go down the paths she believed they should.
Imagine if you will a mother, seventeen years-old forced to have a child she didn’t want. Forced to watch the man she still loves marry someone else and have a life with him that she always wanted. Imagine if you will that child looking exactly like her father, the man her mother could never have, although she wishes for every day.
Now imagine every pain, every hurt, every disappoint because of that man being taken out on the child? Can you imagine that? Can you imagine how the child feels? Imagine how the child yearns for her mother to acknowledge that she’s special, is important, is valuable and that never comes. How does this child, or anyone for that matter get over this?
How do they find value in themselves knowing that not only has no one ever shown them value or defined what a valuable person is, but knows that no matter how good they are, nice they are, or responsible they are—they’ll never be good enough, they’ll never matter.
What do you say to a person when they say, “I just want to disappear?” Nothing. Don’t let them fall into the temptation, don’t let them make excuses, don’t don’t don’t! This is what we say instead, “you’re hope has been built on nothing, but you’re important. You are valued. Your situation is not hopeless.
Truth is, keeping hope alive seems to be a mantra; belief in hope is probably why most people look beyond their excuses and try to just live.
Understanding that keeping hope alive is a risk, most people aren’t wired this way rarely do they see hope – hope is a feeling! Most people don’t realize where their hope comes from, but will by any means necessary keep hope alive.
People made jokes about Jesse Jackson when he said in his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia in 1988 that we should “keep hope alive,” to keep living for your dreams and don’t be dismayed.
Easy, huh, Jesse a lot of people said, but think about where that came from. Jacksom lived through Civil Rights and the death of not only his close friend, Dr. King someone he admired for his stance against inequality; then there’s Malcolm X, and although most of us will never know that kind of life nor will ever understand how he kept hope alive—it doesn’t diminish the fact that keeping hope alive is extremely difficult.
So now what? Now, you simply cry it out, live fearlessly, and yes, keep hope alive!