Saturday, September 17, 2011

on death and dying

This isn’t about the death of the body. I would never presume to know enough about grieving to write about it. That conversation is saved for those who have had grief touch them so fundamentally that is has changed their lives forever. My grief is more selfish than that.
I’m writing about the death and dying of a belief.

There are some things you learn that resonate so strongly within you that they become a fundamental part of you. You take it into yourself and it changes how you teach. You build a framework of learning around this belief and it supports your words and actions.

It seems that there inevitably comes a time, though, where you must turn away from this belief and question it. You doubt it. You discover an ugliness in this belief, because you see it contrasted it against its negative.

Your whole system of values and reason tip over, and you feel something die in your heart. It is the death of a conviction, the ending of an era. You turn to a viewpoint that you never thought you would, and it saves you as the other part, which was so righteous and unreasonable, crumbles and loses its strength.

And then you understand that there are no absolutes, no guarantees, and no one can really save you if you aren’t willing to save yourself.

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