• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 05
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The beauty

But you realize it's not your place to determine which life may remain living because it is beautiful, nor which should be put down because it isn't. These are your criteria, your frustrations. No one else questions such things because it's life and, yes, you could say "Without it you'd be dead," but it's more than that, isn't it?

It's not the sorrow or the agony or the shame that's going to end when life is extinguished by whatever hand, takes it. All of the unpleasantness of this world can be dealt with here and now. But you've got to accept what you've done instead of merely letting shame overshadow everything else.

You're missing the whole point of being alive. Doesn't it matter that everyone else has things they're saddened by, things they've done and said, things they did or failed to do when the moment called for it, things they wish they could go back and change?

But none of these truths soften the blow of your own mistakes. You hurt a lot of people. You, the "ugly" waterfowl—you did a lot of damage before you discovered none of it could ever be undone. Even if they forgave you, they would remember.

Then you learned that you too would remember, that it was you, not they, who failed to forgive you. The real mortification comes in the following bit of revealing, doesn't it?: You wanted to do the right thing always, to say the right thing always. To impress them and yourself, to make yourself believe you were good.

The ones who endured you as a "guest" in their house never told you, did they? No one attains perfection, not the kind you're looking for. To go through life having made no mistakes, having hurt no one, with no regrets to haunt and hound you into remembrance?


The beauty

Such a feat is not only unrealistic, it's simply a pipe dream. You learn by going where you have to go, isn't that what the master said? That's how you avoid making similar mistakes in the future, by remembering from and learning from the past. Not by crucifying yourself into not living anymore, not trying to live and love and learn anymore.

As usual, you're taking your "lessons" too far. You are the "ugly" duckling calling ugly "ugly." But really you're just trying to hit rock bottom when, for you, rock bottom is merely being human. Can't you for once allow yourself the luxury of forgiveness? Of looking yourself in the mirror and seeing what there is, the sum total of who is there, instead of only the ugliness of lessons learned?

Most would call such "ugliness" unavoidable, and it is. Now if only you could accept this. Forgive yourself your missteps and move on with your life…you too might be held by arms large and loving. Because you too are a part of everything alive and dead, the ugliness, yes, but also the beauty you've never once spoken of here.