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Everyday an Epiphany.

October 5, 2009

EverydayEpiphanyRecently, a friend on twitter asked me to tell him about an epiphany that I’ve had in my life. And his question spurred me to write about just that. Epiphanies of life. He is creating an epiphany video collection, so I’ll be sure and link when it is done.

It all caught up with me in the moment he called them ‘warriors’. Just then, at 10 after 6 on this particular Thursday morning, I, an adult man, (although my brain was barely functioning) almost cried. (And, if I did cry, I probably wouldn’t say so here.)

I had been working with fifteen homeless men, cooking breakfast, grits to be exact, when Mr. Clay addressed the rest of the men there. All of these men were suffering.  Being homeless creates more than just physical discomfort. It causes extreme mental and emotional distress as well. Some of these men were abandoned by their families. Most were stinging from the pain of recent sobriety. And others hadn’t had a job in years. But all of them were recovering. Hanging on, even if only by their fingernails. And here they were. Together now as Mr. Clay addressed them all. He was encouraging, motivating, and inspiring each one of them to keep fighting. To be warriors in this fight for their lives. And they were very literally fighting for their lives, while changing mine. They taught me true strength, humility and grace during the season I spent with them.

After my grandmother got sick, I learned the value of relationships and stories. Of memories and of love.

I learned independence and courage only when I moved to DC and traveled alone abroad.

Almost as quickly as I fell in the love for the first time, I was taught the power of heartbreak. And how to turn pain into good.

Living an outsider’s life, has taught me that everyone is an insider. All of us, though in this world are not of this world. And we are ALL equals.

Each of my battles, whether it felt like victory or disaster at the time, have been epiphanies of my life. I’ve gained so much both in my mind and in my heart.

And I’ve realized the more I travel through this life, the more I have to learn. The more I have to gain. Sometimes I do feel like I’ve brought a stick to a gunfight. But I know, I’ll always need much more than what is within myself. And that’s okay. I’ll make it because I’ve got love on my side. I’ve got the room to grow.

I’ve always heard ‘You die pretty much how you live.’ Well, I want to end this life discovering, uncovering, and being surprised, so that’s how I’ll live. Some lessons I’ve learned in seconds. Others have taken years. But each epiphany has lasted longer than the ‘Eureka’ I’ve yelled. I want to spend every day as an epiphany, learning from every step along the rest of my way.

What are some of your life’s most important epiphanies?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. courtney903 permalink
    October 5, 2009 11:45 pm

    Your epiphany is so much better than mine. I’m putting together my video right now and it’s basically about a Reba McEntire cassette tape. Ah well.

    We did kind of touch on a similar point, though… that there’s never just one epiphany in life. It’s constant growth and discovery. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • October 6, 2009 7:32 am

      ah, I can’t wait to see your epiphany! I think it’s a great project for the simple reason that it made me think about learning from a new perspective. And, so glad we have that similar theme in our videos. That makes us credible, right? 🙂

  2. October 5, 2009 11:53 pm

    Ah, it’s so true that there are so many epiphanies in life… but one of my recent ones came when I read a line about how “the future you have tomorrow is not the same future you had yesterday.” (I can’t recall where this was off the top of my head…)

    I realized that there’s so much truth in that. Each day stands alone, and what happens in each day can affect what happens in future days. Our future can always be changed by the decisions we make each day, etc.

    I think maybe this line of thought has something to do with why I’m so fascinated with the concept behind the story line in FlashForward.

  3. Brannon permalink
    October 6, 2009 12:17 am

    Wonderful story. Glad you were able to glean some positivity and life lessons from your work with the homeless men.

    I especially like the fourth quote in gray.

    I can’t say I’ve experienced as many positive epiphanies as you have. Most of my revelations have actually led to irritation instead of inspiration so I don’t know if they are worth sharing. But thanks for sharing this. I have a feeling you have a lot to teach others.

    • October 6, 2009 7:38 am

      Thanks, Brannon. That 4th quote has been my most recent epiphany, but the strongest I’ve had. And, I have to say, many times my epiphanies begin with irritation, too. It helps me to remember that not too long before though, i didn’t know what i know now. As much as we want our realizations to be overnight inspirations, most of the time it doesn’t happen that way. Hope you are continuing to get well.

  4. October 9, 2009 5:22 pm

    I was not familiar with the word “epiphany” before, but what is a curious, Swedish girl to do but use a thesaurus: “revelation”. I knew that one. 🙂

    God, there are so many and just like you say, they will grow with me, as time is just another word for perspective.

    Growing up in “two worlds” with my mom coming from a simple small town family and my dad’s family being fancy rich city folks I have learnt that people are people and status means nothing, when someone is broke or sick or needs comfort.

    On the other hand, I have realized that successful people (not necessarily rich) have often made big sacrifices and worked hard. There are no short-cuts to a finish line.

    Living with a friend that had eating disorders and low self esteem I know that our state of mind effects our actions and that people that often hurt others really are crying for help and wants to be loved.

    Traveling, I have learnt that life plays out in so many ways, all the time, all over the world and that it is so much bigger than what I see in front of my eyes every day. At the same time, it is not smaller than that either. I guess life is an experience or an empty canvas if you will.

    Meeting my “reflection”, I have experienced the two sided coin that portraits our reality: Love and Fear. I have been in the state of pure love and I have felt it literally “open up” everything, only to experience the same “closed down” reaction of fear. And this is just how it goes…it’s a choice, a struggle that makes us human.

    Hope I’m not twisting your head around with my ramblings. It’s late over here, haha!

    Take care,

    Helen

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