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February 26, 2008

Message to the People: Moments of clarity: Post-Valentine’s Day Message

Every once in a while, I write a message about emotions instead of politics; feelings instead of ferocity. I’m feeling in that mood this month. Maybe February and all the so-called “love” surrounding Valentine’s Day does it to me. Who knows? Either way, here’s my first post-Valentine’s Day Message. So, let’s take a break from liquor sales in West Louisville, state government’s proposed rape of higher education, and even the ongoing tiff between Obama and Clinton, and talk about that love thing one more time.Question. Where’s the real love when the candy is eaten and the flowers have died? Hmm. Life is funny. It twists, turns and sometimes tosses us into situations we never could have imagined. Some are more devastating than others. Importantly, these life-altering dilemmas can grant us moments of clarity — not only about the troubles, but also about the people in our lives.I’m a pretty strong guy who generally makes good decisions that keep my back off the mat. So, I know that one of the benefits of good decisions is a relatively successful and often uncomplicated life. These lives are very attractive. People fly to them like moths to flames. Many of these people assure you that they love you and will be there for you no matter what. Then trouble comes.It doesn’t matter whether the trouble is a result of a bad decision on your part or the random movement of the universe. The point is, when it hits you and you are flat on your back — that’s the time when you need the ones who supposedly love you to step up. Sometimes they do. Many times, unfortunately, they don’t. This is lesson time, folks. In the midst of your pain, you must learn.It is so easy to love and support people at the top of their games. They require very little of you. They want you in their lives but do not necessarily need you to carry them. They are often happy, easy-going and fun. Their lives are so cool, in fact, that the majority of the time they can support you rather than needing you to buoy them up. Great times. Yeah, great times. Unfortunately, you can’t tell one damn thing about how much someone cares about you or how much you care about them during these happy times. It’s the dark times that tell the story. No matter which side of the equation you’re on (mistake-maker or lover of that person) — love (platonic, familial or romantic) demands certain things during these periods.So there you are, Mr./Ms. Formerly Happy Person. You’re in your own hell now … laying naked at the bottom of your empty mental well, curled up in an embryo position — broken. You frown more than smile, cry just as much as you don’t. The walls are closing in on you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.Look around now, gentle reader. Where are those who “love” you, and how are they handling you? Do they center on your pain or their own? Do they soothe you or use your vulnerable state to exploit you? Do they think about furthering your healing or their own agenda? Do they comfort you and build you up or judge you and break you down? Do they try to take things off your plate or add more to it? Are they there for the long haul or just temporarily? When you’re at your lowest, are they your rock or do they exact another pound of flesh in your moments, hours and days of weakness? Ah, yes. Where is the love now?Of course, we all have been on both sides. Maybe you aren’t the one taking the life-kick in the chest. Maybe someone you supposedly love is. You must ask yourself, “How am I handling this person I say I love?” Be honest.Bottom line is, these are the times of test. They are the makers and breakers. The sad thing is, often the people we thought loved us throw us to the dogs. Pay attention to their actions … and never forget. But, here’s the good! Sometimes people emerge who we never thought would be there. Pay attention to their love. There is another end to the tunnel, and your moments of clarity may allow you to come out with a stronger set of supporters and truer love. Clarity … clarity. Contact the writer at blackvanguard@hotmail.com