There aren't a lot of people out there in the world who can look at their lives and admit that they have stood on the Edge and contemplated going over. There are fewer people still that can say that they went over the edge and were able to come back.
What differentiates someone who has it all together (at least from the outside) and the person who struggles on a day to day basis just to hold it together?
What qualities does the person have who was able to sit in the darkness and see the light of hope, versus the person that no matter how many candles were lit, was never able to escape the darkness?
I have spent more time in my life in that darkness, than I care to admit, and there were times I can also admit that the darkness seemed so all encompassing that I lost hope that the light would ever find me.
What made the difference in my life? What makes a difference in others' lives?
It can be such a simple word, and a word that seems unattainable to so many people who struggle on a day to day basis. How can you have hope when you feel so hopeless? How can you hope to escape the shame that seems to permeate every area of your life? How can you even imagine going through one more day, when you just want the pain to stop?
My story, which is the only one I can tell, is about finding Hope through the hope of others. I had lived my life knowing that society was filled with people who felt like me, but it was when I listened to the brutal honesty of others who were brave enough to share their stories of Hopelessness, that the smallest bit of light seemed to break through. Then I listened to another story and the light got brighter.
The difference in my life came when I discovered that even though my mind screamed at me every day that I was Alone, that in fact I was part of a larger family of people who felt just like me. Through their shared stories of pain, heartache, and recovery, I learned that I wasn't alone and that I had an obligation to reach out to others who felt that they too were alone.
We all have a Purpose. Sometimes your purpose is just to hold the light long enough for it to reach others and sometimes it is to go back into the Darkness that you know so well, and light the path for others to find their way out.
For me, I'm going in after them, because my Purpose is to leave no one behind.
What's Your Purpose?