Sometimes I’m just confused by the way the World works. Is anyone else there with me? It just doesn’t make sense. I look around me and see much goodness and so much sadness as well. It all just seems so random and unfair. Good, kind people experience horrific atrocities, and seemingly selfish people live these lavish, carefree lifestyles jet setting to the Bahamas for no reason at all. It just seems like a bunch of bullshit, to be honest. On days like today that feels particularly true. However, I was recently taught an important lesson that I had already thought I had learned, but apparently needed to learn again.
I had just finished listening to an awful account of a trauma that someone had experienced. Everyday, I hear accounts of the most tragic and atrocious things you can think of. Rape, abuse, death, loss, grief, immense pain, every kind of tragedy you can imagine. This is my job. I’m kind of twisted, because I love my job. Also I get that someone has to be the vessel for this stuff, somebody has to be willing hold some of these tragedies for others. That is my gift and my lot in life. I accept that and expect nothing in return. Truly, I don’t. I just want to help people heal.
On this particular day I was told a horrific story about a young girl’s life, I’ll spare you the details. This story was so horrific, I had trouble hearing it. I hear a lot of stuff, and for this to happen the story needs to be extreme to say the least. After hearing it, I went to a friend and colleague of mine and asked “How do you keep doing this? How do you hear this stuff day after day, and not let it just destroy your faith in humanity?”
Then she responded with something remarkably poetic,“The darkness has to equal the light.” She began to explain that she is no longer surprised anymore by what she hears. It goes both ways, the potential for depravity in the human has to match the potential for beauty. For all the tragedy in the world, there is an equal and opposite amount of beauty and wonder. This is tough to remember some days. I work hard to remind myself of this, it’s easy to forget when there’s so many depressing things happening around me.
I remind myself often that I have seen some remarkable and amazing things in this world. The potential for love by a human being is infinite. This could not be more true as I have seen my friends turn the most tragic event imaginable, losing their precious daughter, into something amazing, something so unbelievably brilliant and “bright” the effect continues to spread all over the world.
The Brighton a Day Foundation was created by Kevin and Bethany Tenney to help families and parents grieving from the loss of a child. Weeks after the sudden loss of their beautiful four year old girl, Brighton, they turned tragedy into love! This cause is close to my heart because these two people have become some of our closest friends. Kevin and Bethany take their life together and dedicate it to others. I don’t know how they do it, to be quite frank. Their kindness and love never ceases to amaze me. I spend my days listening to people who experience loss and it destroys them. But not these two, they go on. Spreading the light their daughter left behind.
Today is Brighton’s Angel Day. It’s been two years, and they go on. I watch them, close up. I see what it means to be strong. I see what it means to thrive despite having the deck stacked against them. I see what it means to desperately cling to glimmers of hope on the dark days and it gives me the strength to go on too.
Please take a minute today and think about your life. It is unfair. It is bullshit. Yet you must go on. There’s ways to make it. Find meaning. Find a cause. Find a reason to live your life! Doing so drowns out the darkness and brings light to those around you. And that my friends, is the meaning of life. Helping others in their darkest moments, stepping into the dark with them. There in we find the light within ourselves, we often never even knew existed.