|Grace Abaho Sr|
I am a flawed human being, I self-acknowledge that I am and that helps me face my demons. Unlike so many of my peers or worse people older than I am, they want to hide in plain sight and present themselves as the angels the lord just sent to save the world. Like so many people out there, I have seen both light and darkness in my life but every way that comes through, I see darkness as the means through which we all know the power of light: light is what shines in a place full of darkness, not what presents itself as light. To see the darkness, you have to know what there is in a dark place.
Sometimes telling a story about our lives is hard, or we don't know how to do it but here is the truth:
The difference between despair and hope is just a different way of telling stories from the same set of facts. Only a small number of us ever self-consciously write our autobiographies. It is a task we associate with celebrities and the very old – but it is, in the background, a universal activity. We may not be publishing our stories, but we are writing them in our minds nevertheless. Every day finds us weaving a story about who we are, where we are going and why events happened as they did.Many of us are strikingly harsh narrators of these life stories. We hint to ourselves that we’ve been morons from the beginning. We’ve stuffed up big time. It’s been one disaster after another. That’s how we go about narrating, especially late at night, when our reserves of optimism run dry and the demons return.
My friend and personal mentor C. JoyBell C put it better for us— “People want to have a clean world, but they will not bend over to pick up a piece of trash at their feet. People want to worship the image of Jesus Christ on the walls of the church, but they forget that Jesus died a very violent death in order for them to be able to do that. Jesus walked with the sick, the lost, and the bruised. Jesus did not for a single moment turn his face from the negative darkness in the world and in other people.
In reality, the current state of humanity's obsession with positivity is the thing destroying people on the inside, and the planet on the outside.
Show me a person who will touch the sick, eat with the lost, and not fear the darkness in others, and I will show you a holy person.
I believe strongly in positivity and light. The difference with me and others though, is that I believe in producing light, not just basking in it. I believe in making diamonds out of rocks. It's positive, but it's not surface stuff. It's roots stuff. Rootwork.
To have a beautiful rose, make sure the soil is good. Others may want to have a garden full of roses and I want that too, but I know that a garden full of roses comes from a good soil and long roots. I am the maker of the garden; I am not just the one who wants to walk through it. And I believe that there should be more makers of gardens.”
Those are without doubt words of truth and honesty; it is what is gone wrong with our world. Growing up and through life, I have seen and lived through so many self-righteous people who present themselves as perfection-flags but that’s all wacky. Perfection is Photoshop: Unlike perfection, you can work with what’s imperfect, you can work make imperfect ideas better, you can change imperfect objects, you can relate to imperfect people. Imperfection is opportunity. It’s workable, ownable, and worthwhile. Perfection is Photoshop. It’s fakery. It’s unrealistic. It’s a refusal to accept complexity and reality. There are no perfect mothers, bosses, workers, victims, athletes, thinkers, or leaders. There are no perfect people.
I at times do some moral-policing, of course, but it is often through darkness that I see the light, not basking in the light, this way I see the darkness and light in appropriate lenses. Darkness is real and so is light but it is imperative that once we come to terms with that, we do not hide in plain sight to overlook one of the most disturbing facets of human evolution: darkness and light.
I recently read a very important article on the dangers of a good child, that so many of us may relate with, it said things that only I would have loved to say on my own if I hadn’t met that beautiful piece. In this article, I found these golden words: the good child becomes a keeper of too many secrets and an appalling communicator of unpopular but important things. They say lovely words, they are experts in satisfying the expectations of their audiences, but their real thoughts and feelings stay buried and then generate psychosomatic symptoms, twitches, sudden outbursts and sulphurous bitterness.
In one of the movies I love so much, the Great Divorce, based on C. S. Lewis’ book, in one scene of the movie, a certain man refuses to enter heaven because a man he knew so well was a “sinner” was already one of the people he saw there, he instead chose hell. The essence of this story is that, if we don’t stop to look for what we don’t disagree with in people, and focus on what makes us better as human siblings: just like God intended for us, we aren’t even an inch closer to how we present ourselves to the world, or want the world to look at us. Be unapologetically you but remember to face your demons, acknowledging the existence of darkness in our lives is the first step to being a better human being: we see the light through the darkness.