🥀🌊"You can’t really begin to appreciate life until it has knocked you down a few times. You can’t really begin to appreciate love until your heart has been broken. And you can’t really begin to appreciate happiness until you’ve known sadness. Once you’ve walked through the valley, the view from the mountaintop is breathtaking.“🌄💕✨
Pain, fear, sorrow, and loss are going to come to each of us. Sure we meditate and we seek delivery from “suffering” but is this attainable? I mean can regular people with jobs, kids, school, and other responsibilities do this? What does it mean to be “free of suffering” anyway? I think a great many people think that if they read enough, learn enough, meditate enough and live a moral life that they will reach a sort of breakthrough where a switch is turned on and, voilà, there is no more pain.
I don’t think this is what the Buddha meant. We must ask ourselves is an existence in a perpetual state of bliss desirable? Sure, when we are hurting inside it sounds like just the thing, but, is it really? Is life without fear, pain, and sorrow really life? One could compare this to an addict with a steady supply of morphine. Living in a state of perpetual bliss like the lotus eaters of Greek mythology. Living in a constant state of joy which left them devoid of the internal fire of creation.
So, one may very well ask “what is all this Buddhism stuff all about if it doesn’t give me an escape from my troubles?” The answer is simple. It gives us the ability to deal with whatever sorrows come our way. We attain a peaceful power, the power of the immovable stone in the river. The sorrow comes and it flows around us and over us but does not move us.
This is what happens when we commit to a practice. Oh, I feel compelled to point out that I do not say that Buddhism is the only way. It is just the way I have chosen.
“There are many paths to the mountaintop, but the view is always the same.”
Living the high life: After climbing for and arduous 7 hours up ash and rock, the cloudless view over hills and lakes you get from the top of Mount Fuji could be described as one of the most awe inspiring in the world.
Not when he had a world tour, not
when he had another album on the way, not when he was supposed to be recorded
and interviewed; stages and bright lights and tour buses and airplanes.
He wasn’t ready to be a father,
not when he was at the very peak of his life.
And he knows it.
He knows, this is the mountaintop view; the fans cheering for him, screaming
his name and his lyrics, the lights of flashing cameras and the touchdown of
airplane runways every single day.
The interviews, the red carpets,
the celebrities, the awards, the after parties; the sold-out arenas and the
lineup for blocks, his face plastered
over merchandise, his name written on billboards and theatres with his friends
across the world.
This is his high – the whole world
at his fingertips before he’s even in his twenties – this is his high and Luke
isn’t ready to fall, not just yet.
Not when it’s just begun.
But this is what it feels like,
that’s what is was when you told him
those words he wasn’t ready to hear, not for another decade – I’m pregnant.
And he automatically wishes he
could clear the words from his head, rewind time so he could run before he had
to face the truth, the facts that
were splayed out before him.
You were pregnant – with his child
– and just like that, everything comes crashing down.
He isn’t ready.
He’s just an eighteen year old boy
on the cusp of being a legend for
everything he’s accomplished – more than what most will have in a life, on top
of the world – and with those simple
words, it all crumbles down on him.
No, no, no – Luke isn’t ready to give up the late night parties and
alcoholic high, he’s not ready to give up the reckless behaviour of a teen, of
a star – he’s still just a boy, for Pete’s sake – and he’s not
ready, not mentally, not emotionally, not at all to be a father.
He can’t settle just when
everything’s picking up.
Because he’s still young, he’s
still foolish, he’s still stupid – and that’s exactly what it was – a foolish,
stupid, one-night mistake from a young boy who couldn’t calculate the
And it’s all too much; the replacement
of his whimsical fun for fatherhood
responsibility, the flashing lights of cameras on red carpets to loud wails of
a child as he dragged himself down the hallway at night.
It’s too much for him to handle.
Just thinking about it leaves a sick feeling in Luke’s stomach, and it’s
bad enough that he’s just barely an adult and suddenly forced with the
responsibility to be a father, but he’s a teen
icon and the very thing that he used to cherish – his face on posters, his
name on records, his appearances on TV, his songs on the radio – those very
things will turn on him the moment this goes public.
And suddenly it won’t be Luke Hemmings, charming lead singer of
rising band – it’ll be nothing but Luke
Hemmings, no more summer fun, Luke Hemmings, baby of the band now father to a
baby – tabloids and gossip and rumours and oh god, he can barely even imagine the nasty response he’ll get for
For his stupid moment of
intoxicated lust, for his clumsy ignorance, for his mistake that halted what
could’ve been a long career now cut short with fatherhood responsibilities,
with a tainted name as that band member
who got a girl pregnant at eighteen.
He can see it crashing before his
very eyes, everything he’s worked so hard for, everything he’s ever dreamed of.
No, it’ll be worse – it’ll be
worse because not only will it be gone, but it’ll be publicized, so he’ll never forget.
So he could never escape, so he’ll
always remember what could’ve been if he could’ve been less stupid.
And he’s staring at you with your
red-tinted eyes – did he once ever think
about you? – and he stutters out the words that are shaken by his fear of
the meaning that came with what you told him.
I’m sorry. I – I can’t. I… I’m not ready.
It’s his way of saying he’s out,
that you’re on your own.
And you want to scream at him, you
want to physically claw at his arms because to hell, you weren’t ready either, and who is he to back out of this
mess when he had just as much of a role as you in creating it?
But he walks away and you watch.
And in doing so, Luke saves his
career from falling, but he can’t stop the tears that stream down your cheeks.
He had to let something crash, and
he chose you.
You didn’t need him anyway.
You were scared and you were alone
and god, were you hurt that he chose
to blanket his reputation instead of your pain, but you made it, you made it
through without him.
It was long and it was
painstakingly slow; months upon months with a growing stomach, a growing
reminder of what you had living inside of you, of the responsibilities that
came with it.
And it reminded you of the person
who helped cause this – no, create this
– the person who was supposed to be there to give you foot rubs, to ask if you
were okay, to hold doors open for you – and it reminded you of how he was gone.
You wake up and your stomach grows
and so does your hurt and so does your fear because it’s been nearly six months
since you told Luke and you realize you’re still not ready either.
But unlike him, you couldn’t walk
away – and you wouldn’t abandon something that was yours, you wouldn’t flee
from your responsibilities – no, not like him.
And so you spent your months on
this rollercoaster of the happiness in this little life you would call yours
and the sadness of thinking of the life you wished you could give.
No matter – you’ll do your best,
and that life for your child will be the only life they needed.
You didn’t need him, your child
didn’t need him.
You try hard to tell yourself that
maybe it was better that Luke walked away.
You accepted the crash that he set
you up for, but you can’t stop the tears that keep on falling every night as
you lie alone.
You avoided him, but he came back
You turned the radio off when you
heard the first chords of their stupid songs
– talking about love like he knew what it meant – ha! You think it funny, how
Luke writes songs that makes thousands of girls swoon, but oh, if only they
knew, if only they knew how fast he’d
leave this so-called love for his more tangible fame – you can’t stop laughing.
Your eyes automatically reverted
away from all signs of him; band posters and concert announcements and
merchandise in stores, out of sight as an attempt for out of mind.
But then a few months after your
child is born – a baby is a handful with all the things you had to sacrifice to
keep this little bundle of life happy and growing, but there’s nothing you’d
change, there’s nothing else you need – and then Luke shows up at your
And by this point, you’ve taken
this tiny human life and grown to love the little gurgled laugh and messy
smiles, you loved and you cared for the moment you first held the small bundle
in your arms as you lie propped on the hospital bed, tired and worn but so in love with someone new.
Someone who taught you that
sacrifices and pain and hurt and hardship would all be worth it in the end.
And even though the blue eyes that
sparkle back up at you always sting, the baby was yours entirely, grown from your hardship and nurtured in your love.
But then he comes along, he comes
back into your life with a knock to your
door just before midnight – and you find yourself staring into the blue orbs
that were almost identical to your child’s, closed and sleeping in the other
“Go to hell, Luke.”
He’s not sure what he’s expecting,
but the sudden acid in your voice, the sudden knives in your eyes throws him
You look a little more worn out
than when he saw you last; circles underneath your eyes a little more
predominant, hair a little messier, hips a little wider – and you’ve changed,
You’re no longer the girl who
silently begged him to stay; you’re the woman who sternly told him to get out.
“I want to see my child.”
“Your child? Luke, you don’t have a child. You made sure of that
when you chose to walk away.”
“I have a child and I had a part
in making that life – and to hell that
you’d say I don’t have a part in her that life now.”
“Fuck off, Luke. You had a part? You didn’t have a part in those
nine months of carrying that child. You didn’t have a part in making sure
nothing happened before the due date, you didn’t have a part in the checkups
and the ultrasounds and the specialists. You didn’t have a part in the
eight-hour hospital birth, you didn’t have a part in choosing the name or going
home again. You didn’t have a part in buying things or learning how to be a
parent, you didn’t have a part in the crying and the feeding and the diaper
changing. You didn’t have a part in jackshit,
“I – “
“You’re fucking sorry. But does
that make up for nine months of absence? Does that make up for the complete abandonment you put me through for the
sake of your oh-so-important and fragile career?
Does that make up for the fact that you ran away from your responsibilities and
probably screwed ten other girls in the process? Yeah, you’re sorry and that’s
all fine and peachy for you to come in and say that when you suffered nothing,
but in case you can’t tell, I don’t give a shit about you anymore. Just like
how you didn’t give a shit about me.”
But the words are spilling like
lava from your lips, heated anger from all the lonely nights and isolation and
judgement; all the things he put you through when he walked away just because
he didn’t want to shoulder some responsibility.
“And how dare you barge into my life and claim you have a part in it after
you willingly decided that you didn’t want anything to do with me or the baby?
How dare you have the nerve to come
crawling back, demanding to see a child that you completely abandoned? After everything you’ve done,
Luke – after all the shit you put me through – you decide to show up like
everything’s fine and dandy, like I’ll run back to you and we’ll be a happy
little family after you left me when
I needed you to most? You’re absolutely adorable,
Luke Robert Hemmings. Precious.”
You spit out the words, watching
in satisfaction as the guilt seeps into his blue eyes, spreading to his drooped
shoulders and shameful posture.
You didn’t want him, you didn’t
need him, and this time there was no more pretending, no more trying to
convince yourself – you know it for certain now.
“Get the fuck out of my house,
Luke. And don’t you ever come back.”
He’s numb from the knives of your
words that left wounds in him, and you practically push the broad-shouldered
boy out the doorway.
“I hope your success was worth it.”
Your words are almost lost to the
wind, but the bitterness it carries goes straight to his heart.
You close the door with a final click of the lock behind you, leaving
the tall blonde alone in the silent street.
If you are working hard but feel you are not improving at all it’s simply not true. You’re just doing the work necessary for your next break through, the next ‘ah, ha!’ moment where all that effort clicks into place functionally and easily. The longer you’ve been doing something the longer these 'plateaus’ can seem to last. It’s simply a learning curve declining in its steepness now and then. It is not YOU declining.
The point is: don’t stop learning. Don’t quit because you feel you’re not advancing well or fast enough. Stop because you’re utterly uninterested anymore and receive no benefits from it not because of a perceived stagnation or wall. There are always more mountaintops with beautiful views of accomplishment just over the wall.
For me. For your family. For your friends. For all of the people that you’ve lent pencils in class who know your name and remember that you were nice to them, but nothing else about you. The people that hardly know you, but would be fucking devastated to know that such a nice person left the world so early. Live for music, live for breezy spring days. Live for blowing bubbles and decorating and seeing your friends crack a smile. Live for the tears, because pain, like everything else is only temporary. Live for the moon peeking out from behind the clouds on a grey night. Live for concerts, live for beaches, live for morning news and bowls of cereal. Live for mountaintop views and the promise of better days to come. Live for yourself, because even if you were to be the only person you’ve got, you’re the best fucking thing you could ever have.