“Be kind. For everyone you meet
is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
For years I tried to
because I believed no one in the whole world
was struggling like me.
Everyone else looked perfect.
Oscar night, red carpet, tux and elegant gowns--
Flawless skin, six-pack abs, square-jaw, happy faces--
It was a lie.
And I believed that lie more than I believed in God.
I don’t remember exactly when I saw the truth.
Now I see people.
People who have experienced
Alcoholics and addicts,
who embody such beauty.
Outsiders who wonder if they will ever fit in.
Insiders who fear they will fall from grace.
The depressed and anxious,
hoping to be set free.
And those who continue to believe their struggle
is not shared
by anyone else.
Everyday I remind myself:
that the red carpet is not what it seems,
that the lift, the tuck, the practiced smile often covers what is real,
that we must all learn
through pain--real or imagined,
if we are going to become real ourselves.
The time this takes is unknown.
For each person has their own hero’s journey
(as corny as that sounds).
When we discover we are the hero,
we begin to see how the struggle,
the dark night,
the days we shouldn’t have lived,
And then, we learn to be kind.