As a United States Army Veteran, I ask that you remember all who have given their lives in the wars that have built our great nation. We can agree that we would live in no other place even with our differences. We can agree that we want the best for our children and that we do not wish for them to endure the hardships of our own past or those of our human neighbors.
The best possible way to help in any situation is to bring about awareness. It is important to tell our stories to each other. When we do that with each other, we find significant change can come into our lives if we allow it to. Once this change is within us, we cannot help but reach out to others.
Part of my recovery, and that is what I call if for I know no other way to describe this experience other than to equate it with a disease that wants to kill me, has been to learn acceptance and tolerance. If you ever see me putting it into practice I probably look like a toddler taking his first steps.
The answer is, you don’t. I honestly hate to be the one to tell you this, but you never do. Once you accept that then you will start to understand that acceptance is a key tenet in this community. If you don’t like that it is a key tenet of our community, you are in good company because I don’t like it either. I am pretty sure that none of us like anything about this.
I am probably the least qualified member or our community to speak about forgiveness, especially when it comes to forgiving myself. When people on my timeline read this, they will know and remember what a thug I was even as a young boy. In my journey through grief in the last four years, I came to find a focal point where everything in my life went sideways.