R H Y T H M

To grow up with an absent and addicted parent is the simplest and most straight-forward formula for creating a child that will form its personality based on believing they are worthless and their world is unsafe.

For the child, and sometimes the adult, these beliefs are their truth.

Now an elder, I was once one of these children. I’ve made no distinction between absent and addicted, because to a child, they are the same. My most significant unanswered question as a child was,

“Why do they not love me enough to stay and take care of me?”

Sometimes a child doesn’t know how to articulate this sentence, so instead other things come out of them; like insolence, disrespect, depression, anxiety, failing grades, running away, bullying, complacency or finding warmth through succumbing to peer pressure.

Unless and until they seek or find the most real answer of peace, they will form one on their own, and it will be,

“I am worthless.”

The lives of my parents will always trigger the child in me because their blood is in mine. The levels of dis-ease in my blood are under my control, so it’s important they not be allowed too close to my veins, because their pain has the ability to prick me in places where inoculation doesn’t exist.

The lives of others also trigger the child in me because their spirit is part of mine. The levels of peace within my mind are under my control, so it’s important they not be allowed too close to my thoughts until trust has been formed, because their words have the ability to prick me in places where I have healed.

The child in me considered finding belonging somewhere, believing it might be less painful to run with a pack of wolves than to run alone. But a child is not equipped to build trust amongst wolves, nor control dis-ease or peace when traveling with those unwilling to fight spiritual cancer or temporal chaos.

That’s all finding peace ever is — a fight.

No matter how many opponents we believe to be facing, it’s only ever ourselves that can take home the prize. When we’re not fighting for inner peace, then we’re succumbing to inner demons.

As an adult, I’ve found that the only way out of worthlessness, is to take up boxing with the knowledge that every bout of negativity will approach swinging, not to knock me out, but to kill me. It aims to cause such swollen defeat that I will not recognize myself in the mirror.

When it happens, I stare anyway. Then I ask myself,

“How many more punches before you get your head back in the game?”

I wish I knew the answer, and maybe it’s best that I don’t, cause I always tell myself the same thing,

“Zero.”

I use a number with no value, to remind myself how genuinely free, infinite, and lovable I am, because the truth does not need to be recognized to be known.

This is how to spin worthlessness on its head and win after every defeat.

Perhaps many a child grows to be this adult to create a life of solitude and boxing. For me, it’s been a lonely road where companionship continues to appear like a mirage. Sometimes I only have the strength to stagger between the ropes of faith.

That’s all choosing to stand ever is — Hope.