an excerpt from 'Essays from the Edge'
People fear snakes, the poison in their venom, their bite. What many of us who have been afraid of snakes, fail to remember is that snake venom can save a life. There is a chemical agent in the venom that clots blood. It has been widely used to stop hemorrhaging, thereby saving lives. There are specific varieties of snake venom that are being researched as cures for debilitating illnesses, as is the case with Cobra venom which has already shown results with Parkinson's Disease.
Poison....just a chemical.
A poison can cure, while something that is an allergen, even a nutritious and delicious item, can kill.
Much of what inundates us in life - in news, in media, in relations of all kinds, in initial emotional response - is toxic... or at least, can be.
Unlike the perhaps more concrete absolutes of chemicals, the life toxins that seek to infiltrate our system and harm us, are more negligible than they may feel.
No, life is not all rosy if we just choose to see it as if made of rainbows, bunnies, and tastefully decorated with pastel shades of cotton floss.
No, bad, harsh, painful experience and events, others’ malicious behavior and the like are not in any way validated by some silver lining or positive life lesson.
I suppose my main life survival method has been excavating the lesson in the depths of hell, finding the cure in the poison, taking the stones thrown at me and building that which I dream of. If I had not, if I did not still do that, then how tainted would I be in heart, mind, soul, and by extension, body from life’s poisons? How much can one bear to carry if we do not extract what is needed and discard the rest…or at least pack it away in cold storage clearly labeled as ‘closed file’, a memory, but not a living organism still invading every fiber of our constant being?
If we can take criticism and turn it into fuel to be better, to do better – be it formed as inspiring motivation, or defiant rebellion, it matters not…only that we use it for our own betterment.
If we can learn something, then a scar can be a reminder of the lesson and not a monument of the pain.
There will be times when even the most purposeful of inner alchemy simply refuses to engage, our auto-pilot reactions kick in and we feel like the lied about, lied to, betrayed, abused, violated, broken souls that we could be. It is up to us, yet again, to choose wisdom, purpose, and passion….over poison.
We have been bitten by life.
Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
Be it bad childhood, violence, death, bad marriage, financial ruin, failing health…. Be it ANYTHING….we each have been bitten.
We can convulse in pain, and whimper in agony as the poison pervades and has its way with us. The walking wounded.
We can choose, as much as possible, as often as possible, to understand our reactions, the impact, and then allow this understanding to ignite change in ourselves, in our actions to help others.
How deeply we hurt, we mourn, we are cut, is how deeply we feel, how deeply we are fueled to act. The depth of our loss of a loved one, is how much we want to make them proud. How traumatic an experience was, is how much we want to shield others from it, or at least help them heal from the same or similar.
When we know what makes us tick, what hurts us and why, when we do not avert our eyes, rushing to say ‘yeah, I get it’, but rather really keep pushing for the true root, only then do we know our weaknesses, our strengths, and all that we are truly capable of.
When we realize our patterns, the reasons we run to things as well as away from them, we can truly make the most of every experience.
I do not (seem to need to) invite harshness into my life. I do not take it all with a cheery grin and an uplifting cliché about how it must truly be a wonderful thing in deep, dark disguise.
I DO refuse to accept a death sentence, a diagnosis of doom for my mental and emotional wellbeing, no matter what or who threatens it.
It is rarely easy, always exhausting, but a far, far better choice than what could be.
So, Life….I’d rather smoother stretches of time, for my drama to only be between the covers of a book, or captured on a reel, but know this….no matter what, it is my choice, and I choose to live, thrive even…. So…. Bite me!
©2016 Nadia Romanov