The past five years have been a grueling journey. My arc has not always been well-defined, but a prime directive stood tall: to finally know myself, my capabilities, and the trajectory that I must follow. I have gone from fallen caricature of destruction to a mostly benevolent force with latent shadow. There have been bumps along the way and I have stumbled at times to replace the shadows within with light, but I am finally at peace. Our deeds are the only things that survive our death in this physical realm. We have near-unlimited choice in those deeds we pursue and can inflict great burden, relief, or both on those around us. I have decided, with a degree of finality, that I must be a force for good. There is no other choice.
My brother passed away nearly one month ago from a suspected overdose. He was troubled by a different set of demons than I, but he always challenged me to be the best version of myself that I could possibly be. Often a target of my former malevolence, he would brush it off and show near-unconditional love toward me. He knew that I could one day shed the curse of the family bloodlines and their shadows, and in many ways, tragedy had to strike for me to finally step fully into the light.
Years of introspection and reflection led me to the point that they had to. When I finally arrived home to a devastated family, I wept. For the first time in my life, I was able to feel true sorrow, both my own and that of those left behind. This time was different. I could not dismiss his passing as merely the cold price of life. I felt it in my core. He had fallen and I had ascended via the cruelest twist of fate that the universe could impose upon me.
No, this “ascension” was not a fluke or an instantaneous action; it was one born from the choices and reflections that I have made over these past five years. His death was merely the spark for the combustion of reagents that I had put in place. Nearly a month later, I can say with certainty that I cannot embrace shadow any longer. Nay, it is more than that: I am set free. I am a force for good. To honor him with this realized and actualized state is to honor myself and my journey. His may have ended, but my journey has changed direction towards the goodness that the world requires of me.
We don’t fall to get up. That is too cliche. We fall to maximize the ascension of our souls and our deeds; we fall so that we may be set free.