Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday's Words for March 25, 2009

I was at a gathering of writers not too long ago, and one of them made a comment that I found interesting. She said that we who are authors of romance are in the business of selling ‘happy’. She further stated that therefore, whatever we write or communicate on the Internet should be ‘happy’ because what you write lives on line forever. In other words, we should always be selling ‘happy’.

I’m not really sure if I agree completely with that. I do know that in just about every venue I try to adhere to the practice of spreading ‘happy’. The only real exception would probably be these essays. And even then I’m not certain they’re an exception, really.

I know darn well that from time to time the tone in these weekly missives is anything but ‘happy’. I’ve even been told by some that I have made them cry, and that certainly would seem to be the antithesis of happiness.

In the beginning, I fully intended to always have a cheerful or upbeat message. But somewhere along the way my mission changed. One thing that spending a lot of time on line gives you, aside from the occasional headache, is a much wider exposure to people, many of whom you would never get to know, otherwise. Whether it’s in chat rooms or on blogs, in yahoo groups or on discussion boards, people from every walk of life, and every age abound, and they all have something to say and something to share, and for the most part are not too bashful to do so.

What touches me profoundly is the number of people who have endured or are enduring some tragedy or challenge, believing themselves alone on their particular journey. I’ve always been the kind of person whose first instinct is to help. That’s just how God made me, and I want to help in these instances. Of course, I couldn’t—I can’t—do anything about the challenges or tragedies other people face, but I could, and can offer the simple assurance that they weren’t alone on the path they tread.

You are not alone.

The sense of being all alone is a universal exponent, doubling or tripling the weight of any stressful situation, because along with any particular challenge or tragedy comes a sense of hopelessness. We often can’t see beyond the crap life throws at us, and the dreadful sense that we’ll never get past this—whatever ‘this’ is—makes dealing with it that much more dreadful and difficult.

How reassuring to learn others have walked this same path and come out the other side, whole and sane.

That’s an affirmation we all need from time to time. We all need to connect to humankind, to feel a part of the whole. We all need the comfort of knowing that some things transcend the individual—that deep inside we are the same, even if we don’t all speak the same language, worship the same God, live in the same country, or vote the same way.

That became my mission. To reach out and touch others, to showcase our commonality, and maybe, in sharing my experiences—and reading of yours in turn—to reaffirm that we are all the same, we all will get through the temporary tough stuff, and that we’re all, when you come right down to it, okay.

I do try to maintain that positive voice in my weekly essay; but positive isn’t always the same as happy.

I think that’s probably the way it was meant to be.

She bet a heck of a lot more than the farm!
Brand new from Morgan Ashbury: Wanton Wager

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