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J – Douglas Jerrold (1803-1857)

Wisdom From Oxford

Douglas William Jerrold was an English playwright, journalist, and humorist.  He achieved success in the theatre with a nautical melodrama called Black-Eyed Susan in 1829.  By 1841, Jerrold was a regular contributor of humorous articles for Punch Magazine.  His good friend, Charles Dickens described Jerrold’s book, The Story of a Feather, as “a beautiful book”.

“Some people are so fond of ill-luck that they run half-way to meet it.”

During some of the hardest times in my life, my Dad told me, “you always have a choice.”  And within that wisdom he would also tell me that in my choices, I could always change my mind.

Dangerous words.  And lifesaving. 

Dangerous because every choice we make has rippling effects that travel outward from us in all directions.  Lifesaving because the good and hard and beautiful choices we make send courage and healing and flow out along those ripples.   We aren’t the only ones who benefit from our choices – obviously.

I am a person who would see things to their dying end – my dying end.  I would go down with the ship.  I have learned about myself that I have a fierce and undying loyalty to many people in my life.  Myself excluded.  When did I become so unimportant?

I must be responsible . . .

I learned very early that I was valuable to other people when I could make them feel better about themselves.  Talk about dangerous.  For a lifetime I made choices for other people’s happiness.  Or, at least what I perceived would make them happy.  This doesn’t work in the end when you realize that everyone must be responsible for themselves.  That I must be responsible for myself.

That I alone can choose to step into the light or stand in the dark.  And don’t get me wrong, I spend plenty of time spiraling into the abyss.  It is a place I am well-acquainted with.  But when I reach the bottom, and I am always astounded by how far down it is, by its ever-deepening depths, there is still something in me that craves life.  A flicker of light that compels me to find more light.

A Gift

And when I am back up in the wide-open spaces, somehow, those deep places that were carved in me fill up with love.  What a gift.

I spent much of my life running halfway to meet the ill-luck I had been so accustomed to accommodating.  These days I’m happy to stand where I am:  In the light, in the dark.  Good luck, ill luck.  Fanning my spark with the love and light that I seek around me every day.  I want to shine where I stand.  Because I know that when light ripples out, healing follows.  And who among us couldn’t benefit from that?

If you are accustomed to good luck or ill luck, if you are great at making choices or you feel like there are no good choices for you to make, let’s follow the light, and let’s be friends~

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