A brief toe-dip into the meta rabbit hole

Posted: October 21, 2021 in Blur of Life

Please excuse me while I dip my toe into a meta rabbit hole for a moment…

For a long while I have tried to live my life following the ancient middle eastern philosophy of Yin & Yang: two complementary forces that make up all aspects and phenomena of life; highs & lows, ups & downs, as above so below. Where there is “black” there is also “white”, vice-versa, and often many shades of gray in between. For better or for worse, this has helped shape my perspectives on how the outside world and my mind interact with each other. For better or for worse, these are the ideas I tend to lean on when I’m trying to cope with whatever curveball is being thrown my way.

This year, as for many of us, has been a whirlwind of blurred emotions. From the beautiful highs of my marriage to the most wonderful woman I know, to the devastating lows of tragically and suddenly losing my “kid” brother. From the frantic craziness of planning and executing the Morgan family reunion during a record heat wave, to the magically awesome honeymoon trip to Disney World, to the painful helplessness a parent feels when their child suffers from debilitating manic depression. My mind and soul feel like they’re in a constant conflict to maintain altitude and not nosedive into the cliffs below. I often wonder how I’m staying afloat throughout all the turmoil in the air, but then I remember…

A dash of dark humor. A pinch of cynicism. A huge scoopful of love. A bucket of patience. A lot of deep breathing to help maintain a positive perspective. These are some of the ingredients I utilize in life’s unrelenting stew. These are the things that keep me flying forward, in search of a brighter tomorrow, or even a slight shimmer of hope.

The picture below was taken at my brother’s funeral. It is probably the most iconic image and best example of Yin and Yang I possess and will forever cherish it. In this shot is my brother David and I embracing and being together for the first time in well-over a decade, with our brother Josh somberly watching from the side, and Sam resting peacefully in the middle. It’s simultaneously both an extremely difficult and beautiful image to view: the death and rebirth of relationships. I have dearly missed my relationship to David and hopeful that we are starting on working towards rebuilding things. My relationship with Josh has gotten stronger than ever and I will forever appreciate him with his quirky, loving, and profound ways of perceiving life. But I am also very saddened that my relationship with Sam has concluded without having an opportunity to say goodbye.

In short, regardless of what happens next, I will continue to treat myself to (and deeply appreciate) the silver linings juxtaposed within the dark clouds, as I fly along my mostly unknown trajectory. Both are equally important: dark and light. You cannot fully appreciate the things that are wonderful without sometimes experiencing the stuff that hurts and learning how to properly process, lean into, and allow yourself to “feel” those difficult emotions. How we choose to apply those decisions is what will ultimately shape our own character and perceptions.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

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