Not an easy question to answer, especially when I’m sitting here feeling and watching my body slowly self-destruct.
I see my life as a journey, an obstacle course of events and emotions, of roads taken and not taken. I see it as a ceaseless series of decisions, in effect allowing me to create the life I have lived.
Yes, I have been the creator of my own destiny; who (or what) else has the power to make my decisions for me? Certainly not a loving God because how would I explain his bad decisions? Would I give him credit for all the good decisions while I took the blame, or blamed others, for all the bad ones? No way. I alone am responsible for the life I have lived, I take credit for both the good and bad decisions, and I accept the consequences of those decisions.
So. Has it been worth it? My life, that is.
There has been mental pain, and fear, and grief, some caused by me and some not. A childhood of abuse both by my parents and the church, the death of my mom when I was eighteen, the putting down of beloved dogs, a hundred other things I had no control over. The pain I have caused me (and others) was my decision to drink and to smoke—the latter one is killing me as I write.
I am hardly unique when it comes to earthly suffering. Every human, everyone reading this, has known pain both mental and physical, fear, and grief—many, many of whom have known it much worse that I. It is part of life’s obstacle course this suffering, and it is up to each one of us to choose which road to take: either overcome it by working on change, or continue to wallow in it with self-pity.
I made a choice, a decision, a long time ago to let good things dominate my life. Asking Martha to marry me was the best decision I ever made. Helping sick addicts, in fact helping anyone, comes in second.
But so do all the little things that cause joy, and happiness, and delight. A phrase from a book or poem. Air-conducting Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto in D”. The squirrel I trained to shell and eat sunflower seeds out of my hand.
And therein lies the answer to my question.
Has my life been worth living?
A resounding yes, because the good has always outweighed the bad.