At the exact instant you were born, when you slid from the womb and arrived into the world like the most valuable piece of luggage from the conveyer belt at the airport, you were several months from death. And at the exact moment you were conceived, you were literally a split second away from death. Not metaphorically, as in literary terms, but literally. You had not existed previously, but then all of a sudden you did.
And every second you’re alive the same is true. Your entire body is a love letter to the world; your skin is a love letter to all the bones and muscles and streams of blood tunneling beneath it and forming the beautiful garden lattice that is your skeleton, the skeleton that grows and bends every year into the best kind of flower there is. Every second you’re alive, whether you realize it or not, you are writing a love letter to God for creating you.
No matter how badly you want to die, for every second you’re alive, that love letter will exist. That letter will continue being written and being read.
Every scientist knows that change can be gradual or it can be earth-shatteringly quick. Time-lapse cameras have caught the planting, growth, budding, and opening of a tulip in a painstaking number of shots. And lightning, well, lightning strikes pretty damn fast. For every second it takes for something to change, no matter how many of those seconds there are, there is a chance to start over and begin anew. If the tulip had decided its blossoming was taking far too long and wilted into rot and dead leaves among the ground, it would never have witnessed its own incredible birth. If the lightning had decided to remain behind the storm clouds, it would never have had a chance to touch the earth, the tops of trees, or be marveled at by all the passersby below who thought it breath-taking.
The seconds are what make the difference. Not only for that tulip, and that bolt of lightning, but for you as well.
One second you can wish you’d never been born, or even wish you could do the reverse of being born and prevent yourself from continuing to live, but maybe the next second that feeling will just be a fleeting thought that you’ll be glad you had not acted upon. For every second of pain, there is another one filled with joy of equal intensity of feeling.
If you allow yourself to feel the bad seconds and get through them, whether you power through them like a jackhammer into cement or trudge through them like wading into a swamp, you can make it to all the good seconds that will follow.
If you only allow yourself to remain in the bad seconds and not wait for the good ones, always remember that you were once a split second between life and death at the moment of your conception. If you pull that trigger, jump off that bridge, swallow those pills, you’re again stepping into that tiny void that is the space between being alive and being dead, except this time you’re going to pass through that void and end up on the being dead side.
And you’ll never get to experience all the seconds that could have come after that second of feeling so horrible you wanted to die, all the seconds in which you could have been glad you’d stayed alive. All the seconds that made deciding not to die so very, very worth it.
Change can be gradual or it can be fast.
But no matter what pace it happens at, it’s all a matter of seconds. So stay. Stay for the second when the bulb becomes the tulip; stay for the second when the lightning strikes after being hidden behind the storm clouds; stay for the seconds when you’re happy you were born.
Because you never know- maybe all those seconds will stack on top of each other and turn into a lifetime, and for the rest of your life, you’ll be glad you stayed for the rest of your life.
Let that love letter continue being written.