To Love, And Have Courage


Though I am the bearer of fragility and foolishness, I harbor no hatred. I am the spark before judgment, the ghost disguising pride; I mustn’t give in to hatred. But you! You can tell me what it is like to hate with fury. Deliver me from naivety and expose the shadows running through the heart of every man and woman. I know these shadows; you have become your shadow. You furiously cast fear and hatred into empty vessels. I have only sadness and compassion for your malice. Do not mistake my depression with despair. You are the one who is full of despair; You feel so weak in your ways that you turn to hate. Ashes embrace you but are fleeting.

Memories of those forsaken soon spell disaster on your tongue. And where has your arrogance led you? What path trembled, split and shattered beneath your feet? Who is to blame for your disillusionment? How much is your love worth now? No longer able to bear your reflection, you cast shadows on those around you, but this is not the world’s fault; it is your fault. You are too scared to see it, but you must. I will guide you through the desert, and you will confront the truth. Your mind cannot breathe as burials burst from beneath and settle on the surface. You are falling apart. Your lies collapse into your chest; your legs shake as exhausted bridges plummet from the air. You have a tenuous grasp on reality, and beneath it all, you are full of fear.

Because of this, you have my love; Do not mistake benevolence for weakness. It is because I love that I may see you as God intended. Everything exists because I love; life is love. Your hatred does not succeed because there are those who will continue, into the abyss of time, to love one another. That is my answer to your hatred: to love. I feel heartache because I love and gratitude because I love. You and your hate will burn, and burn out.

Author: RCB

Rhett Burch is a writer and mental health advocate serving on the board of the North American Mental Illness organization in NYC. Through personal essays, he shares his story of recovery and the different processes that have relieved him from many years of self-destructive behavior, depression, anxiety, and at times outright misery. His insight into the human struggle comes from personal experience and the subsequent relationship he has developed with those who still suffer. Rhett believes that by connecting with others through love and compassion, he can continually develop a clearer understanding of himself. Rhett approaches those that ask for help and does not force his views upon anyone. He practices a non-judgmental stance in all of his affairs and hopes that his experience, courage, and compassion will resonate with those that read it. ​

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