Be a Bright Spot / by padhia hutton

There comes a point in your life when you find your religion. It comes straight out of nowhere, shooting straight through all the dirt and grime in your life and penetrating deep into the untouched parts of your soul with its purity. It is the culmination of all your experiences and the content of your heart all clicking together to suddenly form a giant spark that ignites the center of your being. In that moment you just realize you have lived your way straight into all of the answers that you need and you are no longer obsessively hungry for anything more. The tight muscular tension with which you indefatigably seek and question, that tension which you define as your sense of self, loosens to the point where you become fluid and moving in unison with the energy around you, and as you stop resisting. You suddenly just feel the peace of being part of something greater without the desperation of trying to define it.

For me that moment came at a time I could never have imagined possible as I was exploring the new realization that sadness is in fact infinite. There are no boundaries, there is no bottom. I had decided to chase my dreams and had just moved 3,000 miles away from anything familiar with no where to live ahead of time. For months before I exited my previous life, my stomach dropped constantly as if I were high above my home planet about to jump with no idea if I were even close enough to be within the range of its gravitational pull or if I would be sucked out into blackness. I was no longer an age where these things seemed fun or adventurous or even feasible, but I had come to a clear crossroads. I came rather abruptly to a sign in my life that clearly had 2 choices. One read “keep going in the same direction and give up your dreams” and the other direction said something else written in some indiscernible foreign language, but I felt an inexplicable deep magnetic pull from that direction as animals are drawn to migrate in the direction of food and water.

Before I set off into the sunset, I looked into the sky and raised my hands. In them I imagined I held all my struggles and suffering up as tokens with which to bribe the universe to be kind and supportive of me. I just had to believe that I would be rewarded for this courage, for finally choosing to get on the path I felt I was meant to be on. For shaking uncontrollably but deciding not to let fear define my fate.

Shortly thereafter I would learn a hard lesson. Suffering is not currency with which if you save up enough of it, happiness is somehow owed to you. A holy shit storm of apocalyptic proportions broke loose and in the course of a year and half I had become so depleted and beat down, that the place where the sun had always shined on the inside for me seemed like a foreign land that maybe I had only imagined I had been to. I became obsessed with questions. Why did these things have to happen now that I am 3,000 miles away from anything familiar and completely alone? Why at this particular point when I am finally on the right track? My world went dark, and the universe seemed evil and plotting against me for the first time.

I’ve never given up on anything I wanted in my life. Never. No matter what the obstacles, or how badly they mangled my soul, I managed to pull through. What good did that do me, spoke my newly frosted inner voice. The sound of it frightened me, I had never heard those tones before coming from within myself. I watched the twinkle in my eye grow dimmer and for the first time I didn’t fight it. In the midst of all that happened, I had decided to carry on with my intention of going back to school, but now I was so far beyond the threshold of what I could handle, and I bitterly felt like I had spent most of my life like that. I dropped two classes. I was so disappointed in myself and in life and I felt sick in places most uncomfortable.

One of the teachers was a gentle soul in his 70s. I felt peaceful just sitting near him. I could almost feel his unique vibrations, he seemed to radiate out a lower deeper frequency and I found him really soothing. I emailed him and briefly explained the circumstances and thanked him and told him I had to drop his class. I didn’t expect to ever hear from him again, I figured he probably didn’t know my name or how to even check his email.

The next day he wrote back two sentences that changed me forever. “You will be missed. You were always a bright spot.”

And that was it. In that moment the piles of sadness and pain shifted and collapsed down to near nothingness as I realized the purpose of life is to be a bright spot in the lives of all those whose paths we cross. Nothing else really matters.

In loving memory of Jack Bosson 1937-2012