Too many bad days.

"Too many bad days" said the former wall street businessman as he sat with his shoulders slumped, melted into that plastic folding chair, on the streets of NYC where he now makes his bed.

Too many bad days had left my friend of nearly 5 years in a void of nothingness that I had never seen in him before...

And this scares me.

The average life expectancy of someone dealing with homelessness is 47 years of age. 47! 
Compared to the rest of us that are expected to live to the age of 77, those among us that are lacking a home live an astonishing 30 years less!

Obviously, it's not just the home itself that leads to this large of an age gap.

Living each day with basic dignity, respect, honestly, even a general "hey, how are you?" throughout the day from an acquaintance helps push us through the day and gives most of us hope for the next day.

But, take away all of those even most basic human interactions and replace them with disgust, ridicule, shame, and repetitive failure to obtain what the world tells us we should obtain, and you (and I) are left with 30 years hacked from this life.

So this truth, this reality, is what scares me for my friend. 
He's already over 47 years old, but he's fading.

The man that I have known over the years to be full of interesting conversation, knowledgeable and witty humor and hope that carries him through till our next conversation, sat there unable to shake my hand or say hello.

"Too many bad days" are sucking the humanity, joy, and ultimately years of life left on this earth, out of my friend.

And so, I'm sad. I'm stuck repeating this phrase in my head.

Too many bad days. Too many bad days.

My heart breaks, tears fill my eyes. And I pray. 
Please stay alive. Please be there tomorrow. God, please send someone else to look past the brokenness and despair. Please send someone that has enough extra joy to share with my lacking friend. Please send a smile, a coffee, even a simple hello. God, please take care of my friend when I can't be there. Thank you. Amen.

Thank you all for loving me while I love others. 
Thank you all for reading these stories.

Feel free to share if you think that this might help someone else see better.

Much love my friends. ❤️

Brett

Be available.

For me, this day is filled to the tip top of the cup with the expectation of all the good things that will happen as I go throughout the next 14 hours of my waking life.

The people that I will encounter, encourage, or at a minimum smile towards - which hopefully, in turn, will set off a life-giving smile inside of them as well.

The information that I will get to be a part of learning about, the relationships that I will deepen, the observations of the world that will continue to deepen who I am and how I process each day's happenings.

Like I said, good things. Hopeful things. Exciting things.

But, that's me.

Within all of that goodness, I am also very aware of the incredible hurt, pain, and weight that so many of my fellow people are waking up with (if they even were able to sleep at all under such a heaviness), the piles of baggage they are loading into their car or strapping to their back as they embark of the treachery of the point A to B, or C, or L of where this life drops them today.

The people that can't even begin to think about how to smile because it's been so incredibly long since they have had anything to smile about.

So, how do I live in this tension between the two?

Hope vs. despair
What is to come vs. nothing will ever come
I can't wait to live vs. I can't wait to die

For me, it's through availability and openness.

Knowing that people are hurting, but being stuck in my own cheery disposition, unwilling to step into the junk of people's lives because I am enjoying my high (or steadiness), this just doesn't work.

Being slow to speak and having ears that are available go so much farther than you may imagine - and this applies to both friends and strangers.

Often time, people just need to process externally from their own mind - to vent. They may not want or even need you to solve all of life's issues, but instead just be their friend through the process (whether they are in the right or wrong). Listen first and without any expectations.

I love my fancy headphones, but there are times that I just have to leave them out and off in order to keep myself approachable.

Be available. 
Listen well. 
Love well.

This is my goal today - and hopefuly I will remember it in the days to come as well.

Want to give it a try with me?

Tell me, how are you feeling today. High? Low? Blah?

Comment, message, text, whatever form you choose - and whether it's me or not, just find someone that has open ears and go for it. We process poorly alone.

Much love my friends, share if you think others need this in their life too. ❤️

Much love my friends!