Our character and actions are forever subject to shifting, ambiguous influences. Subtle, violent, benign, belligerent, facilitative, oppressive, fleeting, persistent. Unanticipated forces arise from beyond and within.
For over twenty-two years the Marine Corps had been my archer. Honor, courage and commitment were my powerfully-strung bow. I was the perfect arrow - trained, ready, taut, deadly, aimed precisely; always reaching my mark with unerring accuracy. Excelling in leadership, management and performance, thriving in a brotherhood of acceptance and validation.
In Washington, Constance was the love of my life. She a government contractor; I a senior Marine. Strong mutual work pressures impacted our lives. My slow-to-heal scars of Vietnam, recent divorce, abuse of alcohol, and increasing possessiveness rendered our relationship unsustainable. She drifted away with kind, parting words: "You’re not who I thought you were.”
I slipped into a pit of utter hopelessness and despair, free-falling ever downward, beyond the absolute depths of misery into the dark isolation of depression. I contemplated and rationalized suicide. While desperately looking deep within, the source of my difficulties became clear: my inhuman, all-consuming self-centeredness. If many others in our world were suffering, what right had I to self-pity? Could I act to assist and support them? I had at last found true meaning, purpose and direction.
My investment in humanity has been a path to healing. Alleviation of the suffering of others is my source of health, peace, truth and fulfillment. My efforts to secure their rights and well-being have become a thirty-year endeavor in progress.
With clarity and a sharpening sense of reality I grow toward the light of each promising dawn. My branches are spread wide, in hope of a brilliant sunrise. Each day I gain wisdom, strength, and deeper compassion. Each day I contribute to a better world.
-William Walsh 6/14/2013