What an awakening! An experience that jolts one out of the normal day to day experiences can only be defined as awakening. Typically in one’s lifetime, we experience many jolting experiences, that of a little child playing with an outlet comes to mind.
I recall a time when I was very young when my cousin had dared me to stick a bobby pin into an electrical outlet. Of course I was game, but he had to do it first! And, do it, he did! Followed by an ear piercing scream and the smell of burnt flesh! My cousin and I had snuck out of bed and were playing with my aunts make-up in the bathroom when this occurred. It did not take long for our moms to bust through the door and find us, make-up strewed and smoky black fingers as my cousin, crying, pointed his good finger at me crying that I was the one who had done it! Now, THAT was a jolting experience, as our mothers evaluated the situation and pulled both of us up by our hand and popping our rear ends…I never quite understood that. I was not the one who had tried to catch the bathroom on fire…but, I suppose the make-up all over me had given our mom’s some other ideas. And, do you know how hard it is to get lipstick off of a mirror? The jolt, or the lesson learned, the current it carried, was that we are to respect other peoples boundaries.
How about the jolt of pleasure, one that perhaps starts as a buzz or a high. One who’s first occurrence is typically with family or friends. That first cigarette or that first swig from the bottle. For the addict who is oblivious to its danger, it seeps pleasurable at the time. An experience where they are able to open up for the first time in their lives. A time when they do not fear the outcome, and are able to make large strides towards what they believe to be independence…only to learn years, sometimes decades down the road that it was the key that unlocked the door to hell itself. It jolted them into life, then it jolted them into dependence, though for a moment, sometimes for the rest of their lives, a dependence they do not even see as such. Or the jolt of recovery…learning to truly feel, to deal and to be fully alive again. Both experiences are scary, we are dared to jump, to join in, to surrender to a new way of living. Addiction surely does take us to levels we never dared look, and only in the throws of the turmoil it ensues do we ever realize the effects. I have a dear friend who has smoked for over 40 years. He was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and the doctor said it was related to his tobacco usage. He has quit smoking now, too little too late. For the rest of his life, the doctor gave him between 8 and 30 years…my, how treatment has changed over the years…he will have to attend chemo sessions at least once a week. Every illness will be a thousand time harder for his body to combat. Those things, that at one point in his life, seem easy to do, now take the greatest effort. What a jolt to ones life! What a jolt to the lives of those who love him. When an electrical current hits water it radiates and affects anything in its area. Life changing experiences work much the same way.
Or the jolt one receives when he has been attached on the military battle field. This seems to me to be a place where you are quickly jolted into reality. One becomes dependent on their colleagues. A literal life and death dependence on the decisions of their team…or, under much more difficult circumstances, the decisions of their foes. Once through recovery, what will one choose to do with the lessons they have learned in these circumstances? Will it come full circle to help others who will travel their path(s), or will it come to not, a life wasted in the mire of self pity and despair?
Even our brains and bodies are current carriers, jolts of energy spread though our body via transmitters. Always growing, always changing, and always influencing. It is never in the peaceful easy times that our character is built, but under such jolting experiences. Just as the clay does not make a pot without much crushing and molding, neither do we, as individuals, become what we were meant to be with out life giving jolts of experience.
What will you do with your next jolting experience? May it be one of growth and great benefit.