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  • *This is the story about surviving. Inspired by a life, for a life. It will tie one chapter of a life to the next. Or so I hope.*

    You are alive.

    You have a life.
    You have a story.
    You have a name.

    You have a past, you have a future.

    You have, in some small way, changed the world for someone else- someone you will never know.
    As simply as taking a magazine from a salon or tipping more than you should have for dinner.
    People have seen you, taken note of your clothes,your hair, the emotion you carry on your face. People you didn't see.

    You have blended in.
    You have stuck out.
    You have fought with a friend, smiled at a stranger.
    You have seen years change things. Yourself, your interests, your town, people as a whole.

    But what is keeping you alive at this very moment?

    Quickly you become aware of feelings you have trained yourself to ignore. The feeling of your clothes, the small ache deep in your back from the way you are sitting, the rhythm in your chest.

    What is keeping you alive?

    Your brain? No. It is frighting how little control you really have over it. It controls you.
    Breathing? No. That only follows after. You don't even realize it until someone else points it out.
    Your blood? No. It is has no choice but to keep you alive, trapped inside your veins like cars in a tunnel. Many don't even know what type they have.

    There are two things keeping you alive.

    Two things you can't live without.
    Both are extremely dangerous. Both dictate every thing you do.
    You have control over them.
    Or do you?

    Your heart and your hope.

    They are one within each other.
    They let you continue. They force you to live.
    They hold the power to drive you into the ground.
    If you have too much of either, you are easily crushed.
    If lost, put in the wrong thing, or in nothing at all, they are easily crushed. They are fragile.
    They are breakable.

    Still, one is stronger than the other.

    Your heart controls who you have been, who you keep out, who you let in. It controls what type of life you live. Who you are.
    Your hope controls how how you see the world, your future. It controls how you live the life you have. Who you will become.
    One you can share, others can touch it. Feel it.
    The other can only be shared by example, others can only see it. Want it.

    One is stronger. More powerful in every way.

    So if your heart is broken? There is still the remedy of time. The promise that things will get better. Things will heal, or you learn to live with scars. Learning from them, using them as examples and lessons.
    But what if your hope is broken? What can truly fix it?
    Your heart? No. Your heart can only imitate the feeling.
    Time? No. Time only makes things worse.
    If your hope is broken or lost, your heart is out of the job.

    Your only option is to find it again.

    You have to search the dusty corners of your mind, find old spoken words, letters, promises from your Creator-the things you found your hope in the first time- to coax it out of hiding and back into your being.
    Hope is what keeps you going. What makes your heart beat.
    What makes you alive.

    Don't lose hope.
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