So often we’re tempted to think that that we have little to offer the world — that our love is inadequate. But I believe that our ability to love others is the greatest tool that we have to change lives for the better.
This article is sponsored by Irreplaceable, a new feature-length documentary focused on families.
I like to drive. In fact, I like to drive a lot. If I’m ever deeply stressed or struggling, I’ll go for a very long drive. Something about driving just soothes me.
It may be because I enjoy the scenery or because it gives me the time and space I need to think. But, the more I think about it, the more I think my driving has to do with the fact that my dad drove me back to life.
Some time ago, I was twenty-years-old and grappling with a serious addiction and deep depression. Things became so intensely dark and painful that I decided to end my life. In this, I would have succeeded had my dad not discovered me.
I was rushed to the hospital where the doctors were able to prevent my death — but they were unable to give me life. You see, even though I was alive, I felt empty, hollow, and emotionally numb — dead to the world.
In an attempt to revive my spirit, my family rallied and offered every imaginable form of life support. There were heartfelt conversations, encouraging notes, frequent phone calls and there was lots of time spent together.
But, I think my dad was at a bit of a loss at what to do. After all, he wasn’t a professional at emotional therapy. He had never struggled with depression or addiction. How could he know what to say?
So he did the only thing he knew how to do: he drove. He took me on road trips throughout Arizona — lots of road trips. In fact, in the first few months after my suicide attempt, I think I spend almost every weekend on the road with my dad.
We didn’t talk a whole lot (my dad doesn’t subscribe to the “talk-about-your-feelings” idea), we just drove. But you know what? Somewhere on those roads of Southwestern America, I started to come back to life. You see, even though my dad didn’t exactly know what to do, he was giving me the purest form of life support: love.
Often, we’re tempted to think that that we have little to offer the world — that our love is inadequate. But, our ability to love others is the greatest tool that we have to change lives for the better.
Simple as it was, the memory of those road trips with my dad still has a profound influence on me. Ever since then, I look for any and every opportunity to be on the road; not because I enjoy the scenery, not because I enjoy the time and space it gives me to think, but because it reminds me that my dad loves me.