Part 6: The Bartender
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Part 6: The Bartender

Conversations with myself Series

Part 6: The Bartender

I walked away. I did not know what else to do. It is always funny to me why sometimes walking away is the best thing we can do for our health and for ourselves. But sometimes walking away is unthinking. Some people are worth and some people are not. Some people we are able to forgive and some people we are not. I never understood why we are able to pick and choose who is worth it. Logically you would think that our decisions would be uniform and make sense and yet they do not. They are imperfect, irrational at times, and all over the place. Anyone can make a mistake once. Some people make mistakes all the time. I just always found it funny that cutting someone out can be the best decision to make and then someone else comes along and does the same thing to you and you hang on to them and that is not a mistake. How is this possible? How hanging on and cutting out the right and the wrong decision; I just it just speaks to the fact that humans are just imperfect and our decisions are imperfect.

Pain is a friend of mine. He comes and goes but sometimes he really likes to stay in my mind for a really long time. Pain is not a good friend. Pain promises to take care of you and make you feel right. But feeling right and feeling happy are to ready different things. Sometimes making the wrong decision is the right thing to do. It might be the right thing to do but something keeps you from doing it. Like every fiber of your being is screaming to run but you decide to stay. That can be looked at as the wrong decision but if made for the right reasons can mean the world. Like the Irishman. His wife cheated and he stayed that can be looked on as the wrong decision with the eyes of the world. But in the eyes of God he stayed. She betrayed him again and again. She did not allow the forgiveness to heal her so she never sinned again like Christ said. If she let the forgiveness heal her and she forgave herself then maybe the Irishman would still be married. But she did not and he left her and know she is living in pain like the homeless man. I just walked away from the homeless as he was still crying.

"Guilt can control your life if you let it." The voice came from the bar. It was the Bartender helping the Sad Sack out of the bar and on his way home. The Sad Sack stumbled away and left sight. I walked up to the Bartender he was a man about the same height as me. His shaved head was cover by a knit hat and his coat covered his plain black t-shirt. His coat was grey and without a hood, his boots matched the coat, and his jeans were dark blue maybe black. He had his back to me as he locked up the doors of the bar, "Whoa, we are closed." He said looking at me.

"Oh no, I do not want to drink."

"Oh, then what do you want?"

"Do you tell him that every time he leaves the bar?"

"No, just sometimes," he bent down to tie his boot lace.


"Why what?"

"Why is he so sad?"

"Well he is a perfect example of what not to do when dealing with problems. He did not allow his life to continue. Maybe if he talked it out with wife. He would understand the situation better and move on. But he did not. He made his choice."

"You seem to speak from experience."

"I do." He said hoping up to a standing position. He looked at me as to say, "Get the fuck out of my way." But he said nothing and just looked at me. "Anything else?"

"Go with me here. I have had a rough night. I have had a rough night. Can you help me?"

"No." He started to walking past me and he tapped my shoulder as he passed me. I looked down at the ground, "Because, because only you can help you. You were in my bar earlier. Asking strangers for advice is not the best option. Only you are in control of your actions. People will make their decisions and they affect you and sometimes they hurt and sometimes they do not. Things happen. We can only own our reactions and decides. We can decide to be a sad sack and play the victim card until the day we die. Being the victim only helps for a little bit. Our decisions are based on our calling and our values system. Life is equally the greatest and the worst thing to happen to you. Your relationships will fill you with the greatest joy you will ever feel and the lowest low you will ever experience. Love hurts sometimes but that does not mean we do not love. God looked down at his Son on the Cross and He cried knowing that there was nothing He could do to saved his Son. His Son had to die in order to save us. We cannot change the past. We cannot take back our sin."

"We can live with our sin. Learn from it and move on. What moving on looks like is different in every case and with every story. We are always stronger than we believe we are. Look at yourself in the mirror and you usually know what you have to do. The better question is are you strong enough to do it? You are only the victim if you choose to be one. Living life is making mistakes and making this life work. No one's life looks like a cookie cutter perfect mold of a life. Life is full. Life is full of love, pain, joy, and hurt. We must manage ourselves and focus on something great to get through this life. We all have choices to make. When things happen to you it is a waste of time to only see yourself as the victim."

"What if you are a victim?"

"Then you are a victim. Nothing that happens in this world is strong enough to end you without your consent. To strength only comes from within. No one can make your decisions then then yourself. You will never know if the decision you make is the right one. There are no guarantees in this world… except for one. Christ died for us out of love and we must live and spread his love on this earth. Life is short, we might as well be loved and love others while we are here. But God will always love you and that's the only guarantee we have."

"If God loves us, why does he let bad things happen to people?"

"God loved Jesus and Mary but their lives were full of pain."

"What if you are not strong enough to handle the pain?"

"No one is strong enough by themselves. That's why we have our Lord, our families, and our spouses."

"My wife cheated on me. What do I do then? I am too afraid to leave and too afraid to stay. I afraid that it I still I will get hurt again and if I leave I am afraid I will miss her love." He walked back to me. He handed me a coin with a picture of an angel on it.

"This is a guardian angel coin. Ask your guardian for guidance. If it is revealed to you through pray that you should leave then leave. But if God says to stay then stay."

"What if I am not strong enough to stay? It's easier to leave."

"Life is never easy. We have to live with our decisions good and bad. If you truly love her leaving would kill you."

"How do you know?"

"Before we got married; my wife cheated on me. I felt trapped, lied to, used, and a lot of hurt, pain, and depression. But I got through it. I married her anyway. We rebuild our relationship from the foundation up. Piece by piece we worked fixing and rebuilding the relationship she destroyed."

"But that's not fair. You did nothing wrong and yet you put in all that work to rebuild? Why? She wronged you, that's not fair."

"Life is not fair. We cannot judge other because they sin differently than us. It was not a matter of who did what or whose sin was worse. It was do we still want to be together, the answer was yes. So we made it work. Four years married and she is still faithful."

"Were you ever worried she would cheat again?"

"Of course, those thoughts pop up every so often. When she becomes friend with a male co-worker alarm bells go off in my head. But I trust she knows her sin well enough to know all the pain she caused and to know not to ever let that happen again."

"Why forgive her? She did not deserve it. She does not deserve a man like you. Why not go out and get a better wife? One that would treat you better; why give a cheater a second chance?"

"I love her. I do not deserve the grace, love and forgiveness God gives me every day. She might not deserve me as you see it. But we are both very fortunate to have ever other. The love we share is a choice I make every day to love that woman. Some days I am low and bad thoughts fill my head and it is hard to love her that day. But I just say, 'I am low today,' then she holds in her arms and my head rests on her breasts and I am home. She takes the bad thoughts away with her love." Just then her phone buzzed. It was his wife he apologized and said that he had to take it. He answered the phone with a smile and talked to the love of his life. Then he walked away. I looked at the coin he gave me and there was a prayer on the back; I read it and put it my pocket. I went back to my apartment building and made back to my floor and apartment. My wife had not left but her body shifted while I was out and it spread across the mattress like a starfish. I took off my coat, my shoes and got into bed as her shift her position in her sleep to be the little spoon. My right arm went under her head and neck and I rest my hand on her left boob. Over top of her with my left arm and I rested my hand on her right boob.

Lord, if this pain is of you. Quiet my heart.

Snap. Just like that my heart was not heavy. I held her topless self and her half naked body was snuggled close to me as I lay beside her.

"I love you, Mike" she said in her sleep with a giggle of joy.

"I love you too, Gorgeous." I held my wife and I was home and I knew everything was going to be okay. Life is a struggle but all I remembered was the words of the bartender,

"You are only the victim if you allow yourself to be." To be alive is to struggle. To love is to struggle. We fight for the things that are worth it. Everyone has a mistake once. We would never know what love is, if we never lost. We would never know happiness if we did not know sadness. We never know how much we care for someone until we forgive them. The only answer to make it through this life, is to love. Good Night.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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