For When You Think Your Existence Doesn’t Matter

By Meggie Royer

Ten years ago, TWLOHA came into existence as a story that invited people to speak and to be heard, to seek help and to help others, and to live this life together. This month we’re looking back on the last decade and sharing some of our favorite blog posts from TWLOHA’s history along the way.

Remember that even though your existence may not matter to you, it is still the reason someone else exists. You can take the second-to-last “s” out of “exists” and wish upon every star and coin to disappear, but someone else somewhere in the universe is wishing you would appear and will continue to do so for a long time.

If the cloud of dust and gas that created the Big Bang had been missing even one tiny particle, there would have been no Big Bang. Therefore, there would have been no universe.

You are made of all these particles. They are a part of you. And you are just as important as each and every single one of them. You made the universe. It wouldn’t be here without you.

The body falls into a routine of being alive. And your body always returns to you. You’ll always have it no matter where you go, no matter how hard your skin is to live in. And your body wants you to live. It wants you to exist; your immune system is a prime example.

No matter how badly you want to click your heels together like Dorothy and evaporate instantly, to end your own existence, your own body is doing everything it can to protect you every second that you continue to breathe.

For as long as you choose to keep inhaling and exhaling, your body will choose to take care of you. It will carry you through the heartbreak. It will eliminate the pathogens and put up preventative barriers to leave you safe, leave you calm, leave you alive.

And eventually you will learn to love the body that loves you back, for it’s the only thing that’s been with you your whole life. It is the only constant. It’s glad you exist.

Remember that everything changes. The human ear evolved from pieces of the jawbone, and maybe that’s why it’s advised to listen before you speak. Pangaea eventually broke apart 100 million years after it formed, and every year the glaciers melt just a little bit further. The seas wear down the rocks and coral until their rough edges turn smooth.

But the body stays. The body stays. It changes too – through growth spurts and the advancement of age – but the body always stays the body, no matter what shape or form it ends up taking on. It will always be there for you, as long as your lifelines remain intact. So let your body stay, even when you wish it would go.

And please know – your existence does matter. Even if you think the only existence it affects is your own, remember that it really affects thousands and thousands of other existences. There are days when a lonely stranger on the street is just having a rotten day; maybe she spilled her coffee and was late to work; maybe his dog died or his significant other recently broke up with him. And then they make eye contact with you, however accidental, and just for a brief second, they’re reminded that they are still human. No matter how alien or empty they feel, your eyes fill them.

And maybe you mistakenly brushed a stranger’s hand on your way past. It’s just a glance of fingers, but perhaps, for the first time in her entire life, she felt loved, even though you were a stranger too.

Other people can fall in love with you without even knowing you.

You can save other people without even meeting them.

You are made of particles and water and blood filled with cells that want nothing more than to keep you safe.

Your existence matters to others; it matters to your blood, it matters to earth and complete strangers, and it matters to the person who looks back at you in the mirror every day.

Your existence matters.

Leave a Reply

Comments (7)

  1. M

    Thank you

    Reply  |  
  2. Hannah

    But people move on and even when you exist as a dead body in the ground you are impacting the universe. Why does it matter that the earth was even created? Why do I need to be here If its only to support other people. I support everyone I can and I still feel empty and alone. I see no end to my failing myself, I only see the happiness I can bring to others.

    Reply  |  
  3. John Paul Ruth

    This article is a wonderful reminder of how important “YOU” are in the complex make up of our life system. I must though, take exception to one major flaw in the article, the premise that we exist in this system as a result of a “big bang”. We are a creation of God, not a chance collision of particles in a dark void. No geologic occurrence could create this beautiful, complicated masterpiece that we call humanity. We not only exist as a human made up of cells, sinew skin and bone, we also possess a marvelous God given creation called the SOUL. This SOUL is the one thing that sets us apart from all other creation. The SOUL is the center of each human’s existence. This is why we are capable of love, forgiveness and empathy; a moral compass to guide us as we forge our path in life. All of mankind is born with this SOUL. Each time we act, make a decision, speak or have a thought our SOUL will immediately let us know if we are right or wrong. And, if we are wrong, it gives us the power and inherent ability to correct the wrong and/or ask for forgiveness.
    So as I stated in the beginning, while I agree with the article and the message it sends as to the power of the human spirit and the importance we each have in the life “circle” I believe it is of utmost importance that we understand where this comes from. Almighty God, our Lord and Creator.

    Reply  |  
  4. Trish

    I am at a very difficult and stressful time in my life, not two months ago I was on the street, high as a kite, and drunk as a skunk, not knowing which way was up or down and not wanting to feel the pain of losing my daughters to the child protection agency for good, whom i have been battling with for years. But it wasn’t until I was going through seizures from the booze and the withdrawals from the methadone, that i realized i was at rock bottom, I was so sick I just wanted to end everything, to make life easier for my family, the ones i hurt the most throughout the 21years of my addictions. Going from alcohol to drugs and back to alcohol and back to drugs again, it seemed like a lifestyle that i was not escaping in this lifetime, a cycle I could not break.
    I ended up in the hospital overnight and had an appt with my methadone doctor the next day, I went into his office so hungover and so sick that the 40min. drive there felt like I had drove across the country. All I could think was “Dear God, help me.” I felt that the only place I could be free from this lifelong battle of alcoholism and addiction was in death. It is the only life I have ever known, my coping method was self-indulgence and numbing and forgetting (well trying to anyway). In the doctor’s office, I sat there and poured my heart and soul out to my doctor and to one of the centre’s counsellors. They helped get me into detox the same day, I went in on a Monday morning and by Wednesday morning I could not get comfortable for one minute, every bone, every muscle, every nerve in my body was in so much pain, my head was about to explode from the headache and my thoughts drumming so hard against my temples. But for the first time in many years I wanted live. For the first time, all i could think about was, “Hang in there Trish, one day at a time and you could make it through this.” I was participating in the discussion in detox and really listening, this was not my first trip but it was certainly going to be my last, I did not want the feeling of just wanting to die to come over me ever again, I still could not concentrate on anything at all and it still bothers me that the depression won’t let go completely, but for the first time in years, I am sitting in my parents’ house with one of my daughters beside me, which is a big deal by itself, considering that I had hurt these very people I love the most in my life without a second thought, only a couple months ago. I have only been out of detox for 3 weeks and 4 days, I have been busy with the social worker and the alcohol and drug counsellor and I am waiting on a program that will accept people who are on saboxone. I first read To Write Love on her Arms after watching the movie a couple months back but it wasn’t until I watched it tonight that I really knew I wasn’t all alone in this battle. My parents and my daughters were so happy when I told them that I was checking myself into a rehab program. I live in New Brunswick, Canada and the only place I found that would take a Native American alcoholic/junkie that was on saboxone was in Saskatchewan, the program begins on April 11 which kinda makes me nervous, cause even though I may have changed my behaviour I did not change the world, I realize that the drug dealers and the liquor stores/bootleggers are all still open. The thought of sobriety is amazing, after seeing others through the fellowship gain there’s, it is in there stories of experience, strength and hope, that i yearn for what they have. As scary as it is, “change?” “Can I do this?” “Can I live without ever using another drug or drinking another drink?” WOW, “CHANGE?” I know that I need to learn how to change my alcoholic/addicted mind.” I have never been so scared in my life and I have gone through a lot within my using days. Very real tragedies but never have i been this scared. I have always had one or the other. I have always been numb. So now to face life sober, while battling depression, now that is whole other ballgame. Wish me luck and I wish you all Love, Laugh and Happiness”
    “Oh God, Grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
    “One day at a time.”

    Reply  |  
    1. Trish

      One day I will have contented sobriety, my daughters and trust from my family, these are the goals I will be working at to pursue and hopefully one day, forgiveness- for everything I put them through. I love them so much, and when I am ready, they will hear my full story, for now, it’s their love that keeps me strong and knowing that I am not alone in this dark lonely life.

      Reply  |  
  5. Trish

    just a question; What happened to my story? Not important? this would have been my first thought especially taking time to write it, but maybe it wasn’t appropriate for this.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dar

      Your story is there… I read it. I wish you all the best on your journey.

      Reply  |