Several months ago I found myself becoming a dark and dreary little storm cloud. I had been struggling with a recent change in my life which I was unhappy with. In the midst of my grumpy discomfort concerning my unwanted life changes, a once incredibly close friend took her own life, sending me over the edge into a state of self-pity, regret and sadness. I found myself moping, whining, complaining and dragging through each day. My heart was heavy, and I felt as though my mind was like a mess of tangled electrical cords. I was struggling to get my thoughts to untangle and tell my heart to heal.
I was searching for something, nearly anything, to inspire me and eject me from the negative state I was in. Lo and behold, something did. One day while having a phone conversation with my dad, he told me there was a special segment coming on television, “An Unreal Dream”, that he felt I should watch. He said, “I know the way you are wired. You will be inspired by this. You have to see it.” He was right. The segment was a two hour-long interview and recap of the tragic injustice faced by Michael Morton, a man whose wife was brutally murdered and who then spent 25 years in prison for the crime, which he did not commit. Michael was unjustly branded a murderer, despite his pleas that he was innocent, and lost a relationship with his son, his only child, in the process. His entire life was cruelly ripped from him. I cannot imagine such a feeling of helplessness.
I am inspired by this story because after all of the heartache, injustice, imprisonment and loss, Michael Morton’s smile reveals an undeniably brilliant spirit that flows with love and gratitude for life. He never gave up on proving his innocence, and he never gave up on reestablishing a relationship with his son. He did not drink from the poisonous cup of bitterness and allow it to eat him alive. Rather, he continued living and striving. He seems to breathe the air a little differently than most people do, and understandably so. If you need something to take you away from your own problems and uplift you, I encourage you to explore Michael’s story.
I want to be more like you, Michael Morton. Your strengths expose me to myself, and give me the desire to seek beauty more than I do. I am reminded that it is an honor and a luxury to be given the life I have. Thank you for reminding me to “breathe free” every day.
Below are a few links to learn about Michael’s story, if you are not familiar with it already: