I absolutely love the A&E show ‘The Walking Dead’.
For those who don’t watch, it chronicles the daily struggles of a ragtag group of people trying to survive the flesh-eating undead (and often the evil living) in a post-Zombie-Apocalyptic world.
Over and over, the group has encountered hope and promise of a safe haven, only to have it dashed on the rocks…most often by the living.
One of the first things to go for some people, in this world, is their humanity.
The latest oasis is a former ‘planned community’ of largely self-sustaining luxury homes.
When the crap hit the fan and the American populace being turning into zombies, a sturdy steel wall was built and a small group of survivors set up camp.
As they ventured outside their own fortress for supplies and reconnaissance, they became aware of our ragtag group making their way through the area.
What happened next was a mix of emotional reactions and trust issues.
Wanting to believe in salvation, several members of the group immediately trusted their new friends and set up shop in their new digs.
Some of them did so reluctantly, with their antennae still high in the air in case of trouble.
One member has remained fiercely vigilant and refuses to let his guard down.
He is Daryl Dixon, played with bad-ass brilliance by actor Norman Reedus.
Daryl’s been through it all.
He had a tough life prior to the apocalypse and it hasn’t gotten much easier.
He doesn’t let too many people in, and he walks his talk with little more than grunted whispers of caution.
Daryl’s got scars, and those scars make it tough for him to embrace new opportunities.
Heck, as the other characters are rejoicing in clean new clothes and a shave (one character even spent 20 minutes enjoying the brushing of her teeth), Daryl refuses to put down his guard (or his prized crossbow) long enough to pick up a bar of soap.
I get it.
He’s been burned so many times that his soul’s scar tissue reads like a manifesto of pain, telling him not to trust anyone whose promises sound much like the hollow ones they’ve heard too many times in the past…many of which have led to pain, loss and suffering.
We need to remember: trust has been good for Daryl as well.
This ragtag group of survivors has become his family.
They’ve been through the fire and have killed (the living and the dead) to protect each other.
Is there a little Daryl in you?
Are you remembering to surround yourself with those who’ve got your back, who can offer guidance, love and protection?
Or are you spending your life missing out on that, fearful that any moment could bring your downfall?
I hope you’ve been able to develop your own support network.
It’s not the blood that courses through your veins that makes a family, it is the blood you are willing to shed for each other.
While we always need to be careful, some days we do need to learn to trust the world a little more to make our existence a bit easier.
Sometimes you need to pick up that bar of soap and wash off the pain and misery, knowing that you’re good enough to have gotten this far…and you can survive another day.
Pick up the soap, Daryl.
If you watched last Sunday’s episode you know that if he doesn’t, the character of Carol (who adores him) has already threatened to hose him down in his sleep (one of the greatest lines of the night).
She’s got his back.
Who’s got yours?