So I’m dipping my toes into the self help world. I’ve always been a bit skeptical of the self help world because my dad has been a long time subscriber and his spiritual journey often felt…..confusing. For example, he wasn’t afraid to tell us (his kids) to “Shut up!” because he was meditating. Also I’ve struggled with fitting in & when I browsed the self help section of Barnes & Noble it often felt like I was cruising for porn. The weird kind. But I’m here and ready to party with some self helpers.
Gratitude: Learn it. Live it. Your life will improve. Immediately. As someone who is drawn to the cynical and sarcasm, this is hard for me sometimes. It’s easy to go down the ‘life is hard’ and ‘why me’ path? Plus, the news is filled with horror stories. I heard Steven Fry questioning how loving and benevolent god could be if he created pediatric bone cancer. One of the sweetest, funniest, most popular kids in my high school died in a car crash. One of my closest friends at the wheel. I could go on & on. We all could. Life is filled with tragedies, which is why it’s so important to focus on the beauty. To actively seek it out.
Also, listening to Tony Robbins talk about how people who have had the deepest tragedies can rise to be the most empathetic, strong, kind hearted people. I really liked hearing this message. Too often in our society we are willing to sympathize with victims and then label them as “damaged”. If people are able to work through their tragedies, they have the potential to sore higher then people who have not experienced them. I truly believe in the idea “Rougher seas make better sailors.” If you can learn how to navigate these hardships, you will be a better ‘life’ sailor.
Make Art because no one gives a fuck. No one cares. People are often so concerned about what people are going to think about them and the sad and awesome truth is: no one really gives a shit. So have an opinion. Create. Rock the boat. When your on death bed are you going to be thinking: “I’m really glad I didn’t create anything because Matt the middle school dickhead might make fun of me.” Matt the dickhead has other things going on then your art. He’s walking around terrified that everyone’s going to find out why he’s such a dickhead. Also, people will complain no matter what you do. I know a girl who created a bucket list for her 2 year old daughter who is dying of cancer: it was the sweetest, most beautiful thing in the world and yet still people called her “selfish” online. It’s insane. People have their own shit and it can make them nasty and mean and it has nothing to with you, unless you let it. I can’t help but think what if this mother thought about what some online troll thought about her creating a bucket list and didn’t do it. All that beauty and kindness would be lost. And for what? I read a news article yesterday questioning Mother Teresa’s motives. I mean, Mother Teresa (a LITERAL Saint) can’t escape this shit. Do you think she’s sitting on her saint cloud regretting her life of service? No. She’s eating a saint sandwich (my guess would be a BLT), hanging out with Nelson Mandela waiting for Bette Milder to get there.
My final takeaway: Life’s not about how much you have but how much you give. There is so much focus on consumerism & keeping up with the Jones, that the real joy of giving is lost. Never in a eulogy is the square foot of someone’s house mentioned (with the probable exception of Heather DuBrow). When summing up someone life it’s about how they gave back to their community, how they helped people and their relationships with people they loved.
Final, final thought: Thank you to anyone who is reading this. It means the world to me. Taking the time to listen or hear what someone else has to say is such a gift and I’m very grateful for your time.