This year has not been without unprecedented shock, surprise, loss, grief tremendous and tumultuous change, upheaval…people have left their jobs, relationships…and this has not been without it’s emotional toll. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Albert Einstein once observed that the most fundamental and major decision that you have to make in your life is this… “Do I live in a friendly or a hostile universe? Which is it? Is it a universe that is filled with hostility and anger? When you see the world that way, it is exactly what you will create within your life.” In other words, the way that we perceive the world and choose to interact with it significantly impact the way we live our lives.
I would like you to imagine the following scene. You are in your house, car keys in hand and the lights go out due to a power failure. You cannot see anything and stumbling in your living room, causing you to drop the keys. Then, you take a look around for a moment and realize that you will never find them in the dark. So, you look outside and notice the streetlights are on. An idea comes to mind, “I refuse to struggle in the dark searching for my keys. I’ll go outside and hope to find them underneath the streetlights.” Why are you laughing? This makes a lot of sense. As you look around, your neighbour comes around and asks, “What happened?” You say, “Well, I dropped my keys.” He says, “I’ll help you look for them.” So, the two of you are looking for your keys. Finally, your neighbour asks, “Excuse me, but where did you drop your keys?” To which, you respond, “Well, I dropped them in the house.” He says, “You mean to tell me that you dropped your keys in the house and you are looking for them out here in the streetlight… that doesn’t make any sense.” In response, you say, “It doesn’t make any sense to search around in the dark when there’s light out here.”
Now, you are probably laughing, confused with that line of logic. But that is exactly what we do when we have an internal struggle! We search for a solution for ‘INSIDE’, however, we do so by seeking ‘OUTSIDE’ of ourselves. You, the one with the struggles, hope for someone else to change or something outside of you to get better. Yet, to make your life work, it is something we need to take a hard look at. We need to look ‘INSIDE OF OURSELVES’. This is a difficult principle, in a sense, it is easy to understand but requires discipline to follow.
No one ever dies from a snake bite; the snake bite will never kill you. You cannot be unbitten. Once you are bitten, you are bitten. Instead, it is the venom, which works its way through your system ultimately destroying you from the inside. There are many ways to get the things that we want for ourselves in life however, it all begins on how we choose to think. As you think, so shall you be. Seven little words that I think, perhaps, the important thing that we can learn and master in our lives is this old proverb, “That I become what I think about,”. To live by this, one must understand how their thoughts can carry out within their actions in life.
Which is to say, we must be wary of what we think about and avoid bringing about a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’. If I constantly think that I cannot get better at something, then regardless if I want to, it is highly unlikely that I will. Have an open mind to everything but attached to nothing.
A principle within my life is that no one knows enough about anything to be a pessimist. Each and everyone one of us have the capacity for greatness. However, by closing our minds off to what is possible, we close off the genius that resides within ourselves to accomplish things. To have an open mind, it does not imply finding faults with what we should have done. Rather, it is seeing the potentiality within life. It is viewing life, not just for what it is but for what it can be!
Do not die with your music within you. Who better to quote than Thoreau, who talked about how each of us hear a different drummer, and that we must march to the music we hear. We all show up here with a purpose. There is an intelligence in everything, and all of us are connected to it. Too many of us are afraid to listen to that music and march to it. You, out there, I know that there is a book you want to write. I know there is a composition you wanted to compose. I know there is a song you want to sing. You may want to get into a relationship, but fear has control over your heart. All of us feel these struggles – it is part of the human condition.
In Leo Tolstoy’s famous novel, “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”, he asks a question that is terrifying to me. He says to his accountant from Moscow, lying on his death bed, contemplating the horror of this question, “What if my whole life has been wrong?” I know what my music is, in fact, it is playing right now. As I sit down and write this article, I tell the world what I know as my truth. I seek to do so completely on purpose, with the purpose of fulfilling that goal. I refuse to reach the end of my life and say: “What if my whole life has been wrong?” Whoever you are, regardless of the music you make, no matter how distant it may sound, irrespective of others views on it, play it. Otherwise, you may reach the end of your life, asking yourself whether you made a mistake, never truly knowing whether you made the right decision.
Even if all your dreams were not realized this year, the chance to dream is a blessing in itself. And another year means hope lives on. In 2021, bask in the glory of who you are, and all that you will become! Learn from Yesterday, Live for Today and Hope for Tomorrow.
Sara Isabel Dias/MS