Friday, December 20, 2013

Every Day


May you live all the days of your life.

Jonathan Swift

I don't have many sad days.

Billy Graham

To live outside the law, you must be honest.

Bob Dylan




Today is another day.  It’s part of every day.  And it’s a day I need to use wisely and well.   Specifically, I need to work towards my goals and I need to write.  Although I wrote the night before and although I wrote two blogs the day before that, I feel like I haven’t written in days.  The day before yesterday I had the flu and the short blog I wrote, my shortest one so far, took tremendous effort.  Now, however, I think I can do more.  I’m so happy to be here.  This is the best and most blest place in the world.  I often think that if all I did was spend time with my Muse, I would be perfectly content.
At the moment I’m waiting for her to speak to me.  She’s often quiet for the first few minutes and that’s okay.  I know she’s here and I know she loves me.  So I can work quietly and calmly.  In fact, she often says to me, “Be calm, boy.”
So I’m being calm and I’m writing.  What else do I need?  (I know my children are safe and I’m healthy again.)   So I sit here in complete peace knowing that as long as I can be with my Muse, all is well.  Here are other times when all is well:
·      When I’m completely enjoying whatever it is I’m doing at the moment
·      When I’m exercising
·      When my children are happy
·      When someone I’ve helped has gotten a job.
·      When I’ve slept well
·      When I’m healthy
·      When I’m grateful

Still, the very best times are with my Muse.  I feel free and safe.  I feel like I can say, or more accurately, write anything that’s on my mind and she won’t judge or criticize me.  That’s not to say that she won’t correct me.  She also has little patience for secrets or lies.  Writing must be about my true feelings.  This doesn’t mean I have to divulge every detail of my personal life on my blog.  That would be selfish and in bad taste.  What she does want however is that I speak the truth about my heart or my emotional state. 
Several years ago I was writing in my journal about a job that I hated.  But I didn’t want to express my unhappiness.  I wanted to be “positive” and “optimistic.”  But the truth was I was scared and angry.  I hated the job, I didn’t care for some of the people I worked with and I wanted to quit.  But for some reason I couldn’t write this, not even in my private journal.  It wasn’t until I could honestly and fully face the truths though that I could move forward.  Eventually I quit the job and went on to better things.
In fact, in every area of my life, where I didn’t face my truths, all I managed to do was prevent spiritual and emotional growth.  I also prevented my own happiness.  Sometimes our truths are less than flattering.  I might be afraid.  Or angry.  Or petty.  I might have a behavior or a trait I don’t like or I find embarrassing.  It turns out, in others words, that I’m human.  This is okay, as long as I’m willing to accept two things:
1.     I’m not perfect.
2.     I’m willing to change.

Accepting these two facts allows me to grow and change.  Resisting the less attractive parts of my humanity only strengthens them.   This doesn’t mean that will power and resistance don’t have their place.  If I’m a recovering alcoholic I want to stay out of bars or keg parties.  But resistance has it place after we admit and truly embrace our foibles. 
I realize that I might be sounding like an Alcoholics Anonymous handbook, but I’m not speaking about alcoholism specifically; I’m speaking about anything in life that keeps me from my full potential. 
We’re meant to live to our full potential.  Not everyone will perhaps.  It scares me to think that I won’t or those I love won’t.  Honestly, that’s my biggest fear – not living up to the potential I have and not doing my best. 
What if, however, I do my best and I never become a successful author or what if I don’t make enough money to put my kids through college?  The only answers I have to do those questions is that I keep working until I reach my goals and that I don’t allow those to be alternatives.   Dorthea Brande says in Wake Up and Live, “Act as if it were impossible to fail.”
The only way to do that is to plan, to study, to work harder than others.  I still struggle with staying focused and calm and organized, but at the same time I still do my best.  Really, that’s all I want from life is to do my best.  That’s all I need to do.  I also need to Get Started and Keep Going…every day.