“It's a very funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. ”
William Somerset Maugham
“We will either find a way or make one. ”
“Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so. ”
Charles De Gaulle
Sometimes, especially when we’ve had a lot of changes or disruptions, it’s hard to get back to the old familiar way of doing things. But sometimes that’s just what we have to do. On Facebook I saw this unattributed quote: “Thinking will not overcome fear. But action will.” For some of us our action involves thinking. This is the beauty of writing. One can think and act at the same time. Writing, for me, is the chief action, the most important and cathartic action I can take.
The future is uncertain. It has always been so. All I can do then is take action that brings comfort and relief from fear. We don’t need to know the future, to trust in it, or to fear it, but rather to know how we will acquit ourselves no matter what happens. What will we do if we encounter fear, loneliness, separation, heartbreak, financial distress, injury or illness, or any of the other “slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune?”
Or what if we encounter success, love, financial success, or the realization of our goals? How will we acquit ourselves then?
For me, the answer to both questions is the same:
I will spend my life with my Muse, pursuing her, loving her, and convincing her every day, for the rest of my life, to stay with me.
Good times and bad times require the same response – moving forward in our Purpose. No matter what tomorrow brings, I want three things with me – a pen, a journal, and a good book. Everything else will work out. The better or the worse things become, the more I need to stay focused. If I wake up tomorrow and my best friend says, “I have to leave and I don’t know when we’ll talk or when I’ll see you again,” I need to keep working. If I win the lottery tomorrow and suddenly have the financial means to solve all my problems, I need to keep working. If I’m feeling fear or joy, I need to keep working. In past blogs I’ve often mentioned the therapeutic effects of being in Purpose. I’m grateful for that, but that’s not the reason I write. I write because this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m supposed to be with my Muse, every moment I can. The healing is wonderful, but it’s the beginning of the process, not the end of it.
If one day I wake up and am completely free of fear, pettiness, regret, and anger – if I wake up spiritually and emotionally whole – then after I say a prayer of gratitude, I need to say my prayer that my writing will bless God, the world, my family and friends, and my Muse and me, and start writing again, just as I do almost every morning.
Emotions cannot dictate our work. Nor can circumstances. We can use both to fuel our energy, but we can’t let them use us. Our work is our work. The good news is problems often do give more energy to our work. They give our work a sense of direction, determination and focus. But problems aren’t necessary. Pain isn’t necessary. The only thing that is necessary is to follow through on my Purpose.
So tomorrow, when I wake up, I have no idea what will happen – except this: to the best of my ability I’m going to do my work and do it well. This is all anyone can ask of us. It’s all that God can ask of us. It’s all we can ask of ourselves. Get Started and Keep Going. That’s all any of us can do. It’s all we need to do. And if we keep doing it, it may be all we want to do.