Sh*t You Have to Understand

cursing the deaf

 

I picked up the phone late one evening, and the voice on the other end was that of a colleague of mine.  We had never spoken like this before, and I had no idea that he even had my number.  We worked together for years, but I really didn’t know him that well.  We would speak on occasion, but always casually, and most often, only in passing.

I heard from him the evening, after I attended a work Christmas party.  A festivity where inevitably, as some point, as the night gets rolling, people begin to unload their stories of human woe and misery.

I don’t need to tell you the kind of stories that are told.  You have heard them, and have probably helped to cultivate some of your own.  Stories of half-truths and quarter-half innuendos.  Stories that harness laughter from someone else’s misfortune.  Tales that fill in unknown details with certain and false dramatic license.  Stories of gossip.  Ugly gossip, that rips people to the core.

Sadly, and unequivocally, I was one of the better story tellers that evening.

I enjoyed my role, as the poisonous jester.  I made people laugh, but I made the mistake that everyone else was laughing along with me.

Until I received the phone call.

I made some ugly, unfounded claims about this young man.  Claims that I had no business making.  Claims which I didn’t know were true or not, but somehow felt empowering to let loose on a drunken crowd, in an effort to somehow feel important.

He was not at the party, but the young woman he was interested in dating was. 

She wasn’t a particularly close friend of mine either, but I knew her better and greatly respected her.  Or so I told myself.

I thought I was being funny. 

I wasn’t.

His name came up, and I searched my brain for some gossip to tell.  I assumed incorrectly that she was not interested in him, but she was.  She was falling in love with him, and I can only imagine how my words weighed on her heart.  I can only imagine what was going through her mind, as she was pretending to laugh.  I have often imagines what it felt, deep inside, to have to smile, but be terribly disturbed on the inside.

The young man who called me on the phone was very polite and calm.  He just wanted to know why I said the things I did.  He wanted to know what I had to say for myself.

I was numb and speechless.

I kept blubbering on how sorry I was.  I kept apologizing.  Spinning my wheels and to this day, the same feelings of anxiousness and painful regret have once again bubbled to the surface.

He had mercy on me. 

He didn’t yell.  He didn’t tell me where to go.  What unnatural acts I could do with myself.  He just called me as a curtesy and a warning.

He gave me a greatest gift that night.

In a sense, he saved me from myself.

The scar of that evening has never fully healed.  I still fall prey to gossip on occasion.  I sometimes engage in hateful musings and dreadful innuendoes, but I am much better at catching myself and ending it as soon as I can.

I also stay away from people who gossip.  This leaves my calendar quite open and fills my nights with social loneliness, but I prefer that, to the alternative.

His words continue to haunt me even today. 

They haunt me a lot, and I am a better man for it.  A much better man, because of his honesty and courage to call me out.

He inflicted a wound on my consciousness that never heals.  A wound that offers me a chance to lead the life I dream for myself.  A life without hatred, bitterness, and gossip.  A life desiring love, hopefulness, and encouragement.

I heard a wise verse this morning.

 

“Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind.”

(Leviticus 19:14)

 

Piercing words. 

Wise words.

You see when we gossip, we don’t really harm the person who can’t hear us. 

All we end up doing, is drinking the poison ourselves. 

When we lay stumbling blocks for the blind. 

All we do is end up tripping over ourselves.

There is no need for any of this.

There is no room for gossip.

Life is full of glorious possibilities, if we would just connect and listen to the better angels of our human nature.

 


never give up

 

Don’t you ever give up.

Ever!

It is perfectly natural to want to take a break or sprint towards the end of a shitty day.  To close the book on our failures and many mistakes of yesterday that continuously haunt us.  It is perfectly natural to want to quit and force them to go away. 

But as natural as it all feels, it is never, ever, acceptable to fall into the temptation of giving up.

You are worth far more than that.  Far more than you believe and tell yourself.  Far more than you allow yourself to see.

Giving up is very tempting. 

Our frazzled minds and tired bodies don’t want to deal with anything anymore.  They want it all to stop.  The good.  The bad.  Everything.

Our thoughts and feelings at that moment don’t want to smile and take a deep breath or be granted an extended lunch break.  They don’t want a time out, or an extension. 

Our exhausted minds and weak bodies just want everything to stop.

We want to give up.

We want an end of things.  An end of everything. 

The end of your diet.  The end of your lustful affair.  The end of all financial burdens.  Professional pressures.  Family obligations.  Unmitigated commitments and endless household chores.

That is what we want, but deep down, we don’t mean it.

Don’t believe the lie.

Giving up is easy.

You draw a line in the sand.  You stop doing everything you are doing and for a moment or two, you experience a false sense of joy and fleeting sense of temporary relief.

It is temporary because we cannot stop living.  We cannot stop motion and perpetual progress.

There is no such thing as being neutral.  Taking a break.

You are either moving towards something, or you are simply moving away from it.

You are growing, or you are dying.

Standing still is a myth and giving up is the only unforgivable sin.

The sin without redemption.

By giving up, we put an end to all momentum.

Our action imprisons us in solitude, loneliness, wretchedness, and self-loathing.

Giving up binds us to a very dark place, with very little comfort and much regret.

We have too much time to think, and it is never good.

So, what should we do then?

Trust ourselves and faith in our dreams.

Do anything and everything necessary but don’t ever stop dreaming and believing that the pain and exhaustion you’re feeling is only a temporary state of mind.

Your state of mind might last for days, weeks, months, and in some cases, many, many years.

It’s not easy.  It is never easy.  But no one ever said it would be easy.

If they did.  They lied.

Life is worth living. 

Life is worth living, under all circumstances and under all conditions.  There is meaning to be had and a life to be lived at all times.

Our moments of weakness present an opportunity for us to emerge as heroes and saints.  We owe it to ourselves and those we love, to embrace our humanity and embrace our trials.

We deserve to get everything we want out of life.  We were born to live our lives with remarkable meaning.  We were born to live in abundance and gratitude.  Born to win.  Born to be a badass. 

When you are overwhelmed with decisions and find yourself stranded in a fog of doubt, simply avert your gaze and count the few steps that lie before you.

Wake up.  Make a tea.  Have some breakfast.  Yawn.  Stretch.  Make a list of only three things that need to get done today.  Do them.  Everything else that happens can be considered a blessing.

Tomorrow, make a list of four things.  Than five.  Increase or decrease that number as needed.  There is no right or wrong way to move forward.  You can lengthen the list or shorten it.  Life is a series of moments that pull us back and forth.

There is only one marvelous you.

We only get one life to live. 

Do what needs to be done.

Seize whatever is possible in the moment.

One step at a time.

But never give up.

 


two hundredth shovel full

 

We love round numbers. 

Ten.  Fifty.  One hundred.  Two hundred.

I love them too.

Which is why I am taking this morning to reflect on my two hundredth blog entry.

I wrote the first one on January 20th, 2017, a little over eight months ago.

At the time, the snow was on the ground, and I had just finished listening to a book by Seth Godin, where he put forth the intriguing proposition, that the idea of writer’s block, is false and simply doesn’t exist.

He asserted that there is a difference.  A somewhat subtle difference between the amateur writer and the professional one.  The pro, she writes, and treats her work as a job.  A commitment she dares not break. 

She takes the time to write daily.  She invests her time in digging ditches. 

She sits down.  He thinks.  She writes.

To the amateur however, writing becomes a motivational rollercoaster ride, that swings their resolve back and forth, based on their mood, and far too many other reasons to list here.

Two hundred entries.

That’s a lot of ditches.

That’s a lot of coffees. 

A lot of early mornings. 

That’s a lot of frogs.

I am not mentioning any of this to boast in any way or to receive unwarranted praise.  I point it out, simply to illustrate that Seth Godin was right.

A writer faces two real possibilities.  One.  She can write well, or he can write badly.  In case you are wondering, it is always better to write well.  But both come from the same well.

There is a third possibility. 

The writer can insist and imprison themselves in the idea of a writer’s block, write nothing, and by their inactivity, wipe themselves out of existence.

It’s not easy.  It’s not easy digging ditches.

There are days, where I have nothing in my mind and I simply face the struggle and force it out.  There are days, when I don’t want to write, let alone post any of it, but I had made a commitment to myself, to share everything, no matter what, warts and all.

If you are reading this, and you must be, because how else are these words reading themselves?

If you are reading this, I hope from the bottom of my heart that you figure out what brings meaning to your life.  I hope you figure out the things that you’ve neglected, or pushed to the side, while you got busy with other matters.

I hope you reawaken your sense of wonder. 

I hope you choose not to go to the grave with your song still in you.

Dig some ditches.

Dig only one shovel full at a time.

Dig badly.  Dig well.

Dig with a smile, or with a frown.  Dig grumbling and swearing under your breath, or with the angels serenading every single drop of sweat.

Dig because you said you would. 

Dig because you can. 

Dig because you know, as well as I know, that there is nothing else like it.  There is nothing else like it that makes you feel alive.

We were born to live.  We were not created merely to exist.

I hope you find your two hundredth shovel full and I hope it comes soon. 

I also hope you drop me a little note, and tell me all about it.

So, go dig something.

Go make a ruckus.

 


dearest dad

 

I know you can read this and that you miss me too.

Life is not easy without you and mom.  It never gets easier missing you but I take comfort in my own family and in what you have done and given me.  I have wonderful memories, a strong moral character, a questionable sense of humour, and a blueprint for love and happiness.

It has been ten years since we held each other’s hands, as you lay dying in that hospital room at the Bowmanville Hospital. 

You are the only person that I watched die; taking one breath at a time, while your lungs fought and failed to extract the carbon dioxide that was building up in your body.

I miss you and love you.

Happy birthday.

I can’t believe ten years have come and gone.  You would have celebrated your eighty second birthday, instead I will think of you and speak of you to my children.

I couldn’t have had a better dad.

You were always there for me and you let me watch you shave each morning, while answering my endless questions.

You were such a good man.  Always thinking of other people.  Fighting for freedom, at the expense of your own comfort and life.

You brought us to Canada in 1985, when you were fifty years old.  You struggled to find work and learn a new culture and language.  In the end your giftedness as a Chemist and Photographer were rejected by this society, and you swept the hallways of a High School, and mopped the stairways of a large apartment building.

You lived a life of great struggle, but a life worth living, and writing about.

I am your son. 

I will always be your son.

I wake up every morning trying to become a better person, and to leave the world a little better, then I found it.

I miss your smile.  Your nagging persistence of correcting my grammar.  I miss your stories.  I miss your openness to everything I embraced over the years. 

I admire your patience.  Your love.  Your gentleness.  Your tenacity.  Your sense of humour.  Your love for your wife and my mother.

I appreciate our morning fishing trips, your stubbornness, your love of literature, your passion for photography, your humility, and your moral compass.

I love and miss you.

I wish you a very happy birthday. 

I would love to see you soon, but I have many more miles to go before I sleep.  I need to be there for my children, like you were there for me. 

I still don’t really know where I am going, who I am becoming, what life is about, or what my children will say about me one day, but I am hopeful that they will think of me as I think of you.

I didn’t realize that writing this would flood my eyes with tears, and I am once again embarrassing myself in McDonald’s, while I write and drink my morning coffee.

I loved our coffee time every day.  Those ten or fifteen minutes meant the world to me.  We would talk about nothing and everything.

I will never forget the last words you said to me.

“We love each other”

It wasn’t I love you.  I have always love we.  It was, we love each other.

In the present.  Right now.  Today and tomorrow.

I love you.

I miss you.

I will see you again.

Please say hello to Heaven and tell mom I love her too.

 


letting go

 

I have committed myself to a life of digging ditches. 

In the past, I would set goals and go about fluttering, to see them through.  On many occasions, in a very repeatable pattern, since change was often invisible, I would ultimately stop everything I started, get down on myself, dig an even deeper hole, and retreat ever more inward into my own loneliness.

Looking back, I never learned to let go. 

I was a runner.   I ran.   I hid.  I retreated.  I felt sorry for myself.  I would gather people around me that would tell me what I wanted to hear.  That life was tough, that it wasn’t my fault, that I should just take it easy, and relax.  I would open my hands in resignation and curse the world for being so uncaring and unloving.

I was unhappy.

I have learned since, that the key to it all is simply letting go.

Part of making plans, setting goals, and digging ditches, involves letting life happen.  It involves uncertainty, being uncomfortable, and stumbling energetically in the dark.

The problem of my many failures has never been my goals.  The problem has never been my dreams.  The vision I hold in my mind.  The exciting possibility of what I can yet achieve.  That vision is always so colourful, so unbelievably vivid, and so life giving. 

I see it.  Hear it.  Feel it.  It is so real, I can touch it. 

But nothing happens without letting go.

Nothing happens if we don’t leap, do the work, and let go. 

Leaping forward is dangerous because it embraces the possibility of failure.  It is frightening precisely because it presents no guarantee of success, and we might end up looking pretty foolish.

But it can also change our lives. 

Validate who we are.  Bring into the world a beautiful reality that never existed.  It can make life worth living.  It can inspire others to embrace their struggle as well, and help them leap when they are ready.

Yes.

No matter what we do, or how hard we work, we need to let go.

You need to let go of what you think is going to happen and abandon your expectations.  Let go of your estimates and calculations of how quickly you believe change must come.  Leave the timeline to God, the universe, or the art of living.

Just let go.

Dig your ditch. 

Work hard every day and stay vigilant and observant of what is happening all around you.

Sometimes what we want is hides a greater opportunity.  We see a beautiful shape, but behind it, is an even more beautiful shape.  It is hidden in the shadow of what we see just ahead of us.  But beyond it lies something even greater.  Something we never imagined.

I wake up at 4:02 am each morning, without complaint, and I am very grateful to be alive.  I don’t really know what the day will bring, but I gently await the possibilities.

None of this is easy. 

Living.  Surviving.  Struggling.  Fighting.  Overcoming.  Battling.  Enduring.  Persisting.

It is not easy to dig ditches. 

There is a reason why most people are on a perpetual smoke break.

But letting go is important.  It is one less thing to worry about, and it might just be the secret formula that will keep you moving, prevent your retreat, and stop you from hiding from the world.

Just let go.

Leap into your work.

Let life be what it is.  Let her do what she wants and needs to do.

Don’t forget to smile.

Let go.

 


love yourself

 

Love yourself. 

If we were truly honest with ourselves, we would painfully admit that we really don’t love ourselves that much.  Perhaps we like ourselves somewhat.  We put up with ourselves.  But we don’t really love who we are.  Or we don’t love enough.  Or with enough intensity. 

This is most noticeable when we examine how we treat other people.  We treat them based on who we are, and how we see ourselves.  We project our being onto theirs.  Our response to other people is the perfect test ground to discover who we really are.

We also never gaze in the mirror.  Or we do so without making eye contact.

The eyes are the window to the soul, and we don’t have time for religion and politics.

We don’t accept genuine compliments.  We keep ourselves busy in order not to think about our human needs, wants, and desires.  We don’t dare to dream, and some of us develop the dangerous idea that life only has value when we forget our selfish self and help to care for others.  An idea that isolates us and puts such a burden on our lives. 

It’s madness.

Love yourself.

Love one another as I have loved you

That’s not a suggestion, it’s a commandment.

We have a responsibility to see ourselves as the wondrous human beings that we are.

Yes. 

We have a colourful past, somewhat checkered, and written with crooked lines.  We swing back and forth between light and darkness.  We sway to and from between love and hate.  It is all true.  But so is the fact that mistakes are an event.  They are not a person.  They are not you.  Sin and wretchedness do not define you. 

As Leonard Cohen so beautifully and painfully discovered; there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

Loving yourself doesn’t make you selfish.  That’s is why all the great religions of the world speak about loving in so many parables and stories.  We are very stubborn to let go and be who were born to be.

It is all very simple. 

You were born in a glorious time.  A glorious time, because it is always a glorious time to be alive. 

You are experiencing life as it happens.  You are part of creation, not a slave of it.  You are learning by experimenting and testing your surroundings. 

You are called to love.

The first person that needs love is you.

Look in a mirror. 

Look closely at your own reflection, and pay a special attention to your eyes.  Stand there in perfect stillness.  What words come to mind?

Do you heap abuse on yourself?  Do you hear that you are stupid?  A failure?  Are you too fat?  Too old?  Have too many wrinkles?  Blackheads?  Moles?  Does your hair grow in places it shouldn’t?  Do you live in perpetual regret?

What you say to yourself when no one is around matters.   Most likely, you avoid yourself, by numbing your mind with television, music, Facebook, Instagram, and all other substances, prescribed or otherwise.

Remember that happiness and success come to a sober mind that accepts and loves itself. 

It’s a commandment.  Not a trivial matter. 

So, love yourself.

What do you stand to lose?

Start today. 

Keep a journal of all the things you are grateful for, and write in it at the end of every single day.  Record the great things you’ve accomplished.  We forget so quickly who we are, or what we mean to others.  We need to be reminded often.

When you have a horrible day, the thought you run to at that moment will become your new reality, and so we must develop the discipline to keep looking back daily, so we can remember and challenge the lies that define and distort who we are.

Renew your friendship with your mirror.

Accept complements.

Say something nice about yourself.

Keep a journal.

Love yourself.

 


undeserving faith in humanity

 

Today is September 11th.

I am not an American.  I am not a New Yorker.  But I am a human being.

I was born in Poland in 1972 and arrived in Canada in 1985.   To be honest, I don’t really feel at home in either country, although both are extremely dear to me. 

In Canada, I continue to feel and live the life of a foreigner, and my citizenship card reminds me of that reminds me of that occasionally.  I am a mere visitor, without context.  I just don’t understand.

In the same way, when I find myself in my beloved Poland, I only feel like a tourist.  A linguist or a historian, but a tourist none the less.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I love my Polish roots and I am also grateful for the peace and life I have built in Canada. 

I just don’t belong.

I belong to my family.  To my wife.  To my son.  To my daughter.

I belong to my friends, and everyone I meet, that wants me to belong.

I also belong to my aging dog Roscoe.  He pretends, out of all the creatures, to truly understand me.

I don’t believe you must be born in a certain place, believe or practice a particular religion, or belong to a specific race or culture, in order to care and love.

Today, I am reminded that all tragedies, of human origin or through natural disasters, great and small, international or personal, all point to the greatness of humanity.  

They point to our divine significance.    

The terror of September 11th made us heroes. 

It didn’t make enemies.  They were always there.  Hiding.  Watching.  Loathing.

September 11th, and days like it before and since, created heroes. 

Heroes in the first responders.  Heroes in the men and women who opened their homes to stranded strangers.  Heroes of our neighbours.  Heroes to our children.

We do not seek out tragedy and only the sick pursue pain.

But when misfortune strikes at you, there is as much meaning in our tears as there is in our laughter.  There is as much truth in Christianity, as there is in Islam, Judaism, or the overlooked spirituality of the Aboriginal nations. 

There is as much joy in being gay, as there is in being straight.  In being black, as being white.  In being young, as being old.  In being poor, as being rich.

We need to have faith in humanity. 

We need to have faith in each other.

Those crazy mother fuckers that hide and run, and soil themselves with evil, will never understand.  Or perhaps someday they will. 

If we embrace each other.  If we are kind to one another.  If we love one another.  If we value being human.

Perhaps they will.

But we don’t have to give them anymore of our time.

Heroes live amongst us and they do not wear spandex or need a tragedy in their life to shake them away.  Ok.  Some wear spandex.

You and I can decide to become heroes. 

To stop complaining and start living.  To look up, instead of down.  To build something, instead tearing at what others are doing.

It is never easy to write on September 11th.

It is easier to remain silent.

We should always examine what it means to be human. 

We need to nurture with our hearts, the undeserving faith in broken humanity.

 


what they don't test in school

 

School is back, and millions of young minds are once again pursuing their education, some extremely reluctantly.  They are once again back in concrete prison like school houses to make something of their life.  They desire high grades and to be part of the honour roll because it somehow spells out success.

But success and happiness forge a different path.

In school, you learn a lot of things. 

You learn to read and write.  To be afraid of raising your hand, and speaking your mind.  You learn arithmetic, algebra, and the shortest distance between two points.  To measure yourself against others, and to believe in yourself based on provincial standards.  You learn the weather patterns and glaciers in Geography.  In Civics and History you discover how the political systems function and how they sometimes lead to war and unrest.  You learn to be afraid of your future, and ashamed of the past.  In Art you explore colour, shape, and individual artistic expression.  In Music you begin the task of making beautiful and terrifying sounds.  You learn that there is no life for an artist in our society.  You learn that it is a sellable commodity.  Something to exploit.  A source of profit.

 

You learn a lot of things while you are in school.

It makes you normal.  It makes you a functioning member of a society.

I am not being negative.  I just see what I see, but I see the good as well.

Here is what kids learn in school, but which often holds so little value for them.

They learn Courage.  They express it every day, as they exit the bus, knowing they must face cartoonish peers that hate them, gossip, and will judge every aspect of their existence.

They learn something about Perseverance.  While they struggle with their personal life, and trying to make sense of all the directions they are being pulled and pushed.

They learn Humility.  Patience.  Kindness.  Sympathy.  Empathy.  Resilience.  Self-Discipline.  Truthfulness.  Honesty.  Integrity.  Loyalty.  Love.  Friendship.  Forgiveness.  Confidence.  Redemption.  Creativity.  Passion.  The Art of listening.  Contemplation.  And the ability to laugh and see humour in pain.

 

Kids learn a lot in school, except they are never tested.  They spend twelve years of their life leaning how to DO various things, but very few teachers point out all the things that they ARE. 

They are measured against each other, like cattle headed for slaughter.

We praise ourselves publically that as a Canadians we rank highly in the world.  How literate we are.  How many graduates we create year after year.  How advanced we have become as a society, but we relegate the things that really matter, the things that make us human and connect us to each other, to a few assemblies and a few feel-good moments throughout the year.

There is something wrong without educational system. 

It needs to find a soul.

Our systematized school system is very much concerned about doing, but that is not good enough because we are and will always be, human beings

Students should leave their schools knowing that there is nothing wrong with them.  They are not the sum-total of their mistakes.  The only failure, is the one that we accept and do nothing about.

There is no need to keep their head down, and to live in anxiety and fear.  Students already have everything they need to be happy.  They were born to win.  We were all born to win.  There is absolutely nothing we lack. 

We are powerful without measure. 

If they only knew.

If the teachers knew.

If only would could teach a little bit of soul.

 


bridge builders

 

At Toastmasters International, there is this fun little exercise we do called table topics.  You are invited to the front and are given a minute or two to speak about a randomly selected.  Yester night, we used pictures.  I pulled a photograph of a beautiful bridge, and my thoughts rushed out in the following manner.

Bridges are invaluable.

They connect two land masses that would otherwise be far apart and disconnected.  Bridges help travellers maneuver safely across deep rivers, wide outstretched lakes, and otherwise impossible terrain.

As parents, we are magnificent bridge builders!

Fathers and mothers build bridges.  As parents, we take hold of a tiny little collection of cells that miraculously emerges one day.  A collection that is vulnerable and trusting, with hands wide open to the numerous possibilities of living, and somehow help this collection of cells, mature into strong and majestic men and women.

We are bridge builders.  Every, last one of us.

But we are too tough on ourselves. 

I know I am.

Sometimes, all I see, is the sound of my raised voice.  My grunts and frustrations.  Don’t touch that.  Leave the dog alone.  Stop teasing your sister.  Will you just sit still, for one minute?

Sometimes, all I can see are my countless negative words and vexations.  I can see all the moments, when I have failed as a parent.  Moments when I didn’t notice.  Was too tired.  Forgot. Made mistake, after mistake, after mistake.

Sometimes.

Sometimes.

Other times, I see the bridge I am building.

You really cannot see it, when you’re building it, because it takes years.

You build in the pounding rain, and in the hot sun.   You build when you have energy and when you are exhausted.  You build in the fog, freezing snow, and in times of hurricanes and tornadoes. 

You dig foundations.  Redraw structural plans.  Dig again.  Build.  Redraw.  Build.  Redraw.  Repeat.

You cannot see the bridge.  You cannot see what it will meet to connect two land masses born apart.  You will only see it, and have a chance to admire it, when you get old, tired, and begin to see life from a distance.

As parents, we need to have patience with ourselves.  We need reminders and trust that we are building something magnificent.

We are connecting a human being, as unique as a snowflake, and an old, ancient and largely undiscovered world. 

This is a task never done before.  Not with this human being, and not by you.  We shoulder an awesome responsibility and are entrusted the task of being a bridge builder.

We can build great people, and it doesn’t just stop with our children.

We can build anyone, at anytime, anywhere.

We are bridge builders.

We have the sway to reach out to the lonely, shy, unhappy, sad, depressed, angry, and apathetic people.   

We can build a bridge.

We can reconnect them to the world.

Or we can criticize ourselves and do absolutely nothing.

 


special snowflake

 

I think we have been genetically predispositioned to instinctively compare ourselves to others.

We look around. 

We scan our competition. 

We are good and quick at identify the weak and the strong.  We have no problem on either extreme.  We have become masterfully swift at dismissing those who are lagging behind, and ignoring the ones who seem way out of our reach.

Finding the weak is easy.

Identifying the strong seems child play. 

It is the people who are very much like us, who share our dreams, that pose the greatest threat to our desires. 

The ones that are weak or strong are relatively harmless.  They are caricatures.  Unattainable and unreal. They have no impact on the way we think or act.  We don’t give up on our dreams, nor do we lose any momentum when we encounter them.  We never undertake to plot a different course of action.  We simply see for a moment and continue exactly as we were.

Yet, the individual who possesses a similar skill set to our own, who share our very dreams, becomes our competition and embodies our biggest struggle.

We are not very lucky when we meet them.

We meet them.  We talk to them.  We marvel at how great they are.  Dangerously and ever so slowly, we run the risk of becoming shaken, and accepting the reality that we are out of our league.

We are not a good writer.  A good wife.  A good musician.  A great accountant.

The risk is very serious. 

If not handled properly, those prickly souls, that seem to be so much better and so much closer to what we want and what we deserve; these quiet little souls, will bring us to utter ruin.

Take a breath.

They will do no such thing.

It is time we look at ourselves in the mirror.

(this is where you stop reading and go look in the mirror).

The eyes that are staring back at you, are your only competition.

You are looking at the eyes who control everything.  They have circumvented your many attempts at greatness, and they were there for you when it seemed impossible to get up from your failure and begin again.

I don’t think we spend enough time looking at ourselves in the mirror.  We spend too much time looking for people who make us want to quit.  We don’t spend enough time being grateful for everything that we have, or have accomplished.

We understand how great we are, but we don’t really believe in our own uniqueness.  We have all heard that we are a unique slow flake or that we all have one of a kind finger prints.  We know it to be intellectually true, but we treat it as nothing more than an afterthought or a poetic illusion.

Being special and unique is not for us, it is for someone else. 

Those thoughts and ideas are reserved for those people that have some kind of natural, God given talent, of which we have next to none.  It has been reserved for those who have been predestined, from the beginning of time, and know they are born to be great.

The person staring back at you in the mirror is very nice and all, but they are really nothing special.  They are only human.  Their finger prints are not worth much to fuss about, and they are certainly not a special snow flake.

It is time to be a special snowflake.

The way I feel and think these days, I’ll be anything you want me to be.  I’ll be a special snowflake or a fucking rainbow Unicorn. 

I’ll tap my head three times for how every long you tell me to, if it will bring me closer to who I am meant to be. 

I’ll wear a large metal noodle strainer on my head, to prevent my thoughts being read by the alien overlords who have come to earth, to harvest us for energy.

Ok.  Maybe I won’t wear the metal strainer, but everything else is fair game.

I am willing to try anything, and everything, provided that empirically, that scientifically, it begins to inch me closer to my goals.

I openly admit that I am a special fucking snowflake.

You are one as well.

The sooner we accept this to be true, and stop looking at other people, the sooner we can convert our talents into more talents.

Being great and feeling great, attracts other people who feel great and are up to some pretty great things.  A sort of synergy takes place when you meet them, and something has a chance to be born.  Something that would have never come to be otherwise.

There is a law of attraction that governs us.  I have nor read the book.  I have not seen the movie.  I am just very curious about the possibility of the idea.

What you project will come back to you.

Stop telling yourself that you are ugly, and then expect eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, to give you any attention.  Who in their right mind would want to take you on as a project?

It is time to look in the mirror.

Look into your eyes.

You are the only competition that matters.

It’s time to be somebody.

Be an F. N. Snowflake.