Make It So
In this frightening, contentious time of pandemic, sheltering at home as nearly as we can, we have the time to think about how we have spent our days until now. We have time to pursue thoughts of the dreams we held for our life before reality moved in to stay. In this, I’m not talking about the novel coronavirus. I’m referring to what we imagined when young, dancer, astronaut, doctor, firefighter, nurse, writer, police, artist and too many for me to remember or name. Then we grew older, moved away from home, went to school, got a job, got married, had children, with all of the responsibility and pressure inherent in becoming an adult. We all do or have done whatever it was we did. We may harbor a small flame of hope that someday…. I’m sure you understand what I mean. However, beyond the personal, we live this way because of stories we’ve been told, by our parents, teachers, our peers, advertisers, marketers, social media and the underlying structure of our society. All of these are someone else’s story. Now, we have a chance to change not only our story, but everyone’s story, to change it for the better.
Every day is a day to make new stories. Our own, the stories we alone can tell. Every day the stories we tell ourselves and others have the potential to change how we see the world, to change the world. You don’t believe me, do you, about your story? It’s true, but we must make sure we are telling our own story. Other people’s stories will not do. Nothing changes if our thoughts, words, deeds simply repeat what we hear, are told or have been taught.
Yes, change is frightening, as we fear it will unmake us, or change us in ways we cannot imagine. We believe we will not recognize ourselves or be recognized by those closest to us. That we will not be equal to the task. Our world, our daily existence no matter how trying or shabby, fits us and we know where we belong. Even when we want to change, we often do not do so. Or we try to change but fail, either because we attempt to tell a story which is not ours, or don’t fully invest ourselves in our own story.
This is understandable, but we must refuse to accept it. We believe stepping into the unknown may break us into our constituent parts. That will, of course, happen in its time. Is our death, that ultimate change, what we fear the most? Since we would never, in most circumstances, court death, we take precautions and do our best to never knowingly harm ourselves or others. Beyond that, all bets are off. Worrying about when death may find us is like worrying that the sun will rise. These are both things over which we have no control. We may only choose how we will face each day. This wisdom is embodied in the phrase one day at a time. Even this sentiment is too broad to suit. There is only, ever and always, this moment, now. We remember our past and hopefully learn from it. We plan for the future to implement that learning. What we do this instant determines our lives.
I know this hard, may seem impossible, especially now. Everything is uncertain. Massive death and unemployment worldwide, make simply getting through each day a challenge. I have struggled with this my whole life. I am doing better than some, simply because of how life turned for me and the wisdom and foresight of my wife. Yet, I’m creative and I’ve felt stifled and that what I do is pointless. So, I write this, for myself as well as you. I’m also a dreamer who believes our thoughts, intent and actions can change not only our world, but the world. What I write next, may sound like pie in the sky. I know of no other way to express it. We must change if we are to survive. Now is our opportunity and it may not come again.
I know dream it, believe it, achieve it sounds like bumper sticker wisdom, but it is the essence of creating our own stories. Our dreams, inspired by everything that has made an impression on our lives, guide us to our own story. To believe, truly believe, is what allows us to become the embodiment of our story, the story only we can tell. This is true for each of us and for humanity. Belief is what stitches each moment to the next and keeps our focus laser sharp. This is not connected to religious belief, but faith in our dreams and ourselves. This belief defines who we are and what we do. If we believe we will fail, we will always fail. And this is all too easy. The whole world tells us we are not good enough. Only when we believe we are enough can we move forward.
Only when we believe we are sufficient to the life we choose to live are we able to begin to direct that life where we choose. We may only go where we want, do what we want when we own our story. Dream it, believe it and achieve it. But we must be careful what we wish for, as the saying goes. Up until now, we have been living life dictated by money and power, no matter how we have consumed it. Our connection to everything, the all, our ground of being is what allows us to manifest our dreams, to tell our story. Think of this in religious terms, if this helps, but it is our intent that makes the difference. Remember, everything we think, our every doubt, our every worry, is heard as readily as our beliefs about our dreams, our prayers, if that is the way you picture it. We must exclude anything negative, anything not related to what we need. This is how we learn to be what we dream, to tell our own stories. Each of us alone knows who we are inside, what we need to share with the world. Only by living and breathing each instant in our story, as our story will we understand we are in control. No one can hold us back.
Let today, this moment, now be when we decide to tell our own new stories.
Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment
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