I had a thought while running today that really stuck with me. I think it stuck with me because it was the perfect example of why I try not to say things out loud until I’ve properly thought them through. When words leave our lips too soon, before they are ready, they tend to leave us feeling foolish when a more mature and refined idea along the same lines shows up to put them in their place.
The reflection began about a half mile in and mid Eve 6 song from the early 2000’s. I started thinking back to what I was doing when I first remembered hearing the song, not surprisingly, I was spending time with my older sister and her friends, sitting around and watching as they all smoked a cigarette like the cool rebellious teenagers they were, the song was playing out over a car stereo so loudly I could feel the vibrations rattling under my hands from the hood I was seated upon.
Back then I believed in all of them so much, they were heroes to me, which made the song playing over my headphones more meaningful. The idea that they were so much more capable and free than myself, only grew the excitement of being as old as they were. With time, and experience comes the realization also, that no hero is too large to experience crushing life forces. Sometimes it detours their greatness until long after, other times it fuels their journey back into good graces.
But lately, the latter hasn’t been the case. The thought that had begun so small now escalated into a full-bore thesis, a hypothesis getting ready to stand trial against the 23 years of experience I had toward or against its truthfulness in my book.
I think we all grow up learning to believe in something.
Some of us might have learned as a byproduct of our parents believing in something, and because we grew up being told of the importance of the idea, it somehow stuck around and evolved with us. Some might have been lucky enough to have the identity of the idea tested early in life. Often, if they believed it simply because their parents or others had said it was, the idea would fall short, leaving them to dangle under scrutiny. This path often leads to dejection and the refusal to believe out of anger or embarrassment.
Others still, may be lucky enough, or small enough, that they never require a paradigm shift, they are so happy with what they have learned that it never comes into question in their mind and so they never feel the need to step outside of it.
Oh, how comforting that fishbowl sounds sometimes.
Some people believe in things over other people or ideas. So, being resilient and loyal by nature, their ideas try to find them through their things. This is usually the case when people have to often lead to disappointment causing the persons’ beliefs shift into things they can make, things they can buy, things they can buy and then make. At least if things are broken or do not work properly they can be modified or replaced. There is no objective permanence in this line of belief, inevitably these people are disappointed and die trying to improve and impress the importance of their work on others. Sounds unfulfilling, but I get it…
Some people, learn to believe in other people, believing that they are the best, the brightest… I want to be like them. Sounds like a ticking time bomb to me. The thought plunged deeper, keeping up with me as I pounded my feet over the pavement.
Humans are still only humans…
And if humans put their trust and belief, ONLY into other humans what a disappointment that would be, every time I turn on the news our society is spitting out what interests its masses, or more nefariously, what they WANT them to be interested in, or distracted by… The thought lets this string go to follow a different path with it. One less judgemental and more understanding…
If all other humans are like me, they inevitably fail, fall, and land straight on their face in a pile of their own manure collecting beneath them from their high horse at some point, or many, throughout life.
Which would make the act of getting up more heroic. To stand tall, clean myself off and change into new clothes a personal choice. A choice that if left undiscovered, or unchosen was sure to leave the inexperienced, to die slowly, while living out the disappointment. Best case scenario, they become like their idols, unsavory closeted tastes and all. Sounds unfulfilling, but I get it.
Some people learn to believe in science ALONE, which is great except it slowly sucks the magic from everything we were given just to enjoy, suddenly consuming even the smallest details of life… When there is only science, and fact, a butterfly becomes ‘endangered, and God or anything outside of our realm of perception suddenly becomes strictly off limits and laughable among magic-less, lifeless colleagues on a mission of proof. Happy is the one who does not see and still believes.
If I am the smartest man in the world but I feel like the biggest yet smallest and most insignificant in comparison with the secrets of the Universe that you will never know… Then what is happiness but a distant memory you associate with the naive vanity of youth… and again Sounds unfulfilling, but I get it.
Ignorance is Bliss.
But Knowledge is Key.
Some people believe in something greater that we can’t ever hope to fathom until we meet it face to face in death. Some call this infinite energy source, God, Jehovah. The name of the independent, self-complete being—“I AM WHO I AM”. Sounds intriguing, romantic even.
A reason to look forward too, or at the very least be curious toward the idea of death. At the very least having a code to answer too is enough of a reason to live the best life so you can meet the potential source of life at the end of the road, and extend a good story in exchange for the time that it spent allowing the traveler to adventure in this great big world…
What is wrong with holding onto something beautiful, which in turn allows you to show your beauty and share it with others? Why is that somehow worse than holding onto hatred toward your perceived problems and forming entire groups around it…
Some people pick their heroes so loosely they are bound to disappointment and lost faith… I call these Atheists, people who base their entire lives on trying to prove something doesn’t exist, in one way or another… They remind me of what feminism was reduced too, a movement bound to the destruction of what makes a woman a woman. Raging against the mystery and grace that helps us understand the nature of things more deeply.
I often joke to myself, that the modern feminist is to femininity what the Antichrist is for Christianity…
None of my heroes would run around with a little vagina hat on top of their heads… They were to busy being awesome, doing awesome things, pushing themselves, for the betterment of the world around them. And it all started with their ideas being rooted in goodness. This is what I believe in. My beliefs led me to follow certain paths and they certainly don’t identify only with one or the other of the sentiments stated above.
The run brought my thoughts full circle, showing me where my own preferences and agendas aligned with my current views on social issues. Growing up Catholic I was destined to see my heroes fall, they follow the road less traveled, the one that requires it, walkers, to live by a code of sorts. You learn to tell yourself to think more before doing something. Following it, I began to reason with the effects of my actions, and wrestle with the urge to react before giving in and allowing the reaction to lead me charging into a battle that should exist in the first place.
I believe that every thought I have is the beginning of a wonderful conversation being extended to me by something that knows better than myself. Conversation leads to action and action leads to direction, but it begins with the very basics that some people believe themselves to be above.
Ideas, much like the one keeping me company on my run, lead me to read other peoples accounts of life and what makes it substantial, both fiction and nonfiction. Spiritual, meditative, scientific, inspirational, factual, and creative all of them combined are what make life rich. Finding balance and not putting your eggs in one basket, but leaving them strewn to the many opportunities we have each day to make the world and ourselves more enjoyable to be around.
I could focus on the darker narratives being spun by our current media outlets, or I can reach out and find those created on individual accounts, by writers, by artists, by philosophers and men of science. Believe them or not stories carry a piece of the writer’s soul, their interest. That book consumed their time, and they devoted their thoughts to it for long enough that others took interest in it too. There is a certain bittersweetness to novels bred from desperation, there is a delicious depth from those that come out of depravity, and there is so much love from those that cry out from loneliness.
We who write, tend to write about what we need, what we see, the pain we gather from situations and people and energy we exchange, we collect your stories as well.
And the way I see it, I want to live my life as a character I want to be around
Because I want this, I try my best to always extend a smile or good foot forward to the characters I encounter, in both my stories and real life.
The ideas that take form under this pretense exude feelings that lead to actions that can be identified by others as funny, warm, caring, and effortlessly interested.
In order to avoid any shenanigans I’ve learned to shut up and listen, listen so well I have no questions or judgements left by the end of their telling of the tale, and thus we both receive vindication and Karma doesn’t feel the need to shuffle those shoes toward my doorstep for me to place them in my mouth at how wrong my assessment had been.
I’ve found that in adulthood, talking can be tedious, so listening suits me,
As a writer, I’ve learned humility, through listening and absorbing the ideas of others. Sometimes I assume I know exactly where my ideas and characters will take me. Once I recognized that I started to realize I do the same thing with my own conversations and interactions with others. I assume I understand what they are saying because I am caught up in the words they use that sound similar to others I’ve heard before. All of a sudden I’m not listening to the part that really counts. The undertone, the person directly in front of me, and the feelings directing the dialogues.
The point is, out of all the avenues I’ve tried, writing brings out my better pieces and helps me direct traffic, separating useful thoughts from the garbage ones I’ve collected from my environment, from the internet, from the media. It gives me an avenue of airing out the vents so I don’t vent on people who don’t deserve it or want a part in it. That’s why I’ve put my belief in ideas.
That leads to the belief that by putting emphasis on the smallest component of my universes structure, I inevitably pay more attention to them. I realize I don’t want them to only steer in one direction, it usually leads to obsessive or impulsive actions and allows us to work on autopilot. Repeating words and phrases we’ve heard or used one too many times. I am learning to listen without judgment because I want others to feel comfortable expressing themselves to me.
If there is truth to Karma, if every action bares consequence and rewards if all of the laws we accept about our universe are true, then why would I spend all my time moving only in one direction unless that direction bore good fruit, positive influences, and abundance for myself and those surrounding me?
Thanks for thinking with me!!
Thoughts are like little daydreams asking for your permission to play their way into your reality.