[The lyrics to this song make sense with this column so here is the soundtrack to it — “Inside What’s Within Behind” from the epic album Destroy Erase Improve…what an album!]
As you read this, I want you to know the finger is pointing right back at me. Don’t read this as an advice column; this is just my thoughts and perspective on life as it came to me this morning. I make no claims to know any deep mysteries of life. I am just a man, trying to make this world a better place in any way I can. That being said…read on friends.
New Year’s Resolution…three words I have always felt uneasy about. Why is it we as humans need to resolve to do something different at the beginning of a year? Granted, for the most part, people have positive motivation to change and improve upon themselves and I am all for that. However, what if this year, you gave yourself a little slack and perhaps just took this resolution thing one day at a time?
Every morning when you wake up and take your first look at the world around you, what do you do? What runs through your mind? I challenge you to stop and take a moment each morning to reflect (if only briefly) on what you do have that makes you feel good.
Let’s start with the fact you have the breath of life flowing through you. Then, the fact you are sleeping in a bed with a roof over your head. I am sure for most of us this is not part of our daily routine; I know I am guilty of taking life for granted — I think it is in our nature as humans.
I know there are those of you out there that read my columns and truly know what it is like to suffer. I have read messages sent to me on Facebook that run the gamut of suicidal to recovering addict to abused and neglected. The truth is we live in a troubled, dark world. So what is it that keeps us going everyday?
Perhaps it is your children, your spouse, faith in God, your band or friends who are there for you? I can’t pretend to know what is going through your mind right now, but I can speak from my point of view.
As some of you know from my columns, my lyrics, and my work with certain suicide prevention charities, I suffer from bouts of depression and anxiety. I have been to that point in life that people call “rock bottom,” partially due to circumstances out of my control and partially due to my perspective on life.
Yet, for others, it may very well be a chemical imbalance (which, as far as I know, I don’t have to any extreme or at least have not had that diagnosis given to me). Again, I can only speak from where I come from, so the two words that stand out in my mind are “control” and “perspective.”
These words remind me of a great prayer (or phrase if you like — take it or leave it) that is used in Alcoholics Anonymous, among other addictive recovery programs…bear with me and just read this regardless of your religion, beliefs or scientific stance (it helps me to drive a point home).
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
This simple phrase sums up a great deal and begs the questions what do you control that you can change? What is out of your control and how do you accept it and surrender to the will of fate, God, chance or what ever you want to call it?
There is a great deal of power inside of all of us that resides in our mind and in our soul. Ultimately, you are in control of your perspective; in other words, the way you see a situation and process it…is all you. No one can make you think a certain way (it’s called free will). This is the variable that can either build you up or break you down. Granted, it is not that simple but that is the essence of what makes us who we are. What makes you think the way you do? Is it your environment, your upbringing, your social status?
Although we can’t change the past and where we all come from, your present day situation has a great deal to do with the choices you make and decisions that rest on you (if you are a person of faith, God comes in to play throughout every aspect, but for the sake of keeping this article brief, I will leave that thought for you to ponder or avoid with out elaboration from me).
In closing, I will attempt to reel this whole article in to a point. Take time on a daily basis to reflect on your life. Make a conscious effort to acknowledge the little things that make you happy and keep you looking towards the future. Allow your self to have bad days but do not let those days define your journey, only enhance the lessons and experience that is life. For without pain there is no joy.
Life is filled with constant challenges and triumphs, so celebrate those moments of triumph! Challenge your self daily to think positive about a situation. The moment that negativity creeps in be aware of it, check your self daily. Self awareness is a powerful collaborator in this journey of life.
Lastly, remember you have a choice, so choose the path in this life that makes you feel fulfilled and brings you happiness. Those things that we can not control, allow them to be your teacher, your muse and inspiration. Let this be your daily resolution; control your perspective and create a life that suits you. Don’t just make promises to improve on the first day of the year, do this every morning you rise! Things may get worse but they will always get better of you believe they will.
This is just my two cents and I hope it gives you something to think about it. As always thanks for reading and I’ll see you on the road.
Fist raised for strength and One Love!