Most people move through life in fear… of tomorrow, of what comes next, of not being good enough, of what someone else will do or say… so much more. We’re all like the passenger forced to take to a parachute because the airplane is about to crash. Our eyes are closed, teeth gritted, hands knotted up and our heart in our mouth. Even with the somewhat comforting pull and sound of the chute opening there’s still a lot of falling, of unsure footing, of wondering where you’ll end up.
Most people are misguided.
Life is a dream, for sure. It’s only a fearful dream if you choose to make it one. That old “serenity prayer” May I have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference, is almost spot-on. I say “almost” because it should not be a prayer to some non-existent god but it should be your chosen directive. If you do not have “serenity, courage, or wisdom” within you then get off your ass and find them. They’re not hidden in a box!
It’s important to recognize the second elements of that tripartite directive: cannot change, can change, and which is which. There are many things we can do nothing about. Some of them are related to our lives, some to the world, some to the way other people or are. Google says serenity is “the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.” Take a few breaths, meditate if you need to, but find a way to get there.
Cowardice is something I really have a problem with. I really dislike a coward. Merriam-webster.com has the best take on courage: ” mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” I, personally, do not experience fear like many people do. I can be startled and there are probably things that will cause me to poop my pants (and I have a couple of phobias), but even then, and even when I’m nervous and unsure, I face what I must face. You must do that. Otherwise you’re that person falling from a plane. You’re living that fearful dream.
Then there’s wisdom. Google has this one. Wisdom – “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.” If you don’t have experience, you will have to go out and get it. You have to get off your ass and live. Experience only comes when we challenge the world. Knowledge, of course, is also up to you. Learn everything about everything. Don’t be an idiot. Don’t play video games or sink into your easy chair absorbed in an endless morass of TV. Those things give neither experience nor knowledge.
Here’s Google again, this time on Judgment: “the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.” Notice the words “considered” and “sensible.” There’s no fucking way you can make “considered” decisions or “sensible” conclusions if you’ve fed your mind with games or TV. Neither can you make those if you surround yourself by dogmatic, religious, or one-sided beliefs. The greatest failure of our race is that so very many do not get outside their little box and discover the whole wide world.
This is a lot of philosophy in a few paragraphs. I could write books, if I had a mind to. Would you read them? Probably not. And you are not likely to change your life or the course of it by reading this little blog. These words are only for your consideration and perusal. They’re also a preface on what I really want to say.
I have stumbled and crashed more times than I can remember. I’ve chased rabbits, gone down dead-ends, fucked up really good. But I’ve never lost sight of serenity, courage or wisdom. It’s a struggle but I have fought my way out of that “fearful dream” and into a mere “dream.” It took me far too long. I hope you do not suffer the same fate. I had to spend a lot of time flat on my back all screwed up from someone else’s malpractice and be told I’ll die soon before I said, “this is all bullshit” and really pointed myself in the right direction.
The way to find serenity is to get rid of fear. The way I got rid of fear was to examine my life, see what I was possibly afraid of, and stare it down. I looked those things in the eye and said, “fuck you!” Some people love to jump out of airplanes. That’s because they’re not afraid. Either learn to enjoy the ride or drop through life with gritted teeth. Facing fear is the definition of courage, isn’t it? Face your fears until you have no fears.
Facing fear requires learning. It’s impossible to face fears and overcome them before you know what causes them and how to overcome them. Facing fear many times means redirecting your thoughts, changing your paradigm, cracking open some eggs you’d rather leave in the box. Don’t do it. It’s your heartburn, not mine. I have chosen to do whatever I have to do to kick fear in the ass.
Thus I arrive at the bottom line of this blog. This website and my efforts online are all focused on my goals. I want to sell books, make friends, get out in the world and have a better life. I also want to challenge stupidthink. My greatest desire is to have humanity all on the same page and not cutting each other’s throats. That’s why I challenge all the norms, poke fun at religion and its institutions, and generally refuse to fit in. What you think of me matters much less than that you “think.”
This website tends to be more stagnant than I’d like. I have other irons in the fire and I have many more things to do. I plod along as best I can, however. I never get everything done I want to do. Tomorrow is another day. Stress is a waste of time. If tomorrow does not arrive failure to finish my chores today will not matter. If the world comes to the end who gives a damn if the dishes are not washed or floors swept, right?
Life is a dream. There’s no question about that. It is an illusion, a quick-burning flame. Nobody escapes alive. Live it as a “fearful dream” if you choose. I prefer to have lucid dreams, knowing I’m dreaming and directing the action as much as possible. I might have to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Or I might just take the yoke and land the damn thing. Either way, like a dream, what comes next cannot be predicted. That’s why it’s much better to have ideas and directions than by-the-numbers plans. The latter usually moves people from mere “fearful dreams” to terrifying nightmares.
Trust me on this. Or not. Consider all of what I say. Or not. Please do scroll around this website, look at my pictures, read a story or two and order one of my books. Whatever state of life you’re in, fearful or not, I guarantee your life will be better if you do!