After a long, restless night I decided to put the words down for a few days and read. I was, once again, reminded of the genius of Stephen King. What an inspiration he is. I hope to one day meet him just so I can shake his hand and say “Thank you.”
Speaking of the King – his word usage and storytelling initially sparked the fire and got me writing. I believe it was 1994 when a copy of The Night Shift – excursions into horror, entered my life. I wish I could remember how I obtained it but, I don’t. I spent many nights alone in my bedroom reading those short stories and becoming captivated by them. The art form, the characters, and the words took hold of my imagination. That book started a love affair that has lasted 21 years and counting.
That night, after reading a few stories, I put the book down and began thinking about 1994. I was 15 years old at the time. I had no idea who
I was as an individual. I had no clue about the possibilities that were at my disposal at that age. I am sure there were times when they tried to get through to me but, the arrogance did not allow those words of advice from my elders to sink in.
Like most people, I have thought many times about how life “could have been.” What if I had taken High School seriously? What if I hadn’t quit playing baseball my junior year of High School? What if I had a better understanding of finances and/or my credit score’s value at the time of my graduation?
Life is full of “what ifs” and these examples only touch the surface of my personal “what if” pile. As I spent some time examining my “what if” pile and compared it to my “grateful that happened” pile – I had a spiritual awakening. I realized that if I am honest with myself, the grateful pile is larger than the what if pile. There are a few reasons I believe this is true for everyone.
1) What ifs are hypothetical. They are examined in hindsight, thus making the “what if” grass appear greener. It may have been brown grass, there’s no way to know. Life situations, particularly hypothetical situations, have thousands of variables.
2) Examining the “grateful” pile is not only an exercise in living with a positive outlook, it also puts things in perspective.
For example, when was the last time you thought about your senses? Sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste? All 5 of those things are deliciously beautiful. I am extremely grateful that I get to use those attributes as I travel this road of life. They certainly make it more interesting. In fact, I say having my 5 senses trumps any “what if” from the past. I realize this is a stretch. Mostly because the 5 senses are in constant action so it would be near insanity to consistently express gratitude that you can smell bacon or burn your arm on bacon grease. Although, I do believe everyone is grateful for bacon and express it often.
So, I am assuming (if you’re still reading this post) that by now you’re thinking to yourself “What is the point of this post? So far he’s mentioned he loves to write, he holds gratefulness in higher regard than regret, and he’s a fan of Stephen King. Get to the point already.”
I understand. As I sit here and try to convey my point to you, I also find me asking myself for a point and a conclusion. This is what I am going to do here: I will reread the words above one time through – sit back for 2 minutes and think – Then I will write whatever comes to mind and whatever it is, that’s what will end this post.
I am in awe and amazement of so many, often overlooked, things in life. For instance – the natural reaction we get when we see something outside of ourselves that triggers compassion. That feeling of love and oneness. How much more proof do you need to realize we are all connected? We are literally all one. The feelings of disconnect and loneliness stem from learned thought patterns and beliefs. As Richard Dawkins says, “The human mind is extremely susceptible to hallucination.” I agree with this 100%. He’s not referring to seeing the walls breathe or watching the moon melt either. He’s referring to beliefs. Generation after generation passing down specific ideals, beliefs, and societal standards to their children . While some of these are necessary for communication, productivity, and progress as a species – some are damaging and limit creativity and thought-provoking questions.
Instead of two belief systems fighting over dirt and grass and who is right or wrong – We should come together and finally admit to ourselves that none of us truly know what’s going on or what brought us here… This is getting too close to religion so I am going to end it with this – I love life.
I’ve had many hardships over the years, I’ve been to Hell’s basement and back a few times but, I understand why I made the trip. I do love life. I have a great time.
I have eyes that allow me to see images — which are then interpreted by my brain after a signal is sent from the eye – the brain sends the interpretation and all accompanied information to my vocal chords, lungs, facial muscles (including the tongue) which allows me to express in verbal communication what I saw – incredibly fascinating. All of that happens faster than the speed of sound and it happens thousands of times per day.
We are stunning creatures and we are capable of so much more. I believe we have barely broken ground on what we are fully capable of. So, if we could stop killing each other, that would be great. Instead of killing, how about we do this – Combine efforts, stop the need and glorification of control, work together, truly realize we are all the same and check in on that spiritual evolution. You ready? Okay 3…2…1…Go!