Suggested Audio Candy:
Incubus “Make Yourself”
Each of us is born with a set of tools at our disposal. They vary from one to the next, some are naturally gifted writers, others talented artists, but every person is different. Whatever our endowment we are, more often than not, unaware of just how potent a tool we possess and how to utilize it properly. Take my writing; if you had told me a year ago I would be where I am now, then I probably would’ve bust a gut laughing. Now, through plain belief and perseverance, I am in a position where my work is making in-roads and gaining wider recognition. All of a sudden I feel like somebody and, the truth is, I was somebody all along. Unfortunately it is a human failing that we are often the last to understand our own key strengths. Working in a job we loathe often does a good job of lowering the bar of self-belief and making us feel as though we are merely a payroll number. I am here to tell you that is simply poppycock.
I may never fully understand where my writing comes from or what keeps the gears turning but I am, at least, fully privy now to how it can make a difference. It has been required for me to delve to the depths of my personal abyss and retrieve myself from my self-imposed shackles. Three months ago I was at the bottom of said chasm, floundering without belief and without an ounce of self-worth. That could have encouraged me to throw in the towel, grab a part-time job in some poorly run establishment just to keep me afloat. I was bloody-minded, stuck to my guns and instead used my writing to dig myself out of the trench I found myself in. The difference now is that I have seen first-hand that hard work and perseverance when coupled with my natural God-given ability can reap its dividends.
It is all about making yourself. I had to deconstruct, look at all my individual components and re-wire. Through doing so I can acknowledge far easier where I’m headed and how to reach that point. The first part of that process involves removing yourself from any negativity, there is always going to be that and it is unavoidable that others around you will not always understand your logic, it is the curse of being creative-minded. But why worry about things in life we have no bearing over? The moment you do that you take your eye from the prize and get caught up in unnecessary distraction. By surrounding yourself by like-minded people you enable yourself to feed positive energy and that can be a truly potent process. There will always be dramatics, no matter which walk of life you choose, but the one thing we do have responsibility for is how we decide to let such events affect us.
Let me break it down for y’all. I’m a shrew, a tiny insignificant field mouse with a reasonably short lifespan and tiny little heart beating within my chest. If I listen to all my fellow shrews as they tell me their tales of woe then, chances are, I will end up demoralized and never expect to return from any scouting missions for fear of being torn apart by a domestic pet or obliterated by a passing vehicle. That will be par for the course as I am a shrew without belief. However, should I heed their tales but continue to believe that I am a shrewd shrew with my own controllable life arc then, with a slice of good fortune, I can realize my life goals, grab that slice of cheese from Mrs. Denham’s pantry and make off back into the undergrowth unscathed.
The main thing which holds us back is ultimately ourselves. This only happens because we endorse such negativity, believe any bad hype and allow our light to flicker. It’s a sad waste my beloved Grueheads, there is a slice of cheese waiting for each last one of us and nobody else can ever tell us that it isn’t ours to sniff out. There will be setbacks en route for sure, you have to remain realistic as, contrary to Momma Gump’s ideal of life being a box of chocolates, it can also be a tray of individually wrapped turds. The tick is that you have to know which confectionary to guzzle and which to leave. Once you learn how to differentiate, then you are one step ahead of the game.
I have spent the last ten months making myself. If I could go back and change anything along the way then there is little I would alter. The reason for this is elementary; I can’t change it now so what’s the point in shedding tears over any lactose spillage anyhoots? Where does it actually get you feeling hard done by? That’s the bottom line, you get back what you put out there in the multiverse. Too many events have transpired in my lifetime which could have finished me artistically and emotionally had I allowed such. By remaining upbeat and allowing myself to absorb positive energy from those around me I am now far leaner and meaner than before. Ultimately you can allow life to break you or you can let it make you, we are the architects. It’s our choice to make.
Construction of your own self needs to be gradual, you must understand your nuances and what your triggers are in life. Then it is easier for you to implement your own coping mechanisms and enable anything negative to further spur you on your course. If something happens which pisses you off or ignorance raises its head then you have two choices. One is to be reactionary and look at kicking out, hurting those you love and whom love you. The other is to channel it, process the data and use whatever essence you can glean to inform your work. Find whatever works for you as we are all entirely individual and what is good for the goose may well leave the gander wanting. Once we learn to traverse the stepping-stones that litter our path and avoid any ominously placed banana skins, then we can move at a far greater rate of knots and achieve so much more.
All the tools we need are inside of us but often in life it is unlocking our potential which poses the meanest threat to us realizing our worth. Case in point…Bruce Lee. Clearly one of the baddest motherfuckers ever to walk in espadrilles, he wasn’t however born with the one-inch punch technique or the ability to perform two-fingered press-ups. That shit took time and incessant conditioning to achieve and we all have that inside of us right the way through our lives. The problem stems from a number of factors. Our environment, the relationships we form and our own state of mind are all key. Working year after year in a job which sucked away my spirit left me numb, I could practically feel myself becoming denser with every day that passed as I had sold my soul for a cause which I didn’t believe in. I began to invest in my own self-fulfilling prophecy and believed there to be nothing remarkable about myself. How wrong I was.
I’ve made myself, cobbled together all my strengths and finally discarded any weaknesses. I’m still aware that I’m not the finished article but life is for learning after all and we were never expected to have all the answers. What we do have is solutions if we look deep enough within ourselves to find our true meaning. Who is to say that we can’t be exactly who we should be in life? Only us. Armed with this tool set we give ourselves the best possible chance of succeeding. It is then that we make ourselves.