On Being a Light Source...
Wise is the person who can successfully navigate the line between being of service to others and sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.
This is a subject on which I probably don't have a popular opinion in certain circles of spiritual thinkers and believers. However, my life experience has brought me to a place of understanding where I believe it's very important to be careful with how one approaches the act of "helping" others.
We all have our own unique set of experiences and perceptions—just think about siblings raised within the same household who grow up to tell different stories of their childhoods. Our lives really are our own.
This can be a difficult notion to swallow when someone we care about is going through a really tough time—wrenching losses, harrowing transitions, on-going addictions. Life is rife with tripwires for tragedy. No one is exempt.
Looking back over some of the difficult times I've endured, it's very clear to see that there were some things that no one could help me undo, or overcome. But the truth is, it was necessary for me to work through those experiences my own way, in my own time. No matter how difficult it may have been for others to witness, it really was no one else's job to fix things for me, lest I be robbed of the opportunity for personal growth and spiritual expansion.
I believe the experiences of another—even the painful ones, maybe especially the painful ones—should be honored as the result of choices the individual has made, or a lesson thrown upon their path. At the risk of sounding cold and callous I would ask you to consider: Who are we to intercede and interfere with that process in the life of another person?
Through my roughest of times what always aided me most was never someone—however well-meaning—telling me what to do and how to fix things, or stepping in and attempting to take over for me. Where I gleaned the most comfort and inspiration; where I found a truly solid sense of strength, was through those I knew living and shining boldly in their own lives, like beacons of light on the horizon, their mere existence leading me out of my darkness.
We all know someone who is hurting; someone who is their own worst enemy; someone making choices, again and again, that leads them further into their own hell. We ache for them. We cry for them. We want so badly to do something for them.
I would advise the following:
Pray for them and then...
Respect where they are, however low.
Respect who they are, however broken.
Respect what they're going through, however awful to watch.
Tend to your own soul, and live your life brilliantly.
Trust that when they're ready, all they need to do is look up, and your shining example will lead the way.
Do something Harebrained to make this whole week amazing!
See you on the next page,
Lessons For Living Life at Full Throttle
My dad is a Ford man—always has been, always will be.
He has spent his life obsessed with engine-building—specifically, high-performance engines; and it fits his personality perfectly.
At 74, he's still banging out engines that can out-do anything else on the road or race track, and he is not slowing down much, himself, either.
Over the course of my own life, watching my father age (or actually, seem not to) has been nothing short of inspiring.
If asked, he says he still feels 19 inside, even if his body doesn't quite keep up with his ambitions like it once did.
He's had many incredible experiences, and anyone who knows him at all is utterly amazed that he's still alive. A master of the calculated risk, he hasn't just pushed every envelope ever invented, he's pretty much torn them to shreds.
I probably sound like I'm bragging here, and maybe I am a little—he is my dad—but what I've learned, and hopefully inherited, is his penchant for living life at full throttle.
I've never known him to compromise on this, and I believe it's what keeps him youthful in spirit, and agile in health.
The message on this particular Harebrained Notion of the Week I admit I partially plagiarized from a verse in a rap song by NF. (Yeah, I occasionally—selectively—listen to rap; it is poetry, after all.)
But I love this Notion for two reasons:
One: it reminds me of my dad;
Two: it's a wonderful metaphor for a certain kind of feeling that is otherwise difficult to describe; the thrill of knowing nothing is holding you back from getting where you want to go.
I try to live that way as much as possible, because when I find myself riding the brake pedal and second-guessing my timing, life just doesn't flow as well, and quite frankly, it's rather a bore.
This week as you go about your business, maybe think about this little metaphor on seeing only green lights ahead. Truth is, most of the reds and yellows of life are self-imposed anyway, so what do you have to lose?
Enjoy your week, and do something harebrained!
See you on the next page,
Ready to Play With a Full Deck?
Harebrained Notions were created to provide a different kind of daily inspiration—a little off-beat, and just crazy enough to maybe make a difference.
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