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Cockeyed Optimist

Today is 11/11/11 and that’s just a bunch of ones.  It’s kinda of cool and we won’t see that date for another century but that’s all it is, a bunch of ones.

To many, it may seem like everything is all doom and gloom right now.  The economy is in the shitter and millions of people are having a really hard time of it.  Wars are still raging and the drums of more to come are beating.  People are doing some hateful and cruel shit to each other every day.  People in my personal circle have been diagnosed with cancer, gone through painful break ups and some have even died (three of my classmates from high school in the last few years that I know of).

But still, I’m happy to be alive each and every day.  It’s another chance to see a blue sky, to feel the sun on my face (or even the rain) and to just breathe in and out.  There’s nothing I have that I can’t lose because I have the only thing I really need, life.  What else is there that’s more important?

Maybe I have one other thing that a lot of people don’t—a clear eyed view of life and everything in it. I’ve worked on cultivating my awareness but anyone can receive the spark that sets you off down that path forever.  You just have to notice it when it happens.

Have you ever had a thought that seemed to come from nowhere, like God or the Universe was talking directly to you?  It’s not a command or belief but just a thought that clears up your momentary confusion on some matter and gives you a whole new set of eyes.

Those are my favorite thoughts but I’ve learned that they’re just for me.  I’ve tried to share them with other people, hoping they’ll feel that same “Aha!” that I did, but sadly they have no impact, no meaning for anyone else.  And that’s because I was the one who needed to hear it, not you.

Perhaps I should give an example.  Believe it or not, there was a time when I was feeling particularly scared and frustrated with the horrible things going on around me.  It seemed like every news story was just evidence that life is pain.  We’re just here to suffer.  Then this thought passed through my mind, like a whisper, but it caught my attention, “The world is not an ugly place.  Ugly things happen in a beautiful world.”

shrug.  I’m sure that sounds like something silly and hokey but it was exactly what I needed to hear in that exact moment.  I’ve had these moments over and over and because of them, I’ve come to trust that place deep inside of me, the place where wisdom comes from.  The good news is you have it too.  We all do and it’s our greatest strength as human beings.

No matter how bad things get, no matter how scary it all seems, it’s gonna be okay.  The voice tells me so.

“The Voice” by Shel Silverstein


There is a voice inside of you

That whispers all day long,

“I feel that this is right for me,

I know that this is wrong.” 

No teacher, preacher, parent, friend

Or wise man can decide

What’s right for you—just listen to 

The voice that speaks inside.


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