“If someone else can decide what will happen within youright now, isn’t that the ultimate slavery?”
“He’s a narcissist and he’s dating that whore.”
This is something she said for over eight years. Eight years. She wore bitterness on her sleeves, she spoke of her ex-husband – their father – like this openly. In her desire to vent and let her ego shine, she cast a dark shadow on her sons.
What she didn’t realize was that she had no control over his actions, but she DID (and still does) have control over her own thoughts and actions. When we get angry about the words and actions of others, we have just placed manacles on our own words and actions. We have become slaves to others, allowing our moods to be swayed by them.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Kiss your ex goodbye, wish him well and move on.
“I am sitting at the open window (at four a.m.) and breathing the lovely air of a spring morning… Life is still good, [and] it is worth living on a May morning… I assert that life is beautiful in spite of everything! This “everything” includes the following items: 1. Illness; I am getting much too stout, and my nerves are all to pieces. 2. The Conservatoire oppresses me to extinction; I am more and more convinced that I am absolutely unfitted to teach the theory of music. 3. My pecuniary situation is very bad. 4. I am very doubtful if Undine will be performed. I have heard that they are likely to throw me over.”
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
“You absolutely have to believe in yourself. Man, you’ll get rejected hundreds of times. You have to believe in yourself if you’re going to succeed.”
Jon Bon Jovi
Confidence – noun, a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
Tchaikovsky was plagued by depression and also a hypochondriac. Somehow, he persevered and produced prolifically. Bon Jovi and Tchaikovsky both possessed the drive to create music. This high level of motivation enabled them to overcome obstacles such as rejection and mental illness.
About this poem: as I age and raise teenage daughters, I realize the stage where I was distracted by the issue of physical appearance played a “hyped up” role in identity. All that time and energy directed toward something I was really not in control of could have been invested in cello playing, writing or reading a good book.
I’m also keenly aware that I still care more than I would like to – I exercise now with the goal of building and keeping muscle/strength but aesthetics still has some play in my intentions.
Our culture idolizes the young, which is silly because being young is fleeting and not based on wisdom or experience. It’s just dumb luck.
Happening now: six teenagers in our dining room, jamming on violins, viola, and cellos. They love playing together so much, that they arrange to meet weekly…driving almost one hour one way to each other’s houses. Proactive and unpaid.
Here they are during a concert in July:
Who says kids these days are just on their phones?
In training our new dog to like her crate, I randomly place tasty treats inside and keep the door open. When we first got her, she refused to go in – most likely because it reminded her of the kennel where she lived with hundreds of other dogs.
But quickly, she grew to associate her crate with treats. Only happy things happened there: some peace and quiet, a warm bed and chicken jerky.
We can do the same for ourselves. We can create positive associations to activities and places that are good for us that we might not feel so great about right now.
There are a group of cyclists that ride by my community every morning around 5:30 a.m. Most likely, they don’t think Ugh, have to wake up early and go riding again. Instead, they might associate this activity with camaraderie, friendship, and a feeling of vitality.
The ultimate power lies in knowing how to train ourselves to be better.