That’s the title of an important article I just read. (Thanks L.!) And, that’s what I want to talk about. Whose life are you living?
HINT: It better be yours. EVERYONE has got their own. That’s kinda the point…
The author the great article is storyteller named Michael Meade and he’s used to not only OWNING but saving his own life. He did it at Vietnam. And, he did it on the streets of NYC when he was mugged as a young teen. Meade says this:
“There’s an African proverb: ‘When death finds you, may it find you alive.’ Alive means living your own damn life, not the life that your parents wanted, or the life some cultural group or political party wanted, but the life that your own soul wants to live. “
He has a point. Our cars may have cruise control and standard features but we don’t.
Or, we most certainly should not. Why on earth would you want to ‘wake up’ and ask yourself: ‘what happened?’ or ‘how did I become this?’ or ‘why didn’t I make that right?’ or ‘why didn’t I try?’. Alive is important. Let the machines do the auto.
Apropos, Meade also makes a paradigm shift that I LOVE. We don’t have to make something of ourselves, we just have to be and honor ourselves. Check it out:
“American culture says that you must make something of yourself, but the mythological understanding is that everybody already is someone. They have a seeded self at birth. As soon as young people are aware of the uniqueness inside them, they can begin to manifest the stories they’re carrying.”
We are born okay. Perfect even. And, we are born knowing who we are. Or, at least confident that we can be ourselves. (I do not think a baby is insecure about crying…) I am so sorry that our trust got misconstrued and re-contextualized. I am sorry that we learned to doubt our needs. Our voice. We need our voice to tell our story. We do not have to ‘make’ our story. We just live it. Our story. Our life.
But to live it you need characters. Friends. REAL FRIENDS.
I am so blessed.
You need the people that go to the store for you. You need the people who call on his birthday without you having to ask. You need the people who know that an ugly sweater party will be one of the best nights of the year. You need people laugh about chik- KHAN and let you make it your trivia team name more than once ;). You need YOUR people.
“When people talk about “connection,” they’re really talking about soul. The real connections are not surface connections. You can have many friends on Facebook, but your real friends are those who know and support your deep self and will remind you when you’re losing touch with your own soul.”
Chik-KHAN good! My friends make and save my life. I love them everyday for it.
And, it is our life. To live. To screw up. To laugh and cry about. To OWN. Out loud.
“[E]very voice is unique. The best voice is the one you have. Not that you don’t improve it, but you improve it by learning what it is and what it has to contribute to the symphony of life.”
Own your damn life. And, let’s hear about it!