I wish someone told me these things when I was a young man:
1. It’s going to be okay. That passion you feel, that isolation you feel, that sureness and confusion, and above all that intensity! It’s great and it’s terrible, yes, but it’s normal. And it gets better.
2. You’re worth something. You’re the reason this universe was created. You’re the reason everything that has ever happened…happened! You are unique and no one like you has ever walked this earth before. Now that you know that, remember: what I just told you is true for every other person who ever lived and is alive today. Before you feel down about that, or think that maybe you’re not so special after all, think about how incredible this world is that it can create so many amazing souls, and that you are one of them!
3. You are beautiful. Anyone who makes you feel otherwise is just trapped in an idea that they’re not beautiful themselves. That kind of sadness passes from person to person, from generation to generation more easily than a virus. It may be abuse, expectations, or simply fear, but really it’s a lie. An illusion. Behind it all the fact remains: You are beautiful. You really are.
4. Pay your bills! If you can’t, then phone the gas company, the credit card company, or wherever your debt is coming from and make arrangements. This will give you more peace of mind than you can imagine and you’ll sleep better at night.
5. If you need help, ask. Humbly
6. If someone else needs help give it. Humbly. But don’t give so much that you can’t help anyone else ever again. Like the Buddhist said, “all in moderation.”
7. When it comes to matters of the heart, be true. Don’t stay with someone simply because they need you, and don’t need so much that you force someone to stay. Be what you want in a partner and you’ll find what you want in a partner. If your goal is to be happy in a relationship, don’t expect perfection. Don’t even expect half that. Just give and love as much as you can, and if you find that you stumbled into something that hurts more than it helps, call your momma and she’ll lead you home. If your momma can’t do it, then call on the power that you might call God. If you can do that without anger or pride, then you’ll be just fine.
8. Keep going. It’s going to be tough. You’re going to be kicked down, hurt, betrayed. You, my child, are going to fail. It’s true. And it’s going to feel terrible. In fact, one day you’re going to have your heart ripped right out of your chest and no one can prepare you for how incredibly painful that will be. You’ll feel like you’re going to physically die from the pain. I’m so sorry. Lie down and rest if you must, but not for too long or you’ll be trapped! As hard as it may be, stand up, shake it off, know the pain is there but continue on anyway. Keep going. Keep going. The only ones who ever got anywhere were those who kept going, step by step, day by day. And didn’t those days just get better and better? They did. They do. They will for you.
9. Keep your word. It can be hard sometimes, and for most of us it’s something we practice, just like playing sports or learning a language. It can be challenging, tricky, and you’ll mess up a lot before you get really good at it. Keeping your word is about the only currency you can count on when everything else is used up. If you consistently keep your word, it will shine out from your face like the light of the sun. Your life will be a good one. Avoid taking the easy way out with a quick lie. Believe me, it always comes back to you. If not through discovery, then through the dishonest seed it planted in your soul. It will be a tough road sometimes, but keep your word. It’s your “true” treasure.
10. Be forgiving. If you’re a completely perfect person who never causes any harm or makes any mistakes then judge as much as you want. The hitch there is that if you are such a rare being, the last thing you’ll ever do is judge someone else. If you expect perfection in yourself or in someone else, you’ll never, ever be satisfied. It’s simply unrealistic. Instead, expect the unexpected!
11. Be grateful. Begin every day thinking about everything in your life that you can give thanks for. Some days, it might simply be the very fact you woke up. Be grateful for that! In fact, don’t just think about it, feel it. Feel the gratitude you have for everything in your life that builds you, strengthens you, challenges you and supports you. Before you go to bed, feel that wealth of gratitude again. Do this every day of your life, it will make a profound difference.
12. You are a creator. There’s a reason most human beings worship one form of Creator or another: we are a reflection of Creation. As a result, we are inherently creators ourselves. I recently heard the architect Douglas Cardinal mention this verse from the Bible, John Chapter 1, verse 1: “In the beginning was the Word”. It got me thinking about the whole thing:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Let’s put it this way:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Creator, and the Word was the Creator.”
As an artist, I see an image in my head. The image has never existed before, and now it exists in my mind’s eye. Then I use my hands and some paint and the image exists physically, it’s real. I can share it with others. I have CREATED! Something came from nothing but through the sheer act of my will (my word), and then my action.
What a concept!
And it works for everything. As a creator, you can have anything you want in life. Absolutely anything. The catch is that it works for the good and the bad. If I’m focusing my will, and my words, on something negative, it happens. I have the traffic tickets to prove it. if I’m focusing on something positive, it happens too. Hey, I’m still alive after all. It’s the magic of the universe alive in us, the children of the universe. This is how you get what you really want in life:
a) Think about it. Make it crystal clear. Feel it. Feel having it. Live it.
b) Write it down. You’ve just taken it one step further into reality.
c) Say it out loud. The Word. The Word is powerful. It’s a special gift from the Creator to the people…a gift we sometimes take for granted.
d) Believe it. Faith. And I mean really believe it.
What you’ll find is that events and circumstances will start to happen that bring you closer and closer to the thing you want to create. For me, it’s art. As time has gone by, more and more opportunities to keep making art have come into my life. Of course, I’ve had to be open to it, watching for it, aware of it. I’ve taken action. I didn’t just sit back and expect the universe to come to me, I knew I had to meet it halfway. I’m just a small example. Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Richard Branson and so on. All these people made a huge change in their own life and in the life of others by embracing the knowledge that they could have whatever they thought of.
You can have whatever you think of. The world is yours, it really is. What do you want to do with it?