Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
We live in a society of advice columns, experts and make-over shows. Without even knowing it, you can begin to believe someone knows better than you how to live your life. Someone might know a particular something better – like how to bake a three-layer molten coconut chocolate cake or how to build a website – but nobody else on the planet knows how to live your life better than you. (Although one or two people may think they do.) For today, trying asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”
I have been fortunate enough to get to know a gentleman who is one of my favorite recording artists, record producers and song writers. His name is Don Dixon. When he's not doing any of the preceding activities or working with his wife, singer/painter Marti Jones, you might find him on the road either in concert or backing up another artist on bass. Right now, he's touring as part of Mary Chapin Carpenter's band.
As soon as I read today's prompt, it struck me that I've been writing about following our own wisdom, being disciplined enough to get quiet and access that "still, small voice" that resides in us all. I rely on that voice and the emotional, "gut" feelings it provides. It let's me know if what I'm doing will result in something rewarding... or not.
Almost immediately, one of Don's songs popped into mind. The title is "Inside These Arms." It has to do with the confusion one feels over falling in love but this one verse and the full chorus really seems to line up with today's focus:
"When your life's in a haze that you'll never get through
Do you long for the days when you knew what to do?
When your mind's in deep freeze but your heart is on track
When you see what you want, do you ever look back?
Just put your thoughts away
Never mind how it seems
'cause everybody's afraid
Everybody has time when life splits at the seams
It's not the way that you think
It's not the things that you do
'cause there's nobody around
Who can live his own life any better than you"
Indeed. There is no one who knows, no one who can live their own lives for you, better than you.
We all have to know this at the level of who we really are. This is why the silence, the turning to inner wisdom, following the heart, the "gut," is so necessary.
Having just finished Emerson's "Self-Reliance," he was a selfish man in the best, truest, most noble sense of the word. We must choose to be selfish as consistently as possible, for if we are not selfish enough to be true to ourselves, what do we have to give anyone else?
We can only give of our bounty, and the bounty is abundant indeed when we are aligned. You see it in great performances by athletes, said to be in "the zone." You see it in great works of literature and art, whose impact is palpable to all. Great acts of valor are usually done by those aligned with their highest power, greatest wisdom.
All is choice. Choose to make that choice out of the greatest sense of self, with the guidance of Self fully engaged and aligned.
The world will not give you what you will not give yourself.
Choose then for your self.