July 8, 2015
Every day my e-mail inbox is inundated with little bits of minutia, and I have no one to blame but myself. I get not one, but two daily horoscopes; a reminder for a daily contest called “Trip Trivia”; a “daily joke” e-mail; and a little missive entitled “Your Inspirational Daily Quote”.
I used to save everything but I don’t do that anymore. The horoscopes are often in direct conflict one with the other, which leads me to understand that sometimes, I get another “Cancer’s” horoscope and not my own. In fact one of these two (and always the same one) will have several paragraphs and often the second paragraph will hold the exact opposite advice from the first.
The daily joke sometimes isn’t funny at all, and it’s not because it might be “politically incorrect”. I can rise above that. I don’t believe that a laugh is indicative of any deep seated spiritual or societal malaise; it’s indicative only of the possession of a sense of humor. I think laughing is as instinctive to us humans as breathing (unless of course we’ve been guilted out of it). Laughter is the best medicine, and the lack of it these days can explain a lot of what is wrong with our society.
The “Trip Trivia” is just a diversion. I no longer think I’ll win one of those weekly trips for my beloved. And, since they have a running total of the correct answers I’ve scored, I just try to answer the damn quiz every day, learn what I can from it, and leave it at that.
Yes, I do have some hoarder tendencies and not just online. But these days the only thing I save from my many different trivial e-mails is the one that contains the daily quote.
Sometimes those quotes are inspirational, indeed. Comforting, too, because often they resonate with what I believe. Monday’s quote is a prime example of this. It read: “Life will always be, to a large extent, what we ourselves make it.” This quote is attributed to a man named Samuel Smiles.
Mr. Smiles was a Scottish author born in 1812 who lived to the ripe old age of 91. Author and activist, I would say he held many opinions and wrote many wise words that would apply to us, today. He was not only a man of conscience; he was a man ahead of his time. If you have the chance and a bit of time on your hands, you might look him up.
Life will always be, to a large extent, what we ourselves make it. You’ve heard those or like words before and not just from me. That wise old fellow, anonymous, is attributed to having said, “life is 5% what happens to me, and 95% what I do about it.”
I’m an author; a wordsmith. Words are so much more to me than the letters drawn together to form them. Words are power; they’re magic. They can embody within them the greatest truths of all times. They can uplift, and they can wound. They can be all things to all people, but at their core they are true power, a kind of might not matched by any modern weaponry.
I hope, if you don’t believe anything else I’ve ever said, that you believe that. Words, said over and over to yourself by yourself, can alter your perception of your reality—for good, or for ill. That is why you must never, ever ever trash talk yourself.
Crap happens to us in life. Crap happens to everybody at one time or another, in one form or another. That is unavoidable. So too, eventually, is death.
But until we breathe our last, we can control how we deal with the crap that happens to us. I don’t let mine take up center stage and trust me when I tell you I have been handed a ton of crap in my life. But it doesn’t define me, not one bit. I shove it to the side, wash my hands to remove the stench, and then get on with living, laughing and loving.
The power to do that comes directly from the positive words I tell myself every day.