As I sit here and write this post listening to a new playlist on my YouTube Channel "Timothy Simpson - Inspire" of the entire Playlist of all Kansas, yes the rock band, songs from the beginning in order, I realize that the music of Kansas has been really a big part of my life and the fact that the band is still touring 50 years later is also a big inspiration to me. It is quite a list. Some on the playlist are the entire albums, and some are the albums as individual songs depending on availability. So in writing this post, I realize that I have been blogging for about 10 years now and have gone around the world and again with no real purpose over that period of time. But, now I don't really care anymore about purpose other than writing what is on my mind at the moment and also creating pages on this site from my past and to try and navigate a new future for myself using this site as my personal think tank of sorts.
So, there are several themes that occupy me right now which are probably evident from my posts. A dominant theme for me right now is to end the curse of fear I have felt all through my life about what I believe others may or may not think of me. Presently I find it interesting that one of the most heralded football players of all time is preaching about not caring what others think of him because obviously, he does care. It is a battle for him. It is a battle for me. Deep down I am not so different than Deon Sanders.
At 63 being sort of obnoxiously defiant isn't a good look, but you know what??? People need to hear the words of defiance if for no other reason than to declare that they too have a right to be the person they want to be. I need this as well, very much. I'll admit it.
The crazy world situation and the political situations in America as well as internationally worry me to no end. I am seriously concerned about the future and I have to fight the negativity that I feel from all of it. So that is why this post about Permanent Positivity is so important because ...
Life is too short to waste in fear and anxiety about the negative things in life ...
...because LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.
I often think about people who have died in my life and one vision goes through my mind as I think about that. It came to mind the day after my General Music Director Graham Jackson at the Theater Krefeld-Mönchengladbach passed away after a huge battle with Lung Cancer. He never smoked a day in his life and I'll never forget speaking with him one evening before a performance of Tchaikovsky's epic opera "The Queen of Spades" and noticing the complexion of his face had changed and he didn't look well. Just a couple of years later he died. I went to the mailbox of my building to get my mail on a beautiful sunny morning. I thought about the fact that this simple joy of breathing the fresh air of the morning and feeling the sunshine on his face, the light in his eyes...he will never experience it again. But, I have been given another gift of a day of living and how beautiful it is. How precious it is. Even when everything seems dark and grey, the reality is life is an immense gift and the true trick of happiness is just enjoying and appreciating the simplest things like the smell of lavender from the balcony below, or drinking a crisp glass of ice water, the breath of air flowing on the face.
The metaphor of a doughnut has lingered in my mind for years. The doughnut has a hole in the middle, this is where the "But there is a hole in it" negativity rules the day. Sure, I see, we all see, that hole. That is the abyss in which negativity thrives but it is only a small part of the doughnut and also not the part that gives you any use or pleasure at all. It is just there like a Black Hole sucking all of the joy from life.
The rest of the doughnut is there to enjoy. The sweetness, the fullness, the texture, and the full feeling of satisfaction that life is can be realized in the part that is truly real and actually exists.
So, even though I may write about the hole of the doughnut now and again, I am committed to writing and thinking about the rest of the doughnut, the rest of life that is like that simple act of going to the mailbox on an average day no matter the weather, no matter my life situation at the moment...because you know what??? We don't get paid enough to suffer. The only true payoff there is in life is to consciously reap the benefits of life as they are given to us.
So there is a part of me that has to develop defiance against the fear of others' opinions of me, true or imagined, and be able to express myself regardless of what the consequences may be.
Someone once said that depression is caused by the suppression of the spirit to fly free. It takes a lot of energy to push down all of the emotions and feelings of life. The negative feelings must be expressed in a healthy non-destructive way and that is for me through expression on paper, virtual or real. But, worse is pushing down the positive emotions and feelings of life because you won't ever live fully unless you can live fully, love fully, express fully, and not be afraid of pain from doing those things.
I know that there are many people in this world who suffer from so many different emotional, social, and physical pain. What to do about that? I don't know to be completely honest. But I do know this...
... life is a rare and precious gift and the key to accessing the positive areas of life is to enjoy the simplest of life's boundless pleasures like going to the mailbox no matter the weather because at the end of your life that will become a treasured event.
My brother, Mark, was born with a congenital heart defect called "Transposition of the great vessels". Ever since he was alive he has been struggling to stay alive, sometimes more than others. He is now almost 65 and has had a successful life, a great teaching career a PhD in Geography, Climatology, and Meteorology, and a beautiful marriage with three amazing daughters and now two incredible grandsons. Of all the people I know he has embodied the essence of enjoying the doughnut the most while having serious issues that personified the hole as an ever-present reminder of impending doom.
I am not my brother. I tick completely differently than he does. He is left-handed and I am right-handed...not sure why that matters but we are as opposite in many ways as you can get. He was the control bunny while I was the test rabbit for our father's psychological experiments. I think he was born with all of the positive traits of our parents and the generations of heredity that went before and I got all the negative ones. He is a great person. I am severely flawed. I know that. But, I can't be him nor can I fool anyone, and to be honest, I am quite weary of trying to live up to the bar that he has set and what I think everyone expects of me.
So, in my effort for Permanent Positivity know that whatever I do I do with the best of intentions for others but at the same time, I must stop trying to be someone I'm not with the rest of my life.
My Dad once said, "The threat of guilt keeps us from doing bad things." I get what he meant, but "Guilt" guided his life and it is a poor motivator to do good in this world. In fact, the "Sin based" teaching of the Southern Baptist Church has had an incredibly damaging effect on my life. It has very little to do with the teaching of Jesus in my opinion. How can you "love" when you are all worried about "sin"? You should be thinking about "love" and forgetting about "sin". Horses don't look at their hooves worried they will trip. They trust that their legs will do the right thing going forward. Imagine having to watch all four legs all of the time just to make sure one doesn't stumble, you couldn't get anywhere.
The point is, that my writing is an experiment, a thought experiment. I don't really know if what I write makes any sense or not, but I've stopped caring because I will sure as hell never come up with any good ideas by squashing the flow of thoughts. Besides, nobody reads this anyway, so I don't really have any reason to care or expect approval. I'm not selling anything nor am I running for office. Whatever....