Today was a tiring day emotionally. However it was a good day. There is something powerful about allowing oneself to be vulnerable. I find that writing and drawing allow me to open myself. The danger lies hidden all over. Will people like what I write, will they think I am just trying to be righteous about this, will they think my drawing of a lion looks like a bear, will they think I am just embarrassing myself by even putting it out there?
Well I guess that is part of the power, the risk that people will see me for who I really am and will not like me. I am under no illusion that everyone likes me and thinks I am a nice guy. In fact I am sure there are a few of you who will read this and think I am a right tosser. Who knows maybe I am? But that is ok by me. My writing is by no means a way for me to try justify what I do or how I do it, my writing is simply writing. A way of putting my thoughts on paper, something I have done since I was at school. It was only recently I took to writing some of my thoughts onto a blog. The reason I did this was to grow, to put myself out there and risk being uncomfortable. It is still difficult at times for me to write, as it is for me to draw. I am often my worst critic, and I have noticed that me being my worst critic is not limited to my writing, drawing or playing piano. I constantly question myself, question my thoughts, question my actions and reflect on how I live my life.
The more I spend time engaging in any form of art, meditation or quiet time the more I get to know myself. The clearer my understanding of the things around me became. I tune into the ability to accept that some things are just going to be the way they are, and I know not to spend too much effort trying to change these things. I am also aware that there are certain things that make me extremely happy and I then know to invest time and effort in these pursuits. And there are things that make me angry, and it has taken me many years, but I have finally been taught that anger can be a useful tool when used purposefully and mindfully and directed at righting a wrong or protecting someone in need.
Living in the moment takes effort, it takes practice. Living consciously is a skill we need to learn and relearn. The more we live consciously the easier it becomes. We can start to make informed decisions in an instant and then check ourselves to make sure our choice is aligned with who we are and what we stand for.
So from today, I will try put all my writing directly onto my blog and no longer keep it hidden in journals. The one thing that I did learn during the course of today is that many people are afraid to commit their thoughts to writing, because once they are written they are there for the world to see.
Today someone read my blog and very rightfully sent me a message saying that I must be careful what I write as one day my children will read what I write. It was a very valid and real point. I replied saying that I have considered it. In fact I have considered it to such a degree that I have created a living will for my children that should I die they will be able to get letters from their dad when they reach milestones in their lives. Letters’ that tell them who their dad was. I pray that they will be able to read those letters with me at those milestones and that they get the opportunity to question me. I feel that this is a wonderful for children to learn. I personally would have loved to receive letters from my dad that he had prewritten for me. I can imagine opening a letter on my 18th birthday which was written 10 years before and sat with my dad reading his thoughts on life. A truthful letter like that would have made me realize that leaving school and entering the big world is full of adventure and opportunity but it is also filled with heartache and risk. We could have engaged in healthy debate as to how to deal with these things when they appear, we could have considered how the world had changed in the 10 years since the letter were written and what new things lay ahead. I did not get that opportunity with my Dad, he wasn’t much of a letter writer. He taught me in different ways and he still does with our regular one on one chats about life, work, relationships and a host of other wonderful things that I am privileged to share with him. I love my Dad and model much of whom I am on him, and now that he has equipped and empowered me, I get to fulfill the Dad role for two kids and a step daughter of my own. I have made a conscious effort to take the best of what I was taught along with the life lessons I have gathered and create my own legacy of being a Dad. It is a difficult job and there is no instruction manual. I have my own formula for the job and only time will tell if I have got it right. That is probably the biggest risk I take. But then again I have been known to take risks. So yes, my children will one day be old enough to read my blog, they will read my living legacy when they reach certain ages or milestones, they will get all the letters that Tania and I shared whilst I was still married to their mom. Why would I do that? So that they can see that I was just a man that made many mistakes along the way, that my life was not perfect yet it was happy, so that they can learn from some of my mistakes and hopefully avoid repeating them, so that if they make a similar mistake they can see how I dealt with it and what the cost was. We are all human; we live, we learn, we love one another, we fight wars, we rob, we commit terrible acts in the name of religion. But at the end of the day we are all made of the same substance and molded by our upbringing, culture and family values. Who is the judge of what is right?
Consider for a moment though, what if I have it right?