Sometimes I feel like a cartoon character in one of the new Pixar movies. Other times, I feel like I am trying to be the voice over for the character. Either way, my authenticity seems to run away and hide in the drama of the cartoon. Somewhere in the mix, I find myself lost to what is real and true for me. I thought a lot about this over the weekend, and I realized that we as humans work very hard to “fix” the world when all the while we leave ourselves on the sidelines … along with our common sense and our good hearted intentions. I find that in seeking, I have assumed answers that were not always valid but tried to offer them to others as true. At other times, I adopted another person's point of view, hiding from what I understood to be true for me. I am not referring to “right” or “wrong;” I am simply recognizing the importance for me (and for all of us) to have our own voice. I have also learned the value and mental health necessity of acknowledging what is in front of me. I was not taught to believe that answers could be found in the cocoon of a question. Mine to you and yours to me. Now I am quite certain that is the only place answers and solutions can be found.
I am asking myself some pretty hard questions as I step into my new career. I remember my mentor, Reverend Stevens, warning us that it is easy to be a philosopher but far harder to live the philosophy. He also assured us, if we were able to cross that border from perception into actualization, then life would find its balance. As I learn to recognize when a “voice over” is happening to me, I am learning to step out of the cartoon, to feel my own real life skin. I am beginning to trust myself as I face the reality of what is before me. I am beginning to tell the difference between what is true or untrue. I am beginning to understand and have compassion for all my fellow travelers. I am willing to accept that for the most part, we are all in search of our own voice. We have lost trust in our own self-reliance. We have stopped asking the right questions. Maybe it's because we are afraid of the answers. Maybe it's because, in the end, the pointer is always pointing at us and not the source of the voice over.
So as I step into the final chapter of 2011, if I can be rooted in the simple Truth of what is good, what is fair, but also have the courage to admit to the “pink elephant in the room” then I can make decisions based not on my philosophy, my history, or what society or the media tells me I should be; but rather, I can find my voice based on the creed that “I wish to become the change I seek.” Avoiding what is fact, even if it is temporary (and all fact is temporary), only puts me at greater risk of the “voice over.” So, I choose to dwell not on my fears. I choose the courage to dwell long enough in the moment to allow “the mud to settle” so I can hear my heart, so I can have my own voice. So I can meet you there, where all children play and create anew.