“I wrote my way out.”
– from “Hamilton: An American Musical”
I am an optimist – I am a positive person.
But this optimism and positivity was not born of external situations which were preferable or even positive to me.
In fact the darkness always appeared to strike me down at every turn – especially when I was searching for hope.
It is, surprisingly, the darkness that gave birth to my optimism. It is the thing that helped me survive.
I am familiar with the dark aspects of reality. Dark times are more challenging than times of the light but it is in the dark where your light, your positivity is forged.
We must not despair, never be afraid, never give our power away to any system or a person.
We hold within us our true power and the freedoms of man have been and always will be “self-evident” and “endowed by our creator.”
Humans always revolt when their basic dignity and rights are threatened – those who seek to constrain those rights do so at their own peril.
A leader without followers is not a leader, and the pedestal they stand on, being empty and corrosive, topples them easily.
My faith remains with the people – and this I say to the people:
This darkness is coming to forge your positivity, your power, your life. It is here to bring your highest self forward to meet the challenges of the darkness.
If you were playing small before, now you have no choice but to be your highest self or risk the darkness consuming you.
You will find, as I did, that you are stronger than even the deepest darkness that wishes to vanquish you.
You will find that you are more resilient and more powerful than you believed.
You, all of you, must be courageous now.
It is fairly easy to do the right thing when everyone else is doing it too, but our virtue and character are truly forged when amid the sea of immoral acts we choose to be loving and just.
Do not be violent, do not be hateful.
The darkness’ aim is to bring out those worst parts in you, do not fall into the trap.
Revolt with love ever expanding, revolt with your light never dimming, revolt with speaking your mind, revolt.
Seek peace, seek love, seek healing to those who offer it to you.
Keep expressing yourself, keep standing up for your rights, never back down, never give up.
If you feel it is your mission to do so, seek common ground with those who disagree with you; but if such work is exhausting to you, surround yourself, instead, with those who can heal you with their words of encouragement.
Write Your Way Out
I don’t know how many times I’ve told you the story about how I began this blog, but it needs to be known that it was written amid the worst time of my life.
It was written to help me survive.
The time was dark but I made it through – I wrote my way out, as the character, Alexander Hamilton, says in the now famous Broadway musical.
To paraphrase the main character in the musical: I wrote with overwhelming honesty, I wrote my own deliverance.
My writing was my light.
My writing was my freedom.
My writing was mine. It was me.
Then, suddenly, after writing this blog for a year, magic happened: everything fell into place and I was once again on the fast track – awards, accolades, recognition, opportunities, an international following of fans, new friends and colleagues – all came as a result.
Now, as my story on Courage 2 Create ends, I can say with absolute certainty after seven years of writing my way out of the darkness, that there is no one you can be but you; and that this truth is your saving grace at even the most trying of times.
There is nothing that could ever make you so happy and there is nothing that could ever make everything make sense and fall into place as you stepping into the You that you were born to be, that you were always destined to be.
Your job today is to be you – which is good because that is the only thing you can be.
Your profession is to fill up the space god reserved for you – which is good, because that is the only space you can fill.
Your title today and forevermore is “Me” – take me or leave me. Let those never meant to work with you walk out the door, hold that door open for them, rush them out if you must, you don’t want anyone around who doesn’t reciprocate, doesn’t listen, doesn’t want to be there, standing next to you.
Your mission – figure out you, who are you, why are you here, where are you going, and who is here to help you and who is just wasting your time?
Your purpose – get to know you, sit still and wait.
Your dharma – practice being you. What would you say, and how would you say it, and what is it we can’t see because we aren’t you?
Your destiny – wake up to that fact that you are enough.
Your personal legend – you moving in the direction you feel called to move into.
What do you do next? Be you. Take the next step you would take.
Why are you here? To be you.
The explanation of what that means comes from you living that truth out – don’t ask me how, it just is.
How can you help? For god sakes, be you.
Shine – smile – laugh. Give us hope.
You being you makes it so that we have the courage to be us.
And that is what changes the world – not you being something you are not, something that you think we want you to be.
Today you’ve been hired by the universe because you have the exact qualifications, skills and background necessary to heal and help this world be a better place – life now gives you your first task: be you.
Only you can do this job. That’s why Life hired you.
If you’re not being you, you’re not doing your job.
Do your job.
Your Life As A Story
One of the overarching themes of Courage 2 Create was seeing ones life as a story unfolding.
This wasn’t some gimmick.
It was a profoundly purposeful choice by me, the author, your narrator.
What we have learned together these past seven years is that when we see our life as a story we can imbue it with a meaning and destiny it may not appear to have at first glance.
Darkness often comes in the form of believing your existence is meaningless.
Never believe that lie: the most logical and scientific among you will argue for your meaningless – don’t listen to them no matter how many books they’ve written, no matter how many speeches they give, and no matter what searing condescension they attack you with.
Your life is not meaningless.
Your life is a story.
This means you are here for a reason, a purpose, and it will all make sense to you in the end. There will be ups and downs and detours and stunning plot twists but don’t ever, not ever, forget:
There is a throughline, a story arc, a pattern that keeps repeating.
There always is with each of us.
Please: see your life as a story unfolding. Look at it and notice there are themes and symbols and heroes and villains and even foreshadowing – let it all play out as it must but don’t forget your role as protagonist:
You are here to invent your life. You are here to change this place in a way that doesn’t make it the same anymore without you in it.
Free us, give us hope, make us laugh, delight us with surprises.
Make us think, will you? Inspire us with your story – motivate us.
Give us passion.
Your life is a story.
Now go on ahead: do as I do, and tell it.