To Rise Above

Sometimes I wish that life was filled with only happy people, dancing with rainbow unicorns on cotton-candy clouds of optimistic wonderfulness. But that just isn’t the world we live in … Unless you’re under the influence of some hallucinogenic and/or magical happy pills, but I digress.

The reality is, life can hand out some hard lessons sometimes. Friends aren’t always as faithful as they say they will be, people aren’t as honest as you want to believe they can be, and even your closest family can drop you into a sea of disappointment and discouragement without seeming to notice or care.

Life’s full of tough crowds. You have to choose to rise above.

I won't be needing these notes anymore.

I have always placed a lot of value in what other people think and say to and about me. I would go so far as to say, I placed a lot of the value I have for myself in the words and actions of others around me. I craved constant reassurance and encouragement.

Take it from me: That’s no way to live. Every disappointment became more than just that: It was a hit to my worth as a person.

I’ve just recently decided I’ve had enough. I can’t rely on others to define me. Time to rise above.

I came to this realization by thinking about a couple of scenarios …

If I was to take part in a show, and no one I knew came to support me, would I still do it? Would I still love it? If I were to write a story, or song, or poem, and no one ever read it or heard it, would I still write?

And the answer was an unwavering yes.

I realize now that the approval of an audience is just a happy coincidence of doing what I love. If I never got another compliment in my life, it wouldn’t diminish the worth of the work. And it wouldn’t diminish me.

I’m choosing to rise above.

I’ve used this quote before, but it seems especially appropriate now …

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” – Janis Joplin

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