While I'm not one for the chaos and frenzy that comes with the holidays, I do appreciate the "stop" they put to the incessant ego of work/getting ahead to focus on others and not ourselves. I am a personal believer that if you are depressed/alone the best thing you can do is volunteer somewhere and serve others. Getting out of my head and living in someone else's shoes for a bit always gives me perspective and helps me feel better. Through selflessness comes sel-fullfilledness (Not a word, but it should be.)
How ironic, that the more connected we become, the less connected we truly are.
I am concerned with the times we are living in. While we have technology at our disposal and I can make a cool website like the one you're on now, it's also giving us an excuse to be disconnected from others. How ironic, that the more connected we become, the less connected we truly are? I fear for a world where the "me" mentality takes over the "us." Where the "I" is no longer about the whole, but rather exists to feed itself. Why these fears?
Well, for one, we are in a pandemic. Technology was already isolating human beings, but now that a virus has attacked our world, we have become even more dependent on the "self" and our own thoughts/petri dish of experiences. Unfortunately I do believe this is why our political system is even in more of an uproar. We've all become preachers of our own nonsense and narcissistic beliefs. We are all right, never wrong. Perspective, Truth, Facts have shattered into particles of fake news. Humility, thoughtfulness, compassion, while still vividly a part of our world, are slowly being shoved into a corner, replaced by Hate, Lies, Bigotry, Selfishness, Corruption.
Another Like, Another Swipe. Feed me Seymour. Feed Me Now!
This is an awkward topic because as an artist I do need to have a dose of narcissism/ego to fulfill my artistic endeavors. I do believe the ego/self is a good thing, but when do we lose our humanity to the "things" we've created? How many "likes" on Istagram and Tik-Tok are required for someone to feel validated? And when does that cycle stop? Every time we give ourselves to the "online social media" bubble, it feels like we are gambling away a piece of our soul.
Yes, it's nice to post a picture of the food we just ate on our trip to Italy or our furry animal friends, but every day? And oh wait, someone else has a better photo than I do of their dog, I need to step up my game! The posting, breeds competition and an ongoing need to fulfill a thirst that cannot be satisfied. Another Like, Another Swipe. Feed me Seymour. Feed Me Now! Sure, we have the opportunity to make money from these things, but again, at what cost? When are we no longer at the bar to enjoy the "experience" of said bar, but to rather post about the experience of being at the bar we're trying to experience, but can't because we are posting about it? And where does this leave us as human beings?
Losing our attachment to the present-tense means losing our attachment to others.
I see this right now in the dating world. Most of the profiles I come across are very much, "You need to be this, that and this other thing for me! Do that and I might text you back." Lol. I mean, human to human, who would respond to that? While there are different "dating" apps, I'm not discussing Tinder here and the one-night stands. I'm 42 and interested in real connection, but I also don't "need' someone to fit my "perfect person" agenda. Imperfect is very, um, human? Yes, values need to align, but also patience and willingness to let things evolve. Unfortunately, these days there is a "swipe right" mentality because the grass is always greener on the other side, right? Unfortunately, vital fulfilling life experiences take time to build, nourish, create. They also require a healthy dose of forgiveness, compassion and open resolve. Not leaving, staying the course, fighting for love and earning that love is never-ending. Uh-Oh, I feel a song coming on....
Every day, a person has a choice to stay or go. But the relationship that is the fortune teller for all to come is: The relationship with ourselves. That's what my song "Inside Out" is about. A person can't love someone else without truly loving themselves first. Trust me, I am not one to be preachy about this stuff and if you asked me a year ago, if I could see myself writing a song and blog about the importance of "Self" I would say you were crazy and to take a hike. Thankfully, I decided to take a shot and go to therapy. I wanted to get some stuff out on someone who was not my friend/significant other/family member and maybe in the process find some tools to navigate by.
Within, you'll never be Without
Note: It's not a loved one's job to fix your shit. Yes, they can listen to your crap because they care and want to help you, but in the end, it's up to you (the self) to fix it. This is what "inside out" was about for me. Writing a song about going "inside" and doing the work of dealing with all my baggage/stuff from the past, so I could make peace with it all and be whole on the outside. In the lyrics "I've been talking to me alone, this quiet space splits me into the half I am and there you are my only friend, feel you close, yet I know I won't make amends" - Splits me in two, the half I am - which to me is the good and the bad. As far as making amends, it's really hard to do that! Lol. You have to go deep ,take a long look at yourself and not hate what you see! But if you stay the course, give yourself space to make mistakes, it can be extremely eye-opening.
In the end, you'll never be without when you are looking within, and it starts by going Inside-Out.