You have to be willing to get hurt, to fail, if you want to move forward in life. The most courageous and wise folks are the ones who make themselves vulnerable.
I once was moved to write this for a dear, brokenhearted friend. I’m grateful for that inspiration.
Once, some years ago, a very special and unique little puppy was born. She was sweet, smart, and playful like most puppies, but unlike the others, her heart was on the outside of her body. The little puppy’s heart peeked out from under her fur, where everyone else, except her, could see it beating.
When she was very young, the little puppy just wanted to fit in and be like all the other puppies. Every day she woke up and tried to do the same things as any other puppy would. She would chase after butterflies. She would playfully run after clouds. She would race through open fields trying to find the end of rainbows. All the while, the little puppy tried and tried to make the most out of each day.
Still, other puppies seemed to treat her just a little differently. They didn’t really want to join her on her adventures. They would play with her sometimes, but only when they felt like it. Sometimes they pretended like they didn’t even see her. All of this made the little puppy feel sad and lonely. She felt misunderstood and isolated. All she really wanted was to feel accepted, appreciated, and loved.
One day, while she was all alone, the little puppy walked by a mirror and happened to catch her own reflection for the very first time ever. Startled, she first looked at her own face. She noticed that her eyes looked very sad, despite having what felt like great spirit and beautiful energy staring out from them. Next, she saw her whole head, which was hanging low, despite being filled with so many dreams, and hopes, and wonderful ideas. Then, with great surprise, she saw it. She looked down and noticed her heart, right there, on the outside of her chest, for the whole world to see.
She was amazed, humbled, and could not look away. Her outside heart was beating so strongly. It was magnificent. She instantly felt lighter, as if a chain around her soul had been unlocked. She finally realized why she was so different from all of the other puppies, and oddly enough, from that moment on, she started to feel less lonely.
As time passed, the little puppy continued to live her life happily. If other puppies didn’t want to play with her or share in her adventures, she was less bothered. She could gladly and proudly face any adventures on her own, for the moment she first saw her outside heart, she found love and acceptance on the inside.
One gorgeous day, as she was walking through a meadow, the bluest sky revealed a the most spectacular rainbow she had ever seen. She decided that she’d run straight toward the end of it. Right as she was about to sprint away, she saw another little puppy sitting right in her path. He tilted his head from side to side, looking at her curiously. He cautiously took a few steps toward her, then stopped. She asked the little puppy if he was okay.
“Yes, I am fine, but I can’t believe what I’m seeing right now,” he said gently. He slowly took a few more steps toward her. She was prepared to answer any and all questions about her outside heart, until she noticed a heart beating strongly on the outside of his chest! He had an outside heart, just like her.
They talked and laughed for a few hours, then decided to chase after the end of the rainbow together. They ran and ran and never looked back.
Sooner or Later, I’ll meet somebody that will make me forget about all the other somebodies.
I love all types and genres of music, but not all types and genres for music therapy! From underneath layers of sadness, peering out at hard rock might make me forget my troubles temporarily, but might also make me more angry than sad. R&B or Indie ballads will send me spiraling and wondering why I haven’t experienced any kind of idealistic love affairs like the ones being sung about.
The Blues - that works for me on a deeply soulful level. Always. It’s an odd thing too, because at surface level, songs about hard times might not seem like a positive thing at all. But, The Blues, in all their gut-wrenching, woe-is-me magnificence, transform my broken heart into a less lonely state. I find solace in knowing that generations of men and women before me have been dumped, overlooked, or rejected. They’ve been broke, drunk, or living lean. They expressed themselves anyway. I connect with that heartbreak and strangely, find myself feeling better after a while.
Thank you, BB, Howlin’ Wolf, Stevie Ray, Albert, Freddie, Eric, John Lee, Fats, Bonnie, and the countless others that set me straight. I’m never really alone if I’ve got The Blues.
Standing still and faithfully, peacefully facing a problem with someone else is one of the most difficult challenges life can ever throw my way. With those situations, my lifelong habits were either feeling like a cornered animal that strikes out, or feeling like someone that had to shut down and run away.
I’ve become self-aware of my anxious reactions and am working through current difficulties by dwelling in them. I won’t run away. I won’t lash out. I will calmly work through this.
To me, confidence is believing with your whole heart that something “is,” even when others may believe that something “is not.” Whatever that something situation is, anything is possible with confidence.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! Special wishes go out to those of you out there that just can’t seem get love right, despite your best efforts. I’m also thinking about those of you that may find yourself feeling completely alone at this point in your life, despite a strong desire for the opposite. You folks are my kind of people. Don’t give up. Pick yourself up, be the best person you can be, for you, and don’t let this world convince you that your life is over. Open up, be vulnerable, treat everyone with kindness, and believe that anything can change at any moment. You just don’t know for sure what’s around the corner. Trust me. I am an absolute expert in such matters!