From My Bookshelf – Day 54

Now let me be clear here: I believe in family. I have eight beautiful children, a mother in her 90s whom I adore, and two brothers whom I love dearly; and I treasure my immediate and extended families.

However—and this is a crucial point—living a life of your own choosing involves the unquestionable willingness to endure the slings and arrows that could come your way when you respond to your inner knowing rather than to the opinions of your family. Samuel Butler was probably feeling something similar when, toward the end of his life in 1902, he wrote: “I believe more unhappiness comes from this source than from any other—I mean the attempt to prolong family connection unduly, and to make people hang together artificially who would never naturally do so.”

You don’t belong to your immediate family; you’re a member of the human family. You don’t own your children, nor are you a possession of your parents. You’re not obliged to fulfill the wishes or a destiny dictated by kin. It’s important to consciously know that you’re here to create your music, and that you don’t have to die with your music still in you. Granted, this can trigger some family drama, but then again, that might just be your excuse for not following your own path. It’s been my experience that I earn far more respect than reproach from my family whenever I encourage myself to live the life I want.

To that end, these types of excuses need to disappear: “I can’t disappoint my grandparents or my parents. Why should I be the only one rebelling and wanting to move out of town? Or take up a new occupation? Or marry outside of our faith [or whatever else may incur disapproval and censure from relatives]?” These are thoughts or memes based on fears that were originally internalized in childhood, when they seemed the only way to secure a place in your “tribe.” Yet what were reasons to the child you were then need to be recognized as excuses by the adult you are today. Don’t let fear of family dramas keep you from changing outmoded, unnecessary, and unwanted thought patterns.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer — Excuses Begone! (pp. 38-39)

If we let them, our family has the power to help us blossom or keep us ensnared in a story we didn’t write for ourselves. When we view our life as a story, we eventually realize we have the ability to write our story any way we desire.

You are the author of your story!!

It took me nearly a couple decades into adulthood to finally figure that out for myself. I AM the author of my story. Nobody else! This life of mine is the only life I get to live and it’s up to nobody but me to make it great!

The same is true for you as well. Your life is nobody’s but yours.

Great stories require great characters and our lives aren’t any different. In order to live a great life, we have to be willing to make ourselves the best character we possibly can. Without interesting characters, stories fall flat and readers lose interest quickly. By not trying to be the best character possible, our lives lack depth and we begin to settle for mediocrity.

Sometimes our families—knowingly or unknowingly—attempt to direct our stories and control our lives. Without an internal compass leading our way, some of us willingly give the direction of our stories away and lack confidence to make something meaningful of ourselves.

Consider living a life without excuses. Consider living YOUR life the way you desire. You may not know yet what you desire, and that’s OK. Go on an internal journey and discover who you truly are at your core. I promise you won’t be disappointed by what you find there! Your True Self will thank you for searching and finding it.

Have a blessed day.

Peace and Love,

~Travis

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