There is something to be said for reality. Yeah I know. Reality bites. But it’s also one of the greatest teachers we have. Some of us are inspired with a beautiful setting. Sometimes it’s walking the trails of our favorite parks where we can become one with the elements in a natural setting. The wind will often give us a light breeze when we’re hot from walking and it seems to whisper a calming sound that helps us to put the insanity of the world behind us and make room for the clutter that has accumulated. The trees often tower over us to remind us that nothing is out of reach. They surround us in all different shapes and sizes. It reminds me of the variances we all have. As a society of people, we are all different shapes and sizes. That’s what makes us beautiful.
I look around and see the different animals in our world. They each have a unique spirit. Their personalities are varied. They inspire me with their adventurous spirit. They have an ingrained curiosity to continue to explore and they listen to their gut to know when danger is lurking ahead. They inspire me to keep an open mind and not let fear guide me.
Then I remember those people who have inspired me. People who are fighting cancer right now and in the past amaze me. They have a goal and are determined to not let anything keep them from winning the fight. No amount of treatments can deter their mindset. To me, they are inspirational. Mental illness patients who fight every single day to regain their freedom from their disease also provide true inspiration. It takes so much strength to admit that a person needs help. They are the heroes. They see a problem and are willing to get help to beat the disease.
I’ve got friends who have battled different diseases and become survivors in their own right. One of my closest friends will be completely seizure free for 28 years this coming February 6. He had 3/4 frontal lobe, 1/4 of his parietal lobe removed and scratching in the optical lobe, and he literally operates with half a brain. To look at him, you would never know it. He’s got a touch of cerebal palsy and scoliosis. When the doctors performed the surgery to help him stop his epilepsy, he was determined he would never have another seizure. He credits God with this. He truly feels God told him he would never have another seizure and to this day it remains true. He had to learn how to walk again, to have normal speaking, to use his body to be able to stand on his own two feet. He is partially paralyzed but it doesn’t matter. His faith in God is uplifting. He is a true testament to what perserverance and faith can do. Without the work that he put into his recovery, he might never have been able to accomplish what he has. He does have limitations. Reading is more difficult for him. He reads at a slower pace, but he can still read. He doesn’t process things like everyone else but he still manages to live a full life. That, my friends, is a testament to the power of the inner will.
People from my past inspire me too. They inspire me not to make the same decisions they did. That’s not to say their decisions were bad. They just weren’t the decisions that were right for me. There’s a difference between judging someone for their choices and accepting them for who they are. I accept my friends’ past and present for who they are. Many of them have children. Since that is no longer in the cards for me, I can’t follow that path. What I can do is live my life with no regrets.
Someone recently asked me, “If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?” Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t change a thing. The younger me wouldn’t have listened anyway. We have to be comfortable with our choices in life. Even when we aren’t comfortable, we have to understand that we make the best decisions that we can with the information we have.
Artists, musicians, poets, creative folks, and entertainers all understand this concept. When an artists paints, there is a world they create through their art. When musicians write their music, there is an inspiration behind every note, every vibration that comes out of their instruments whether it’s a physical instrument or through their own voice. Poets are able to beautifully incorporate a unique language into a variable that we all comprehend. They create their own paradigm. The same with actors and entertainers. They have the ability to transform us into a varying set of emotions through their performances. They inspire and electrify.
Who inspires you? Is it a friend? A former teacher? Someone you barely know? What about the landscape around you? For me, there are so many things that inspire me. I don’t think I can choose just one. What I do know is that I’ve started writing down things in a journal for when inspiration hits. I’ve started taking pictures of things so that I don’t forget. I’ve put together snippets of videos and am grateful because some of the same people I’ve videoed are now deceased. I can’t get that time back. I can, however, look towards the inspiration they’ve provided me over the years and do everything in my power to keep pushing forward and changing the future for the better. I hope you can all do the same.