Life is Messy
How do you view your past? Is it something you rejoice in or something you ignore? Did your past happen to you or is your past a part of you? Do you let it guide you or let it rule you? Do you accept that all the bits and pieces that make up your past coalesce to make up you?
“What happens to each of us is ordered. It furthers our destiny. … There is a single harmony. Just as the world forms a single body comprising all bodies, so fate forms a single purpose, comprising all purposes.”
There is causality. Nothing has no effect. Without the past, we would not be where we are now. To be human is to be a mess of thoughts and feelings with no guide book. Tossed off a cliff and told to fly – figure it out on the way down.
Okay… So How Do We Fly?
We are made up of everything that has come before now. And will add tidbits as time passes. The good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the fun, the scary, the funny, the annoying, the easy, the hard. EVERY. THING. The people. The places. The events.
All of it snowballs to become the person you are today. The pieces fit together to form the picture of you.
Take all of these bits and pieces and use them to form your Self. If you can do then then you will be cohesive, smooth, and solid – and ready to fly. If you try to leave out pieces or pretend they aren’t there, then you’ll just be a spiky mess – and fall quickly to the ground. There aren’t many spiked aircraft… just sayin’.
All too often we want to hide, deny, ignore, or change our pasts. What we did. What was done to us. Who we did it with. Why.
While we should not dwell on the past – that is as unproductive as pretending it doesn’t exist – we should embrace it as part of us.
You’re Joking Right?
Not kidding. Totally serious. And believe me, I know how unpleasant that can be. If all the trauma and drama of my life went away, so would my personality as it is today. If everything had always been rosy and gentle, then I would not be the me I am.
- I would not be as strong.
- I would not be as knowledgeable.
- I would not be as solid.
- I would not be as real.
Marcus uses the doctor analogy – take your medicine, do your exercises. “It may not always be pleasant, but we embrace it – because we want to get well.” Accept what is prescribed, “Accept it because of what it leads to: the good health of the work.”
How do you know pleasure if you’ve never experienced pain? The good, the bad, and the indifferent are all relevant and necessary parts of life. You can’t skip one just because you wanna. They will all be there no matter what you do or who you are.
So, we can reject our pasts and be sharp, jagged souls, resentful and angry. Or we can accept our pasts and be smooth, settled sound, not perfect but content. Use your past to inform your future.
Don’t dwell on it. Don’t deny it. Just be the you it has made you. “No nature would bring something about that wasn’t beneficial to what it governed.”
Does this have ANYTHING to do with Narration?
That messy life?
All those experiences? The good times and the craptastic days? They all led me here. To narration. And not only did they bring me here, they will help me in my performances. They give me the ability to instill authenticity to my reads in ways I wouldn’t be capable of had I enjoyed a life free of my experiences.
The deaths of my parents taught me tragedy, visceral pain, unmitigated aloneness, and all sorts of stuff about living.
All those bad relationships taught me (eventually) to believe in myself and not take crap from anyone.
All those random research clients and jobs taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to and that there are more ways to do anything than you would expect.
The kidney transplant (I was the donor side) taught me what it feels like to Fulfill a Purpose.
When I am in the booth, I am able to pull up each and every experience to help me convey my author’s intent. There is a memory for everything. Some may need to be repurposed or embellished, of course. I haven’t experienced all the things everywhere. I mean, I’ve never killed anyone, so there will have to be some license there, but have studied candlestick charting and was a day trader briefly so I can speak authoritatively as such. And on and on and on.
So embrace your past. Don’t dwell on it and relive it all the time, but use it to learn from and to inform your future self. You would not be the beautiful you you are without all that stuff you try to hide. Be messy. Be real. Be human.
Goodness knows I’m trying to do so!
(All quotes are from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.)
Reach out to chat or just say hi. If you need a voice, you can hear me on my websites. Feel free to email with requests for auditions/sample reads : lisasware.com for audiobooks and lswareonline.com for corporate narration/eLearning.