Nobody gives a shit about your dreams, Wonder.
Nobody is waiting around for you to start your business, publish your novel, record your album, proclaim your truth.
A little harsh? Maybe. Maybe you think I’m exaggerating.
But truly: besides the one or two people for whom you hold a special place in their hearts, most people have much better things to do than worry about your ambitions.
(Not to mention your fears or your worries.)
We all travel the the world on our own paths, hearing our own fanfare. Others are preoccupied with their own business and give only the slightest and most distracted attention to you and what you think is important.
Why would things be otherwise?
You aren’t the world’s belly button, after all, despite the fact that living inside your own skin may give you that feeling.
Millions of other belly buttons come and go, live and die, in every corner of the globe, obsessed with their needs and desires of the moment, with hopes for more wealth, more fun, a bit of glory, a chance at love.
So many books, records, films, tweets, broadcasts, products, services, launches, publications, so much noise, fury, laughter, shouting, people—sickening.
The demands on our attention are at full capacity, eroding the ability not only to focus but even to worry:
Misery overload, information overload, distraction overload, crowding overload, word overload, image overload… To survive the deluge, we learn quickly to disregard 99% of what’s thrown in our direction.
So what’s the point of writing, singing, developing, playing, producing, dancing?
The earth will keep spinning even if you do nothing, that’s for sure. All memory of your existence will fade away quickly after your death. What’s the difference then? Why do anything at all if it makes no difference?
We do nothing except when we believe that it will make a difference, even if only a small one.
That’s how it is: we humans are built such that it’s not possible to do anything that does not make sense, that does not make any difference in our eyes. Even if the difference is merely to feel a little better for a minute or two.
And since it’s generally believed that our happiness depends on our circumstances, insisting on changing our circumstances, we believe, will give us what we hope for. Finally we’ll be happy, fulfilled, satisfied, recognized. Finally loved.
We plunge ourselves into overcaffeinated exertions, work till we are exhausted. In the end all that’s left after we attain one of our goals is the taste of ashes in the mouth and the forced recognition that despite the accomplishment we still feel something lacking. The emptiness has not been filled.
And we continue, and continue, growing more and more weary, discouraged, until finally one day we realize that:
To create or do anything in hope of being loved is futile.
So then you give it all up. You let go of what seems so clearly vain. You climb into a depression for a day, a decade. Or you become wise for a week, a month, and manage to enjoy life without wanting anything special. Leave it to the rest of them to run that race.
Until one lovely morning you hear inspiration whispering in your ear agin.
Just a small voice, almost inaudible at first, then—as the days and months pass—increasingly clear.
Where does it come from? Why so insistent?
Is it because you need something? No, not really.
Because you are missing something? No, not any more. There’s a growing desire in you, but a desire that doesn’t seem to have as its primary function the filling of any emptiness in you.
Nevertheless, it’s there. And it wants out. It wants to take shape.
No reason, it seems.
This is the love that speaks through you.
Because of this, perhaps, you won’t ask yourself what it is good for and will not question its futility. For the first time, you might even quit worrying about what others may think.
You’ll begin once again wanting to take action. Just for the beauty of creation itself. To speak. To express yourself, to reveal yourself through what you create.
For the love of contributing, to lend a hand in your own fashion, without fanfare.
This is not important, not at all. And at the same time, it is sacred.
Creating something in order to be loved is futile. But creating something for love, well—that’s something else entirely. And that may make all the difference.
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