A few years back I discovered something on a personal level that sages have known for thousands of years: that our words and thoughts have great power. As days and years added on to my experiences, I also began to realize that I am the creator of my own life. My life is my work of art. Then I patched on an additional insight: no one else has anything to bring to me that I do not already have, especially love. All of the love I will ever have or need is already inside of me. When I compile the accrued meaning of these and other insights, what comes to me is that each of us lives alone on this planet yet we are all intimately connected energetically with all other beings and all that exists. I am a being of pure light and love. Weirdly, I feel itchy and slightly uncomfortable when I iterate that truth. Is it the smarmy sentimentality of the phrase, or is it my own discomfort with truth, with loving myself? The artistry of my life and of everyone else’s lives are in the manner and choices that each of us makes each moment of each day. When I contemplate that my personal truth is entirely separate from the artistry of the life I create for myself, I am intrigued. As knowledge is an entirely separate domain from wisdom, no one else has access to my world. I have no real access to anyone else’s inner world. Art is the only way that we can share our subjective creations, if only in an approximate manner. Yet we are always connected. This is a paradox – our thoughts remain forever separate, but we are all energetically one. You will never experience my being as I do. As long as we respect and love ourselves and respect the subjective nature of each other, we remain free. It is when we try to convince each other and ourselves that we know one another and begin to expect things from each other based on this supposed knowledge that we begin to truly suffer. I agree with the Buddhist postulate that detachment is key to eliminating unhappiness. Detachment is the basis for true respect, and without respect, there is no love. When I expect anything from someone else, I abdicate my own self-responsibility. Like all humans, I have been educated to want to remain childish, demanding, and ultimately controlling and manipulative. This type of behavior can be disguised in an infinite number of styles. Like most people, I have spent quite a lot of time being unhappy with myself and with my life. Now I am trying to be more like my puppy, ie be true to my own true self and not impose judments and expectations on myself either. Being judgmental is so central to human culture, that we really feel like it is the normal thing to do. Is it normal or necessary to be in constant pain, even dull under the carpet pain? I think not. Being myself is extremely simple, and to live a simple life appreciating oneself and others takes an extreme revamping of the way I think. Why do I constantly punish myself, telling myself that I cannot do certain things or accomplish my dreams? If it is my dream to be an artist or a writer, then this is the dream I must create. If it is my dream to be ashamed of myself and feel unworthy of being an artist or writer, then this is the dream I will create. It is liberating and perhaps daunting to have so much choice. Maybe it is the dazzling nature of freedom that is so frightening. I have been told that I may be afraid of happiness. Which is scarier: happiness or suffering? It is an interesting question to contemplate. Suffering requires trying to hold other people or circumstances responsible for our personal happiness or lack of success. Happiness requires taking my taking charge of myself, letting go of anyone else, and living from moment to moment. From now on, I am going to give happiness my best shot!