Sometimes, when I hear people online and on TV talk about age, I feel like they’re all wrong. They want to say that your work, no matter what field you’re in, is best when you’re young—as if there’s some magic age where you’re incredible, and then it bursts and you’re left trying to be a shell of what you used to be. I know why they’re wrong. They’re uninspired.
I was lucky enough to live through my youth in London as a write and musician. I would live through it a thousand times and never change a thing. Through all the years—all my stories; all my songs—my husband was the one who stayed up with me the longest, listened to my words, and suffered through all my early melodies before the wove their way into what they became. There was a similarity between the way he treated my art and the way he treated me growing up—an overwhelming sense of nurturing from a nurturing spirit. No matter what, nothing ever takes that away.
Not even his passing. I’ll remember, I’m sure for the rest of my life, where I was when he called me. It was stage four and spreading. At first, I didn’t even want to know what kind of cancer it was. The thought of the strongest force in my life starting to grow weaker by the day was almost too much to bear. I was sitting at my piano—the scene of so many late night discussions, revelations, pieces of advice and peace of mind, now threatened by the loss of the person I loved the most.
Thirty-three, and having to face my husband’s mortality—I knew I had to return the love and care he had unconditionally given me. Rushing to his side, I was surprised at first, but eventually understood, why he simply smiled at me—he wanted me to continue writing. Watching me pursue my passions gave him so much happiness—he confided in me that he had even considered not telling me. ‘Don’t stop just because I am…’ he said. And with that little piece of advice, the strongest man in my life vowed that he would continue to do his best work as a husband all the way to the end if that’s what it took.
There are times in our lives when our strength is tested. My husband had been such a force of positivity in my life that his sickness became my heaviest burden. The image was the same, but while he had held my hand for so many years—now it was my turn to be the compelling hand, guiding him to a place of mentality clarity and serenity after long bouts of sick, sleepless nights. Through it all, nothing seemed to faze him. He’d battle cancer like a valiant warrior, recover and reclaim his dignity like a champion. Watching him triumph like this over and over again reminded me of all the times, as a girl, he would tell me to face my fears with no regrets—there was substance behind his words. Even in facing a sickness that could never end, he acted like each day’s adversity was a passing fancy, and that at any moment he could simply walk away from it like a game.
Confounded with heart-strung feelings, I dove head first into the world of music and writing that my husband had so long encouraged and pushed. I felt higher sensations of urgency, love and passion. I soon summoned the courage to show him, in the hospital, my latest creations. I could see in his eyes that he had never been so proud. For me, to be so unsure about how I would handle the future, being able to make him smile amidst such struggle and turmoil was a valiant weapon against all evils. If every husband was more like the man I knew, we’d have a better world.
Taking his words to heart, I poured all my emotion into my writing and music. Right away—I knew my work had transcended itself. I didn’t feel guilty having such verbose and slightly arrogant thoughts—there was reason for my sudden leap in conviction between the notes and words. What I want to say is—all those people who want to earmark a person’s best work, they’ve never been inspired by someone like my husband. To this day, his strength sticks with me.
This is the story of my love, and my life. But these sentiments beyond speak of who I am expected to be by others, and who I still desire to be at heart.
Altruism, or a personal and genuine personality trait that will promote the prosperity of others at the consequence of one’s personal situation, can be seen as a very moral and desirable trait. The problem is, in our current society, people worry far too much about what other people think about them – to a point where they don’t even take time to focus on themselves.
When did the personal affairs of others become more important that our own? This kind of behavior can be highly negative, and often leads to the spread of rumors – which only serve to hurt or mislead and misinform.
Only in loving relationships is this rule transcended. When you are married, you are to take your significant other’s well-being along with yours every single day of your life.
The golden rule is that you should worry about yourself first. Then, and only then, can you accurately and appropriately take care of other people on a genuine level. If you see other people doing wrong, or offending someone else in a harmful way, there is never a true need to intervene. Of course, there are exceptions to this, wherein violence is involved, or other transgressions that break the law, but above all else – the consequences perpetrated by others will come back to ruin perpetrators in the end.
Teaching and attempting to redirect is not always the best solution. Often, you will find, throughout society, that those who have wisdom pressed upon them by others who seek solace in a hectic situation will continue to put themselves in jeopardy and waste to be saved over and over again. The application of wisdom in order for an individual to overcome their problems, is not always a linear fact of life.
This line of thinking, for better or worse, is akin to that of natural selection. Sometimes, the best way to live your life is simply to keep to ourselves, and imbue a sense of peace around yourself. The less adversity you take part in within the lives of others, the less your actions will create a springboard for more adversity. Likewise, injustice and a lack of peace the lives of others will either burn out, or come back and ruin those who started injustices in the first place. Over time, this will separate those who seek peace, and those who find joy in creating injustice. Those people are never the kind of people that you want to have around – so, simply remove them from your life, and you might find that your life gets a lot better quite quickly.
That is the true power of taking the time to worry about yourself over others.
Think of all the things that drive the human psyche up the wall. Attention, nepotism, excessive hubris – we can go on forever. Money is a major issue for many people. People are always coming up with criteria by which they can judge each other based on monetary and financial attributes. How much you have? How much did you make this year?
This is almost as essential when passing judgment as the credibility of one’s friends. Who do you know? How can I use you to find somebody else I’m really interested in? Surely, you can count on your fingers and toes how many times you’ve heard people mutter phrases like those.
But, why are people so concerned about what others think when our society, as a collective of individuals, places almost no emphasis on getting to know one’s self? Why do we seek approval from elsewhere, when we only need approval from within? What in our lives be easier if we simply walked away from those toxic individuals who constantly busied themselves with frivolous concerns?
Basing your level of mood off of the nature of others is a self-fulfilling prophecy in the wrong direction. The truth is – there’s too much negative energy adrift in the world, and the problem is, you may encounter it and associate it with yourself. For example, if someone you work with is having trouble at home, you can console them, but to think that there negative emotions have been spurred on by something you have done – without having any credibility that line of thought – you are going to let your quality of work inadvertently deteriorate, and your entire work environment will suffer.
Detaching yourself from these unnecessary associations and feelings can be hard. We have an innate and intrinsic need to seek the approval of others. Even that, in its raw form, has its benefits. But, it is when people forgo any semblance of self for the sake of the emotions of others that are identities begin the crumble.
My married self was my best self. I was empowered in all the right ways, and gave myself up to my spouse at the same time. You should be the only one to control you are. That is the beginning and the end of your story as a person. What is written in between, should only be up to you. But to give yourself up unequivocally to another person each and every day—that is powerful. That is love. That is something that can never be taken away.