hubris and my turbulent sea

What if we could bring Heaven to earth?

What if we brought peace to earth? What if we treated all people with the love, patience and benefit we give those we hold dear?

I work in nursing homes for a living, interacting with certified nurse assistants, nurses, residents, doctors, and family members who are visiting their loved ones.  I travel close to 200 miles a day, and stop in various gas stations and restaurants as I go from nursing home to nursing home. My scope of influence and interaction runs the gambit and my opportunity for breathing love in others is diverse and ever present.

I have a new game I play, and it goes a little like this. What if I stopped and genuinely tried to treat everyone I come in contact with care and reverence? What if I humbly asked about a gas station attendant’s day, looked them in the eye and waited for their reply with concentrated curiosity? What if I tried to bring value to their day in that brief moment of time, instead of being a thousand miles away planning, thinking, or dwelling on obstacles in my path. Looking someone in the eyes and listening has the power to shake worlds. Allowing a stranger to merge on the road, not tailing people on the interstate, and holding the door for others even when it’s inconvenient – paying for someone’s lunch, smiling at folks. Practicing active patience, knowing that love travels, mends hearts, and is passed on – that is my new goal. Giving your time, resources and energy to others feeds the soul, and has a funny way of paying itself forward and back again.

This practice is hard. I’m naturally impatient, naturally self centric. Colin Powell’s recent email leak about Hillary Clinton makes me reflect on all the relationships and opportunities I often “screw up with hubris.” When I hear the word hubris I reflect on my disposition and daily touch points with humans of various socioeconomic, education levels and backgrounds. Joy and selfless attention to others in my community is characteristic of Jesus Christ.  Focusing on what and who delays my daily agenda, swerving and delighting in my frustration, stress and disgust with those who don’t do or act at the caliber I have magically deemed elite is death – death to others, death to my spirit – and only prolongs and enflames hate and hurt.  I think some of my community and past relationships would describe some of my behavior as hubris and self-edifying. The beauty of past categorization and judgment is we may choose to chart a different course. And I will audaciously choose to turn my ship on this turbulent sea of existence.

about the author   David Meigs is one of the founders and contributing members of Everything is OK blog and podcast. He lives in Hattiesburg, MS with his beautiful wife and two dogs Elliott and Esme.

about the author

David Meigs is one of the founders and contributing members of Everything is OK blog and podcast. He lives in Hattiesburg, MS with his beautiful wife and two dogs Elliott and Esme.

resistance (the war of art)

How many times a month, a week, a day, do you hear your inner voice tell you ‘stop’, ‘you are no good’, ‘you are a failure’, ‘you are selfish’.  According to Steven Pressfield, if you are fighting against these lies, you must be going down the path God and his angels are delighted in.

 We are in war. War with our inner self, and war against an unseen force the author has titled ‘resistance’. Resistance is smart, resilient, distant, and unforgiving. Resistance shows itself as depression, self-doubt, busyness, and works through people, events, and fear. 

 The War of Art is the first book I have read this year that broke me – moved me to tears (thanks Jared Loftus, crying is the best).  It told me I shouldn’t smoke, I’m not special, and I think I’m brave, but I’m living a cowards life.  It is offensive to the core of who I have become, and it serves as the wake up call so many creative minds need this very second. 

 Resistance is not a fabrication of Steven Pressfield, but a manifestation of evil that has infiltrated many if not all aspects of existence today. I am too weak to battle it alone, but I am pledging today to allow God and his angels to work through me daily to continue down a road of actualization. I will battle Resistance and become the man God, my wife and my small world/territory deserves.  Below is just a taste of some of the truth telling he brings to the table in The War of Art:

 We can’t be anything we want to be.

We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it.

 Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

David Meigs in a hotdog suit, playing kickball.  spring 2016

David Meigs in a hotdog suit, playing kickball.  spring 2016

think, act, and repeat

Yep.  Don't you worry. 

Slowing my thoughts down at any given moment is an asinine chore.

You may loathe mowing, I loathe sitting still. At different points in the year- be it a new job, relationship, business opportunity, or my fifth cup of joe,  my brain tells me “now or never”. My heart rate increases, my pupils fluctuate, and I dream while going through the motions.

I see possibilities while I’m driving, walking, brushing my teeth and working. I cycle through scenarios like a professor fingers through vinyls at T-Bones Records and Cafe on any given afternoon. I fervently search for the right solution, weigh the consequences and execute. My co-workers rely on it, bands I play in praise it, and our society adores the decisive leader. Of the 15 possibilities I see, I’ll latch on to 2-3 and kill it.  But I’m not content. 

Each morning it begins again. The alarm breaks the sun rise, your $15 bag of fair trade beans brew, and you think, act and repeat. 

Stop and listen. Pray. Meditate. 

Listen to the birds, look a person in the eyes, smile and breathe.  I habitually ignore process in the familiar and routine, and take shortcuts to complete any task before me. It is time to reassess. For the sake of the many people I love, my wife being number one, I am asking Ms. Process to dance. I hope she likes to two-step.   

-DM