There once was a shell… Now there’s a man…

People are constantly telling me that I don’t seem too “mental”… which is nice…

It’s fair to say, that when you don a Hackett ‘3 piece’ and bowtie, people definitely take you more seriously.

If you want to get the attention of a room and you want to spread a message I would always advise you roll out the red carpet when you consider the outfit!

But, today’s not quite about that end result… although that’s a part of it.

I always wanted to be Peter Pan, however, not Peter Pan in the context of Michael Jackson, or eternal youth.

Peter Pan in the context of Robin Williams and the film Hook. I wanted to fly and I wanted a father.

What I didn’t really know at the time was that neither of those dreams were ever really going to be possible for me. My 10 year old self, sitting, sick with adrenaline at what unfolds, as our unsuspecting hero becomes embroiled in his own adventure, his own story of years gone by, the visceral nature of every scene for me, made me want to find my own never-land, to become a lost boy and to be free.

So much of how I lost myself during my youth was how I survived, but the problem is, when you build your observations around a non-reality then you’ll always be disappointed with the results, until realism sets in.

I still remember the words of every scene ringing in my head… The death of Roofio, “you know what I wish, I wish I had a dad, like you…”

I wanted that so much. I didn’t even really know what it was to feel it. I just knew it wasn’t there… sure, if my father was alive today he’d take a bat to you at the drop of a hat if I gave the nod, without question or gauge for circumstance, but that’s not being a father, that’s just living life through excuses, without consideration of reality or consequence, and passing it off as love.

I could probably educate any young child to become the perfect human being off the back of the right selection of Robin Williams films alone, as men like that were the fathers who helped me to develop who I am today.

Through all the mania, the want for death, the spiralling over the edge of the abyss and into the darkness below; suffocating me as I lose myself, it would be the teachings of the movies of old that educated me as to how you can operate in the world, how you can find empathy and feel things outside of your comfort zone. Those Dead Poets, that Patch Adams, the Fisher King…

“Nietzsche says there’s two kinds of people in the world: people who are destined for greatness like Walt Disney… and Hitler. Then there’s the rest of us, he called us “the bungled and the botched.” We get teased. We sometimes get close to greatness, but we never get there. We’re the expendable masses. We get pushed in front of trains, take poison aspirin…

Did you ever hear the story of the Fisher King? It begins with the king as a boy, having to spend the night alone in the forest to prove his courage so he can become king. Now while he’s spending the night alone, he’s visited by a sacred vision. Out of the fire appears the Holy Grail, symbol of God’s divine grace. And a voice said to the boy, ‘You shall be keeper of the grail so that it may heal the hearts of men.’ But the boy was blinded by greater visions of a life filled with power and glory and beauty. And in this state of radical amazement, he felt for a brief moment not like a boy, but invincible, like God, so he reached in the fire to take the grail, and the grail vanished, leaving him with his hand in the fire to be terribly wounded. Now as this boy grew older, his wound grew deeper. Until one day, life for him lost its reason. He had no faith in any man, not even himself. He couldn’t love or feel loved. He was sick with experience. He began to die.

One day, a Fool wandered into the castle and found the king alone. Now being a Fool, he was simple-minded, he didn’t see a king. He only saw a man alone and in pain. And he asked the king: ‘What ails you, friend?’ The king replied: ‘I’m thirsty. I need some water to cool my throat.’ So the Fool took a cup from beside his bed, filled it with water, and handed it to the king. As the king began to drink, he realized his wound was healed. He looked at his hands, and there was the Holy Grail – that which he sought all of his life! He turned to the Fool and said with amazement: ‘How could you find that which my brightest and bravest could not?’ And the Fool replied: ‘I don’t know. I only knew that you were thirsty.'”

As young men we strive for the earth; as we mature we struggle to find our place in it… everything becomes a treadmill that never ends, the bills, the social standing, the vanity that surrounds us, is set to cripple our evolution as we grow.

But how do we break that cycle?

“The only potential in the hearts of broken human beings, is the potential to drag someone else out of the abyss… to offer your life, at it’s lowest ebb, so others may find a path to their own happiness and in doing so, the stone on your chest will be lifted and you will find your own freedom to breathe again.” TDB

I was once a shell… On occasion I still feel like it… and it’s most certain that all the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put humpty together again, so I suspect that I’ll always feel shattered at times, but that doesn’t have to be every day!

As you read this you should note that you are a human being. Without any question, you have the ability to change a life.

You and only you, operate the way that you do. Not everything about you is perfect, not everything about you is void of vanity, not everything about you is removed of anxiety or fear.

It is our fear and our want to live that guides who we become.

No one is beyond redemption and no one is too far gone to feel love. But the energy with which it’s administered must be pure.

If you’re sitting there in front of the computer, drifting away aimlessly, or it’s just gone midnight and you’re wondering why you’re still even up; if you’re self medicating with a selfie, or a beer, if you’re lost and you simply wish that you were found, then know that you can be!

Your only goal in life should be to evolve. Forget being rich, it’s not about money, forget about power, or good looks, or whether you know how to style yourself; the only way to achieve true freedom is to genuinely feel… we all know as individuals if what we put out into the ether is fake… you can fool other people but you can never truly fool yourself into believing you’re aiming for the good.

So whatever state you find yourself in as you sit there and read this, if at all you do, just know that the catalyst to truth is within every one of us, you can find truth at any moment and every ounce of every negative aspect of you that you despise and disgust from days gone by can be rid from your soul in a moment… you just have to let it go.

To dwell on what has been, or what might have been, what could have been, what might still become of us is to exist in a non-reality.

We simply have the present to contend with, because if we live in the present, it is only then that we find our true self.

You can change today… and in doing so all your wildest dreams will come true… but in order to change, you need to take a step back and allow yourself to do so.

Just be present and be who ‘you’ want to be, not who society or anyone else expects you to be. In finding ourselves and in holding true to that image, we can all be happy in every moment, provided we give ourselves permission.

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