Attitude

“Being normal is only a satisfactory result for the inadequate.”
Carl Jung

We are never told that the odds are 100% we will die. We find so many ways to deny our mortality with statistics about varying diseases, and never using the word death, but when you add up the numbers, there are no other options. So one word of advice, don’t do things to not die—it doesn’t work, and you will be very upset about the time you wasted trying to avoid dying. Now, enjoying life is another thing, and it will change the odds; it can even change the odd and the abnormal into special people who enjoy being authentic characters. So do not seek to be normal or average at anything. Look for the odd ways and beat the odds in the process.

Many years ago I thought one of our children, then aged seven, had a malignant bone tumor and the odds were that he would be dead in a year. I was very depressed by what I thought I knew was going to happen and tried to communicate this depressing news to the family. One day

He walked into the room where I was sitting and said, “Dad can I talk to you?” I said, “Sure what is it?” My son’s answer to me was, “You’re handling this poorly.”

He taught me what every child and animal knows. Today is the only day which exists. The future is unknown and we are here to enjoy the day and not let what we think will happen destroy our lives with fear and worry about what may never be. As my wife says, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” Our attitude is what creates our life no matter what the circumstances are that we live in.

Again no matter what the odds, love and laughter are always appreciated. When I was speaking to a group of people with bladder control problems I mentioned how lucky they were. They wanted to know why I said that and I responded, “Every time you see a sign that says ‘Wet Floor’ you can do it. They laughed and I think I gave them something to smile about in the future.

I have mentioned before how a man helped me by coming up to me and telling me I had an angel and he knew his name. He said this after I shared a story about an accident I had and that I had no explanation for why I wasn’t killed or seriously injured. I asked, “What’s his name?”  He asked me, “What did you say when the ladder broke and you fell off the roof?” I told him what I said. “I said, Oh Shit!” The man said, “That’s his name.”  I can’t tell you how many times in the midst of a disaster I have yelled out my angel’s name and ended up laughing and avoided disasters because of how relaxed I became at that moment.

The greatest force available to man is love. It makes us blind to faults so we can heal relationships. It eliminates enemies and does so much more. I believe when one does what one loves and loses track of time, aging is avoided. I think this is the fountain of youth. Do what makes you lose track of time and you lose all awareness of physical and emotional problems. You are now a divine creator and time and matter do not exist. It is similar to an out of the body experience.

When you want to drive your enemies crazy, love them and torment with tenderness. I know from experience with people abused as children what can happen when they decide to love the unlovable, and forgive the unforgivable. What happens? They become free to live in the moment and not suffer in the past. So abandon your past and use your passion to create a future.

Women with the same cancers as men live longer. Married men with the same cancers live longer than single men. Monkeys given AIDS who lived in a cage with friends lived six months longer than monkeys with AIDS living with strangers. You are not a statistic and please do not die on schedule because of what a doctor may say. If you offer to bet a doctor that you will live longer than predicted they don’t take the bet. One doctor found that people who drove more than fifteen miles to receive his cancer treatment did three times as well as those who lived next to the hospital where the treatment was given.

Now if you are a male, engineer or lawyer this may be a problem for you. But stop thinking and start feeling. As I said, don’t deny your mortality, accept it and go home and live your chocolate ice cream. You may be amazed at what that does to the odds. As one woman wrote me who went home to die and started doing everything she loved to do before she died, “I didn’t die and now I am so busy I’m killing myself.” My advice to her was to take a nap. Resting is an activity which will allow you to burn up and not out.

Joseph Campbell said, “The world’s a mess. It will always be a mess. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.” The Bible tells us, “He who seeks to save his life will lose it while he who is willing to lose his life will save it.” I know identical twin sisters and one is a devil who drives mom and dad crazy, and the other is an angel who makes them happy, and tries to please everyone and internalizes anger.  Who do you think is more likely to develop breast cancer? If you answered “the little angel” you are right.  Being “good” by internalizing anger all your life will make you sick.

So please go ahead and be odd, and do not lose your life to the wishes of others. Live your life and save your true self. Suicide is not the answer. The answer is to eliminate the untrue self and save your life. And don’t wait until you develop a life threatening illness to give yourself permission to tell the world to back off and let you choose your way. As my mom said, “When you have a decision to make do what will make you happy.”

Exercises

  1. Study statistics and discuss them with successful people and see what role they play in their lives.
  2. Bring a sense of meaning into your life. Think about why you are here.
  3. Imagine you are placed in a concentration camp while suffering from a serious illness and if you can’t work you will be executed. What do you think you do?
  4. Enhance your relationships and connections and see how you feel each day. If you don’t have a pet, plant or person who depends upon you, get one.

Wear a bandage over your eye and act as if you love everyone you meet today. No exceptions. Watch what they reveal to a wounded soldier in love’s service.

Peace,
Bernie

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