“Hell is other people” I have heard this so often. I was about to say the same thing when I realized that “Hell is my perception of other people.” Honestly, I wish I weren’t so full of shit or weighed down by my expectations of others. Sometimes I expect too much or too little. I am big enough to accept responsibility for that. After all no one else can be held accountable for the way I view others. When I loose faith in my ability to understand people only two things get me through – my love for my daughter and my love of music.
I don’t waltz over the keyboard immediately and start writing music. I lie on the bed with all my cats (they always know when it’s a code blue situation) and listen to Ben Harper for a while. Then I question myself about those expectations and what it reveals about my state of mind. I have been accused of over thinking, but if I do not take the time to understand myself who will? In the Wisdom of the Tao it says, “”One who understands others has knowledge. One who understands himself has wisdom. Mastering others requires force. Mastering the self needs strength.” I am tired of feeling weak and out of control.
A recent visit to a homeopath was more than surprising. After 30 minutes she looked at me and said, “You do not share easily and keep everything locked inside you. This is why you are having problems breathing.” And I thought I just needed to exercise! When I troubles with people I do not share them – least of all with those involved. I talk my way around it, under it or try to resolve it through music.
If I weren’t a musician I would be a diplomat. I could spend all my time hiding behind other people’s troubles. But music doesn’t provide me with that as option. Ben Harper said it best, ”You can’t fool music because it exposes you to the depth of who you are, who you really want to be….Whether I am honest as a man is up for debate within myself…but as a musician I know nothing but honesty.”
Sometimes things have to be said, confrontations had so that all that the energy can be released. But, first I have to deal with my ego, its conditioning, prejudices, expectations and once I am resolved – only then can I face with person I am having issues with. And if I am lucky a song comes…if not at least I have peace of mind for a while…