Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hitching Wagons to Stars

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay “Civilization” to: “Hitch your wagon to a star,” meaning, “Always aspire to do great things.” I’ve always aspired to do great things but somehow I always envisioned myself as the wagon and never the star. I always thought of myself in the supporting role. In some ways I think it’s a part of my nature – I’m a little shy, not that many people can tell that – so I’d rather be in the background than claim the spotlight. It’s funny how the universe arranges things so outmoded thinking gets swept away because that old paradigm crumbled around me about a week and a half ago.

What I’m referring to is the dissolution of my spiritual art and entertainment business. My business partner and I decided to go our separate ways because we had different needs and expectations that didn’t allow for us to continue working together. It was really painful; there’s still an ache in my heart thinking about it, but I know it’s for the best. I had this idea I needed him, that I couldn’t be successful on my own. That somehow it was “safer” to be in business with someone else instead of alone. I also had the notion I don’t have enough big ideas to run a company. But the truth is, it only takes one good idea to create a business and I’m never really alone. There are many people who play supporting roles in my life; there are many places I can go to ask for help and support. I don’t have to have a business partner in order to be successful.

Mostly what I’m getting at is I don’t need to hitch my wagon to anyone else’s star because I am the star. I have enough ideas, fortitude, skills, etc. to do this. “This” being run a publishing company, market a book, or whatever. I am capable of so much more than I thought I was. Not just with this business, but with my life. I can do anything by the grace of God. I think fear often tells us we need someone else around. That somehow going it alone is dangerous or unwise. It could be something as small as going to a concert solo. The thoughts are usually along the lines of, “Maybe I won’t have a good time. Maybe people will judge me, maybe my car won’t start and I’ll be stuck, maybe it will be scary,” etc. How often are those things true though?

When I go to things by myself, I find I have a pretty good time. In fact, on Friday I went to the movies by myself! Not because I’m a loser with no friends, but because I impulsively decided to go and didn’t want to rustle up company. And you know what? It was lovely. I got to see what I wanted, sit where I wanted, and leave when I wanted. It was just what I needed! I’m a big believer in doing what you want whether you have company to join you or not. So now I’m doing it with bigger things, not just the movies. I no longer believe my success/failure/happiness/security is dependent on anyone else. I no longer believe it’s strictly necessary to have someone else by my side. Because today I live in the truth I am my own star.

I dream of a world where we know we can handle life on our own. A world where we know we can shine brightly by ourselves. Where we understand our success is contingent on us and not who we’re socializing with. A world where we know we are each worthy of a leading role. A world where we feel capable and confident of our own abilities because in truth, we are each our own stars.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable. 

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