"Dancing on the Inside"
Hello, my friends.
One weekend 33 years ago when I was just beginning chiropractic school at
Anyway, I found out during the drive across
Cindy told me that most of my "success," most of my achievements, would take place during the second half of my life.That's it.That's the "profound" statement that has inexplicably stayed with me for all these years.When you think about it, it really isn't a particularly insightful observation.It probably applies to a large percentage of the population.We fritter away our youth in dissipation and self-indulgence, then when we're finally too old to play, we get down to work.As a young man, I'm not sure whether I was trying to "live fast and die young," or whether I just didn't care.All I know is, I didn't plan very far ahead.
Despite my inability to get Cindy's prediction completely out of my mind, I've never figured out a way to put it to any good use.After all, if we don't know how long we're going to live, how do we know what the "second half" is?If I'm going to die tomorrow, then the time clock on my "second half" is obviously just about to expire, and since I'm still neither rich nor famous, and haven't accomplished anywhere near what I thought I would, I must admit that I'm going to be pretty disappointed.On the other hand, if I would happen to follow in Grandpa Harry's footsteps and live to be 102, maybe there's still a chance to do something noteworthy, or at least make some better choices.
The truth is, I probably know in my heart exactly why I keep hanging onto Cindy's words:it's because they give me hope.I'm going to be brutally honest and tell you that I haven't been the man I could have been.I haven't done my best.I have much more to offer this world than I've given to it.I think we all do.
Once, many years ago, I told my young son that I didn't think a person could be really happy unless they were achieving their full potential, to which he instantly replied, "Well, there aren't very many happy people, then."I believe he's absolutely right.Henry David Thoreau wrote, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation."I believe he was right, too, but if that's the case, then the obvious question is, "why?"
I think it's because most of us die with our music still inside us.We don't follow our passion.We don't make the tough choices that would set us free, that would give us the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that we know in the deepest part of us is our destiny, and our birthright.
In the movie "Slingblade," the main character says of his young friend, "That boy lives inside of his own heart… and that's a mighty big place."What a wonderful compliment, and what a perfect way to measure a life.I'd be willing to bet that if we could all manage to gauge our lives by how well we listen to our "inner voice," we'd be a lot more content and a lot less desperate.And together, I'll bet we could build a much better world.
Let's give it a try.I hope there's still time.
Wishing you health, happiness and peace,
Dr. Frank Bowling