Friday, February 29, 2008

The Drummer Within
Dear Joseph,

If you haven't already, you will hear an expression that people use to describe a person who acts differently than they do. They say that he marches to a different drummer, one that only he can hear. I want to tell you what this means and how important it is.

Although your name is Joseph, that is just a name your mom and dad gave you so we would know what to call you and you would know when we are talking to you. But, who is Joseph? Is he the boy or young man we see? Yes. Is he white? Yes. In fact, you are a lot of things that we can label. Maybe you will play baseball, and we will add the label baseball player.

But who you really are is something that lives deep inside yourself, so deep that even you are not aware of who that is. It is as if there is a drummer deep inside you, and that drummer sets the beat to which you march. To put it another way, there is a voice inside which, without speaking out loud, tells you what you need. It is the voice that tells you what is right and what is wrong. It is the voice that tells you what your passions are in life. The problem is that this voice is quite subtle. That is, it is not easy to hear, especially if there is a lot of noise around.

And there is a lot of noise around, at least in our minds. We are always thinking about something or worrying about something. That's the part of our mind we call the ego. It wants to be boss, it wants to please everyone, it wants to look good to everyone else. It always wants to be in charge, and it usually is. The trouble is that the ego is always busy and drowns out the faint sound of our drummer. If we don't hear the drummer we don't really know who we are, what we need or what we should do in life. So, how do we hear the drummer?

The secret is to quite this ego guy in our heads. It isn't an easy thing to do because there is nothing you can do to quite him. In fact, the trick is to do nothing, and that isn't easy. Some people call this meditation. It is simply sitting quietly and thinking of nothing, but that's really not easy to do. You see, the ego guy doesn't like it when he isn't in charge so, try as we might to think of nothing, he is always butting in. But if we continue to sit quietly a few minutes each day, we do start to hear the whisper or the drummer speaking to us.

That drummer, Joseph, is what we call our soul. It is the true us, what we call our essence and, no matter how hard the ego guy tries to run the show, it is our souls that speak what our heart knows to be true. It is the soul that know what we were meant to do, what we need to do.

Most people get busy and go running around out there looking for answers. Not wise, not necessary. Reading, visiting gurus or taking workshops won't get you answers to questions such as what should I do with my life? Those answers are found inside, those answers are already known by the soul, and when the soul tells us what we need it is telling us our callings in life.

Our calling is what we were born to do, what we are meant to do, and it is different for everyone. sometimes people don't like what they hear their souls tell them, and they ignore their calling to do something that will make them rich or famous. Even if they do get rich and famous, they eventually suffer when they are older and realize that they ignored their calling in life and never fulfilled their destiny.

I will stop there. This is pretty heavy stuff, isn't it? Just remember to be true to yourself. Never mind what other people think you should do or what they think about what you are doing. When another kid tells you to take drugs or smoke cigarettes, the ego guy might tell you to do it because it is cool and the other kids will like you if you do what they are doing. But take a moment and listen to your soul. It will, I am sure, tell you not to do these things...even if it means you lose your friends. You see, the soul knows that these kids are not your friends and that they will only get you into trouble and ruin your life. You don't need such "friends". Just listen to your drummer and march in time with him.

I love you,

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