I know it's been a while since I've produced a regular piece of content outside of my recent storywriting, and for those who are looking at this from their inboxes, you might not have been expecting an email from me anytime soon.
Here's what struck me.
I've been looking at my website quite often these days, in spite of my indefinite writing hiatus.
Part of what got my attention back to it is the emails I get from Google letting me know how much traffic my website is getting. In fact, if you just type "Lucas Hawthorne" in Google, you get my website at the tippety-top of the results.
But while I've been looking at my website, it's crossed underneath a few different lenses.
Some days, I look at it like a helpful resource targeted mostly for youth in my generation.
Other days, I look at it like something I want my own kids to look at and think: "Wow, I have a really cool dad! I can't believe he thought of and wrote all of this!"
The truth is, regardless of how I look at it...
Some days, I still feel like I have things that are left unsaid that the world might be better off knowing,
but won't know, at least sooner, unless I spit these ideas and thoughts out online.
Some days, that feeling comes like an itch that eventually goes away.
And then there are days where the itch doesn't leave, but gradually gets soothed as I continue to type.
That brings us here.
Today, I'd like to share with you something that I think is important for everyone to have.
It's not a material item. It's not an invitation into a pyramid scheme.
It's a type of person. Your "rock," who can be your "shoulder boulder" to lean on, who will keep you grounded and tethered to reality when you start to get carried away with unrealistic ideas, expectations, and desires.
This is the voice that everyone needs in life.
A cold, emotionless robot without a heart
As a human being, you're not completely above or void of emotions.
It's how we're wired.
(Pun intended...cause, robots. Wires. If you missed it.)
But here's what the section title means.
If you asked me what I see when I look in the mirror, there's a chance I could give you that title as an answer.
I've mentioned several times that I'm an empathetic person and it makes sense, considering part of why I started writing online was so that I could help other people who were out there struggling. Especially those without a proper source of guidance, advice, or help.
However, there are convictions that I hold that are so strong, that they can even override my ability to empathize and consider the emotions of others.
And sometimes, when I express what I believe in and how I'd solve a particular problem, I'm not always in the mindset to entertain someone's feelings.
It makes me feel like, at times, that I come off as a cold, emotionless robot without a heart. And yet, caring, all the same.
I found a beautiful photo produced via Midjourney to express this as the feature photo for this newsletter issue up at the top.
I'm not saying that you have to shut off your emotions entirely every time you want to help someone.
Knowing how to perceive and analyze scenarios and circumstances as impartially as you can is a skill that can help you find the solution that's in the best interests of someone you care for.
You hear people tell you to think before you act.
You hear people say that acting out of anger is a bad idea.
It's no surprise that acting and thinking out of emotions can cause more problems than it solves, and the same applies when you're doing so on behalf of someone else.
And when it comes time for you to seek advice or feedback from someone you trust, you're going to want that someone to be unafraid of delivering the truth, even if it's a hard pill for you to swallow.
Sugar is sweet, but the truth is tasty
Lots of people lie these days.
Sweet lies to soothe your soft innards are no longer the delight that people think they are.
Sure, you might get a sugar rush from hearing false compliments and fake indulgences in your desired fantasies, but the entrée that cleanses your guts and leaves a lasting impact, usually for the better, is the large helping of truth.
You would know exactly what I'm talking about if you have someone in your life right now who is honest with you. It's refreshing.
You feel a relief wash over you when you talk to them, because you know they're not bullshitting you. They want what's best for you, so they tell it like it is.
I have someone special like that in my life right now. We are each other's "shoulder boulders." We feel comfortable approaching each other with our problems and providing honest feedback and solutions for the long-term betterment of the other.
We aren't afraid to push back on each other when one of us starts eating large servings of "copium." I'm not right all the time, and she calls me out when I start spewing cow turds.
And I promise you that you'd want someone who does that for you. If you were going off on complete nonsense, the person, that voice that you'd want around you and need, is the one who will correct you.
If you stay sleeping, sure, that might feel good in the moment. You'll feel at ease and at peace.
But if you wait and take a siesta for too long, your ship will sail into unknown and dangerous waters. You'll wake up when it's too late, and that's when the Kraken gets you.
Being woken up from fantasyland might hurt. It might sting being told that your unrealistic ideas and desires should not come to fruition because they'd be doing you a disservice in the long run.
And you might initially resent the one who poured the bucket of cold truth on you and jumpstarted you from your cozy slumber.
But in time, you'll thank them for being straight with you. You'll appreciate them being an honest backbone when you hesitate to trust yourself.
You'll realize that they saved you from even greater dangers down the road.
When you're not sure of yourself, find the sincere soundboard of your life to steady you.
And if you don't have one, make finding one your priority.
Be there, and be square
We all need that kind of honest support from someone who will yield their emotions and yours to prioritize finding the best solution for you.
Obviously, I'd recommend doing the best you can to be that voice for those you care about as well.
I don't believe in a world where you reap rewards without doing your own damn homework.
If you expect and want people to kiss your feet while you treat them like garbage, take a very long and very exhausting hike.
You'll need the mental exercise.
If you don't have this kind of voice in your life at the moment, while you're searching for one, work on yourself and your honesty at the same time.
It's even better if you have a nice relationship with someone, like I do, where you can be the walls to bounce your thoughts and questions off of each other.
But to sum it up in a nutshell:
- Find your trustworthy voice. Don't take advice or guidance from someone who gives it to you on emotional impulses, thoughts, and feelings, because there's a good chance that that advice isn't well thought-out.
- Be there, and be square. Get your own ducks in a row and be the honest voice for someone else. If you want to take, be ready to give.
When we help each other out, it makes the world a better place.
But you have to make sure you're coming from the right place before you do so.
Take out the guesswork, the mind games, and the bad advice.
Come from a place of honesty and authenticity.