July 29th, 2005

RainbowHippie peace

Living Fearlessly

Perhaps not the most appropriate place for this but I want to get it out there and get some feedback:

Jesus did it. Buddha did it...why can't we?

So I mentioned my "live fearlessly" campaign briefly a little while back. Here it is, in the glory of it's infancy. Can we make a difference by just trying to live without fear? I think so. The problem is defining exactly what I mean by that. Fear is one of nature's most powerful emotions. It can make you faster, stronger, more capable of survival than any other emotion, with the exception of love, but it can also paralyze you. Personally I don't want paralysis when I need strength. So my policy for most of my life, though I only became conscious of it in my early 20s, was to live a life of love, without fear.

I'm one of those people who, while occasionally pessimistic, generally sees the good side of things. I have had many close calls with death, including nearly getting shot at point blank range with a 45 automatic pistol, but I rarely remember the negatives in my life without conscious effort. I had a rocky marriage that had some pretty fucked up shit happen through certain points of it, but I only remember the good times. I've been hospitalized several times, but I can't remember anything but the good parts. I live a positive life and I think that attitude brings more positive things to me. Consider me a "glass half full" kind of guy. I have been blessed, in many ways, but I think I bring a lot of blessings to me by my very nature. Maybe that's not right...I don't "bring a lot of blessings" but I see the blessings in disguise, perhaps. Every cloud has a silver lining and all that.

With that in mind, I recently had what I consider an epiphany, though others may just think I'm whacko. I'm in a new relationship, with a woman with whom I have fallen madly in love. Despite the fact that we have been dating perhaps two months, I have expressed my feelings to her probably more times than I can count. She has expressed similar feelings to me and discussed how she has been able to do so because of my utter lack of fear with regard to my own feelings and expressing them. I've heard this before, but for some reason it was more poignant for me when she said it. I started thinking about how I live my life and the things I stand for and try to teach my daughter. The basics of it comes down to living fearlessly, and being true to yourself.

Now for the last 6 or 8 months I've been reading slogans on bumper stickers, window decals and the like. I've been thinking, what would I say that truly expresses the way I live my life and the philosophy that I consider my "religion"? I've come up with a few things, but after talking with Judy, it hit me like a brick. "Live fearlessly". It can mean so many things but it encompasses all the things I value in life. Whether it be embracing your inner freak, expressing your sexuality or your support for someone else's, not giving in to the negative things that go on all around us everyday, or... whatever. Living fearlessly, to me, means living a life filled with love. A positive life that can be seen in your face, and in your actions no matter what you look, sound, or act like.

So I've come up with this "sticker campaign" based on a news story I recently heard about a young artist who has been "defacing" DC metro area signs with paintings of a person with a name. It turns out the person was a friend who recently died and this was a way to memorialize his friend. What was important was the fact that he garnered attention doing this. Several other, similar, random-seeming, art projects have gathered a fair amount of attention as well. I thought, why not just use bumper stickers instead of painting things? At least then I would be getting my "message" out there without doing any permanent "damage" to wherever the message was left. So I'm creating some designs and putting together a web page to express this message and hopefully spread it to some other people.

At this point I have a %10 markup on all the cafe press stuff and I intend to put the money toward some educational charities that work against fear/hatred/discrimination of all types. I haven't picked any specific charities yet, so if any of you have some that you think are working in a positive manner toward these goals, please feel free to leave me comments about them.

So what does "living fearlessly" mean to you? I don't mean it in an egotistical, macho, or "extreme sports" kind of way. I mean it in a sincere, love-filled expressions of life kind of way. Can we make a difference by living a loving life? Supporting positive change instead of restricting things we fear? Not letting hate and fear control us but living for every moment with true joy and love in our hearts? I hope so.

XPosted to my journal and bisexualparents though probably improper to do so there as well...