Fooling Yourself

I am old enough to remember when KRSP was one of the only rock-music radio stations in Utah and, although I didn’t listen to it regularly (rock music was evil, ya know) there were times when I would “sneak” my own stereo over to the waves of KRSP and imbibe in the beauty of synthesized rock music, and then glam rock – my ultimate favorite! And later, in high school, my first boyfriend would be a closet rocker parading around as an honor-student-football-team-captain-who-never-swore-or-did-anything-wrong-or-evil and he introduced me to the delights of Scorpions, White Snake, Twisted Sister, and Quiet Riot. I was privately hooked and, still, at times – especially when the day is the perfect temperature for driving fast with all the windows down – will turn over to the classic rock station and turn my stereo up as loud as it will go and rock out.

One of the bands that I grew to love was Styx. Their music was an eclectic blend of rock and pop, synthesizers, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and full orchestrations. They had a driving beat in their pounding songs and their love songs were poignant, heart-rending numbers that spoke to my young, foolish, ever-romantic teenage girl heart. One of my all time favorites came on the radio the other day and I immediately cranked up the volume and began “banging my head” and finger drumming on the steering wheel – one of the things that my daughter once laughed about as being my signature “happy” move while I am driving.

The song, Fooling Yourself, starts out with a minute, 45-second intro – unheard of these days – full of synthesized electrical orchestration that runs up and down the scales and sounds so much like a carnival. I picture flashing lights and dancing lasers. Combined with the acoustic guitars, percussion, tambourines, and, eventually, Tommy Shaw’s voice, I am captivated from the start.

When this song came on the other day, I began singing at the top of my lungs – as I always do with this song – and realized the words I was singing. Ya see, these words have become part of my DNA now and, when I learned them, I didn’t care to pay attention to the words I was learning, I just knew I loved the song. So I sang to my heart’s content while the meaning of the words began to sink in…

You see the world through your cynical eyes
You’re a troubled young man I can tell
You’ve got it all in the palm of your hand
But your hand’s wet with sweat and your head needs a rest

Suddenly, my world opened up and I understood why I loved this song so much… even before I realized who I was – and, as a teen, I had no idea who *I* was because I thought everyone else was supposed to tell me that – I was aligning myself with the concepts I would adhere to in the future: choice and creating your own reality through those choices.

The next part came on and the tears began to roll…

And you’re fooling yourself if you don’t believe it
You’re kidding yourself if you don’t believe it
Why must you be such an angry young man
When your future looks quite bright to me
How can there be such a sinister plan
That could hide such a lamb, such a caring young man

You’re fooling yourself if you don’t believe it
You’re kidding yourself if you don’t believe it
Get up, get back on your feet
You’re the one they can’t beat and you know it
Come on, let’s see what you’ve got
Just take your best shot and don’t blow it

A song that is nearly 5 1/2 minutes long has only one verse and repeats the chorus three times but, for me, it was – and still is – pure, absolute brilliance at its finest. It clearly is my message, although I didn’t know that way back when. I couldn’t have known because I WAS fooling myself. And it resulted in depression, disconnection, and the sensation of being continually and thoroughly lost and alone.

Your life IS your creation. The pain you feel or the joy your feel is a direct result of your choices, your focus, your commitments. What you have in your life is what you are committed to. If you don’t like the results, it’s time to look at your choices and make new ones.

Are you fooling yourself? Have you chosen to believe the lies of other’s false beliefs? Are you killing yourself with your beliefs? Are you dying a slow, “acceptable” death because you’re choosing to not live?

I have been there. I have had the opportunity – twice – to dance with Death and choose back in. I’ve had the opportunity to open my eyes and my heart to see the ways *I* was subtly tearing myself down.

Here it is for you to enjoy in full, synthesized glory. And, my friend, if you are killing yourself with your believing, please choose differently because your future does look quite bright to me!


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