07.09.12 Truth & Wisdom

A Secret

A Secret

BY Molly Franken

I feel like I know a secret. It’s not a secret that was handed to me with clarity and ease. It wasn’t one that I figured out quickly or without pain. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite. This secret took time and heartache. It took war zones and obliterated dreams. It took tears and growing pains. In fact, it so happens that almost everything in my life had to be taken away in order for me to acquire this small, buried treasure. Yes, even with all that price to pay, I consider this secret priceless. I would never return it. I would never trade it in.

In many ways, I want to cherish this secret, hold it closely in a safe place. I want to revel in its magical simplicity. I want to protect people from abusing it or overlooking its true power. I want it to remain in the inner circle of my thoughts. I don’t want to lose it in fleeting moments so I attempt to gather it more tightly against who I am. But, then the coin flips and I want to shout it out to everyone I think is deserving and, even more so, to those undeserving. I want to tell them what I know. I want to shake it into them, tell them how important it is. I want them to open their eyes wide in awe and take in the life altering new thought this secret allows. And, that’s when I realize this lesson is no secret at all. It’s LIVING the lesson that is.

Be grateful. It’s a lesson we’ve all been taught over and over again. BE GRATEFUL. We’ve heard it time and again. It’s gone in one ear and out the other. It’s zoomed into our cluttered minds, maybe even lived there for a minute or two. Then, off it goes. It’s a topical lesson, not one to be applied with effort and care. It is so often thrown away it is seemingly fruitless. Many say they are but it is an empty statement. I understand. I believe. I AM.

I watch people in their daily lives let minor stressors become cyclones of destruction. I witness people moving in agitation and resentment. I see people tear other human beings apart for simply living. I hear the anger and the frustration aimed at opportunity. I sense the love we know how to give become a chiseled tool we wield as a weapon. I catch the negative energy from personal discontent.

We walk around thinking we are indestructible and golden. We hold people to unattainable standards and deem them disappointments if they don’t hit the marks we have made for them. We bumble around without careful thought, unaware of our surroundings, of the sea of humanity of which we are a part of, of which we could not be a part of without the others that make up the whole. We throw relationships away. We step over human beings to get what we want. We glaze over the intricate beauty of living. We hold on to what needs letting go. We let go of what needs to be held on to.

It’s so easy to focus on the negative. It’s so easy to be angry at the job you have to trudge to daily. It’s so easy to call someone a name out of anger. It’s so easy to let feelings of blame spew out for actions you yourself have control over. It’s so easy to get caught up in life. It’s so easy to miss the entire point.

If it all were to be taken away, what would be left? Where would your priorities then lie? Would the person on the plane taking up the armrest make you so angry? Would the driver who cut you off require a curse word? Would the moaning about your boss make a difference? The answer is no. So, why, WHY do it now? Why do people allow themselves to get swept so easily off their grounded and grateful feet? It is of the utmost importance to know and acknowledge that life can change, DOES change quickly. It shouldn’t take tragedy or loss to strike up the flame of gratitude and thankfulness for the small things we have and are.

By living with blinders on towards the thanks we should be giving, it’s a disservice to ourselves. I’ve learned, on my own journey, that living involves cutting the fat of life. The pomp and circumstance of negativity does nothing for my inner workings. It’s so simple it seems silly. All these ‘things’ we let dictate our moods and feelings are so trivial. They bear no weight on living unless we give them the power to do so. Let’s be thankful for the bigger picture of a life with those we love, for health and well-being. Be grateful and be in tune. Know what propels you forward. Know what holds you back. Move freely and without inhibition but with thoughtfulness.

I feel freer for having learned and truly accepted this gift of gratitude. It’s a compass guide as to what is truly important in my life. I cherish the lesson. I continue to understand more deeply the importance of this not-so-secret secret. I smile inwardly while I maneuver my way through the HARDEST of times without anger and bitterness. While I watch my neighbor do just the opposite, it fortifies this lesson for myself. I am enabling myself to live more freely. I have received the message and I am grateful for it.

Featured image by amynnasser on PhotoShelter

Molly Franken is in the business of making movies and, most recently, the business of writing words. Ideally, she aims at combining the two. You can follow her on Twitter @MTF.


  • patrick lynch

    serenity …under the ancient stoa’s and at the Grecian Academy these very idea’s were of primary concern that Molly speaks of…all in the books …from Zeno…Socrates…Plato… Aristotle…Epicurus…Epictetus any many more…speak of the human condition…read them …you will fall in love again with life…The Roman and American empires were constructed around the Greek influence…especially the idea’s surrounding justice..

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