I was speaking with a friend the other day. They told me they loved reading my posts in the dead of the night.
In the dead of the night.
Not some other time. Not in the middle of the workday when they’re stressed and need a few minutes of inspirational downtime. Not on a commute on the way to work. Not anytime else but in the dead of the night.
In the dead of the night, when everyone else is sleeping and all you have to yourself is you. In the dead of the night, when no one else can bother you as you go deep, deep, deep into your darkest, most secret thoughts. In the dead of the night, when everything you keep hushed inside during the day comes out alive to haunt you, to hound you, to show you once more the dreams and visions you’d rather not show anyone else.
In the dead of the night. That’s when magic happens for you. Not in the literal dead of the night. You could very well be sitting at a long plyboard table at an office meeting you’d rather not be at or you could be standing in the middle of a loud and rowdy cloud. But inside you’re in the dead of the night. Everyone else is asleep. Everyone else is unaware. Everyone else simply goes through the motions of their lives because that’s what they’ve learned to do.
But you? You’re awake. You’re alive. You’re filled to the brim with big dreams in full technicolor, your visions creating new feelings and sensations that feel strange, and yet you feel like it’s what you were born for. And so, in the dead of the night, you keep dreaming. You keep holding on to those things you know in your heart you want the most yet feel so far and unattainable to you.
In the dead of the night, while everyone else continues to stay asleep, you weren’t just made to dream. In the dead of the night, you go so you could wake people up. In the dead of the night, you function best as yourself. You work and you toil and people look at you and they think you’re sacrificing your best years for the struggle. But in the dead of the night, while everyone else believes in the false security promised by their false gods, you live. You’re at your best. You unleash the power of being who you truly are.
That’s what we do. We become who we were born to be in the dead of the night. We step into the impossibly big roles we were made for—the roles we have refused to play all our lives but can no longer deny. We shed our pretenses, we release our fears, we push away the doubts we keep entertaining during the day about our worth, our deservingness, and our ability to do what it is we came here to do.
Because whatever it is you came here to do, you know you didn’t come here to play small. You’re not going to be someone else’s pawn in a game they set up for themselves. You’re not going to be a minion working for someone else’s vision of what the world should look like. And, yeah, while some people are content with simply rising above their present circumstances so they can feed their family three meals a day, send their children to school so they could join the next generation of minions, and hopefully retire into a peaceful life in their 60s, you just can’t get yourself to be content with hoping for a decent life.
Why should you when you know that something more than decent is available for you? You’ve seen glimpses of it everywhere. You know as sure as you know the back of your own two hands that there is something more—and that something is available for you, for me, for everyone. And if only people everywhere realized that, then there wouldn’t be so much suffering and pain and senseless wars in the world right now.
You know, even though you don’t know how you know, that there is so much more to life than the conventional dreams peddled to you by people who don’t know better. And yet, you’re afraid to admit it to yourself much less to the rest of the world that what you want is more than what you’re supposed to want. It’s not easy to admit that you want more than this. It’s even harder to admit that you want more than an okay life with an okay job and okay relationships with okay people you can go out with at okay restaurants to eat okay food before you go home to your okay house.
Okay is fine.
Okay is okay.
Okay is good enough for people who were born for okay.
But you are NOT born for okay. You aren’t even born for good or more than good. You know in your heart of hearts you were born for freakin’ more. You were born for fabulous. You were born for the world, baby. And although you don’t know why you chose to live that kind of life, you can no longer deny it one bit. Sure, yeah, you can keep it from the naysayers and the ones who think they’re nothing more than walking bags of flesh and bones. But you can’t keep it from yourself any longer.
Why else would you go into the dead of the night high on visions of a life your okay friends would never think possible? Why else would you be given access to a time and space where you can shut out everyone and everything else, including that destructive train of thought in your head, so you can flow into oblivion and come out of it holding the boldest, brightest, most radical piece of work yet, whatever your work is?
There are no coincidences. There are no accidents. You don’t slip in and out of the metaphorical dead of the night just because. You go there, even when everyone else successfully fools themselves into thinking they’re happy in their tiny little boxes wrapped up with pretty little bows, because you were meant to go there. And what that there is is that place where you can access the source of all your greatness. The spring from which your true power lies.
Drink up, my friend. Drink up because your soul is thirsty. As is mine. As is everyone else’s, truth be told. But they won’t know there’s a way to quench their thirst until they, too, find the courage to get up in the middle of their stupor in the dead of the night. That’s all you really need to do. Get up. Wake up. Wipe the sleep from your eyes and get to work at being who you truly are.
That’s the kind of work you need to be doing. That’s the kind of work we all need to be doing. The kind of work that can only be truly done in the dead of the night. By yourself. Alone.
Because you can’t be who you truly are when you have someone with a supervisor tag constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure you get things right. And you can’t do it when gurus and coaches and marketers and advertisers and preachers are coming at you left and right telling you that you need to do this and that and stop doing this and that if you want to live a good life. And you certainly won’t be able to do it on social media.
You have to go at it alone. You have to shut the world out and confront your fears on your own. You were born into this world alone. You will have to be born into your true self alone. Yes, it’s going to be a lonely place to be, but only for the time being. The more you step into the dead of the night, the more you realize that you’re not actually alone at all.
You have with you other night creatures, the things that creep on the ground and fly above the trees. You have with you the stars hanging from their infinite dome. And you have with you me, us, and everyone else who are waking up in the dead of the night themselves. Didn’t you think that all that racket you’ve been making, all the feathers you’ve been ruffling simply by virtue of you being you wouldn’t wake other people up?
But of course. You didn’t have to go shaking them by the shoulders or dragging them out of bed. You simply have to dance and write and paint and sing and cook and take care of your gardens and build awe-inspiring things with your hands—whatever it is your soul is calling you to do in the dead of the night—for you to wake people up. And the more of them that wakes up, the more the rest of the world lights up.