Was reading the latest regarding Survivor on Jeff Probst's blog and then discovered this gem of a post from him. Truly brilliant I think and I had to share. Enjoy.
"I discovered a ninety-seven year old version of myself while talking to a good friend about his romantic relationship. After years of staying with a woman who didn’t trust him and whom he didn’t trust, I finally crossed the friendship line and told him I thought he should end the relationship. For good.
I just said it. Flat out. You need to break up. I knew I crossed the line but it didn’t do any good anyway. He gave me more reasons about why now was not the right time. I suggested that he was missing out on something beautiful by staying in something so limiting and often demoralizing. Nothing was connecting. Finally, I suggested that he imagine that he was ninety-seven years old. Even though you’re not ninety-seven, just imagine that you are. You’ve lived a good long life, you know what’s what. You know what matters and what doesn’t. You know when something is worth fighting for and when you should simply walk away. Now imagine you are advising your own son who is in the same romantic situation. Knowing what you know now that you’re ninety-seven, what would you tell him to do?
I didn’t have to say anything else. He said simply, “I get it.” He ended the relationship the next day. Sadly, they got back together a few months later and as of this writing are still struggling, wasting more precious days caught in the web of an untrusting relationship that sucks all the love out of love.
The idea of a ninety-seven year old version of me stayed with me. I found that even though I’m far from ninety-seven, I could access that part of myself easily. It’s as if it had always been there, just waiting to be utilized.
I realized, I don’t have to wait until I’m ninety-seven to use this wisdom. I can pop in whenever I need it. I named my new alter ego, “Poppa J.” It sounds better when you give it a bit of a drawl as you say it. “Poppppuh Jaaay. Poppa J knows what to do in almost every situation. He gives me the best advice. Advice that comes from a place where ego does not reside. Advice that has no master. Just a guy who has lived a good long time and knows that sometimes, most times, you should stop fretting and just kiss the pretty girl. He knows when it’s time to quit a job and go for your dream. He reminds you to say, “I love you” over and over and over. He also smiles a wicked grin when he gives you permission to tell the asshole to go F themselves. They probably need to hear it and it just feels good to say it. You don’t always have to be nice and agreeable. Sometimes being selfish and dick-like is exactly what the situation calls for. And you should follow it up with a beer for having the guts to stick up for yourself. He’s also the wise old dude that reminds you that sometimes masturbating is actually better than a booty call and that fantasies are wasted if you don’t ultimately find someone with whom to share them. Even if you never act on them, sharing them can be a really fun turn on. There’s nothing wrong with sex. Poppa J loved him some sex.
This whole notion that we can access the wisdom that lives inside us first came to me a few years ago. I was involved in a fundraising campaign for St. Jude Cancer Hospital. Ali Mills was an eleven year-old cancer survivor. We became fast friends as we worked on the campaign and though she was only eleven, she spoke as if she were… much older… say, ninety-seven.
It was very clear to me that Ali had accessed a deeper truth. One that resides inside all of us, regardless of whether we’ve actually experienced the event that would provide the wisdom. The wisdom is there, we just have to trust.
Ali taught me so much. Her writings were insightful, her comments on life penetrating. She also taught me that friendship can happen instantly and can be as strong and powerful as you desire. You don’t need years together to have a deep friendship in the same way that years of time spent together does not necessarily mean a strong friendship will result. Sometimes it’s just there or it isn’t.
Poppa J has shown me that most things are not that difficult to figure out. If you just slow down long enough to ask the question and listen clearly enough to hear the answer, many problems are easily solved. You may not like the answer, but your gut will know it’s right."