Posted: April 20, 2020 in: Pain-2-Power, Personal Empowerment

Life is Not Like Playing Air Guitar

Air guitar has been described as a form of movement in which a performer pretends to be playing an imaginary rock guitar while music blares.  There is even a US air guitar national championship.

I worry that too many people are playing the equivalent of air guitar while living their lives.  They’re pretending to perform in terms of getting to know themselves, or to develop relationships, or to do meaningful work.  They’re going through the motions—sometimes, lots of motions—while disconnected from real emotion, passion and commitment.

This is no surprise.  We’ve been coaxed to use social networking, instead of really socializing, bonding and developing deep friendships.  We’ve been coaxed to text, instead of talk.  We’ve been told to take medicines to quell our angst, rather than grappling with it.  And we’ve strayed from the examined life as a pathway to fashioning an authentic, impactful life.  We don’t seem to think we need to SEE the journey we have taken in our lives, in order to know the next, best steps to take.

Air guitar just won’t work to create real music, though, even when folks are cheering the performer’s moves.  And an unexamined life just won’t work to create a life of true meaning and purpose, either.

Here’s why:  In order to “write” the best chapters of your life story going forward, you need to know your “backstory.”  You need to SEE what negative or self-defeating patterns developed in the early chapters—often due to painful events or toxic relationships—and then replace them with positive, self-affirming patterns.  Otherwise, you risk playing air guitar with your life. You risk trying to make everything “look” good, while your true self stays silent, deep inside you.

Losing your true self would be bad enough, but leaving behind the real parts of yourself incurs additional costs.  Unacknowledged pain, unexpressed anger, unrecognized dreams and unrealized goals are breeding places for anxiety, low mood, problems concentrating, fractured relationships and even chronic physical pain.  Abandoning yourself triggers overeating, substance abuse, compulsive gambling and a host of other scourges.

Air guitar can seem like fun, until the air goes out of your life.

Pain-2-Power is the antidote to air guitar.  It’s the way to put the equivalent of a Fender Professional Stratocaster electric guitar in your hands and use it to make real music that speaks to your soul and to the souls of others.


Dr. Keith Ablow


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