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Blog Takeaway Idea (From Story)

Can’t do it Better Than Me.

I’ll admit. When I was writing this story–The Devil’s Tri-Tone–brainstorming the story, I was thinking, “what the heck am I going to do for an outro? How can I spin a horror story into ‘Something Good’ for you all to leave with?” But as always, if I have a little faith in the process, and just go with the flow, it always comes to me. 

A Challenge for the Month

Today’s outro is a challenge to myself and to all of you listening. 

Before I drop the challenge, there’s a couple things I want you to recall from the story. 

First, is the moment when the Mantris takes over Ember’s body. Ember witnesses his body smile and cry and yell in ecstasy. Just pure and utter joy for being alive and out of the Void. Ember comments that his body has never felt joy like that before. 

Second, is listening as Ember watches Mantris live out his life and feels frustration that Mantris seemed to be doing it better than Ember ever did. And I know better is a matter of perspective, but we’re taking Ember’s word for it here. 

Last, is what Ember says to you at the end as he’s about to leave the void and take you over… duh, duh, duh. He says, “don’t worry, I’ll live your life better than you ever did.” 

And that’s the challenge I’m throwing out there to you all, and to myself. Obviously this is a fictional story, but still, let’s make what Ember threatens an impossibility. If he was going to take over… let there be no way in hell, pun intended, that Ember could live our lives better than we’re living it right now. This is the mantra we could say…


“He could live my life differently than me, but definitely not better than me.” 


I mean, sounds basic enough right? We could say, live your life to the fullest! Yet, I think this challenge goes a bit further than that, because it hopefully makes us question… which I think is a really good thing. If we lost this body and had to watch someone else live it, what would I regret that I never did? You don’t have to be in a position where life sucks to want to improve it. In fact, I don’t think there’s ever a time when it’s not appropriate to improve upon the aspects of our life. Even if it’s great… it can probably be even greater. 

So, to ensure Ember could never be right, and could never live our lives better than we can, let’s ask ourselves the questions. 

If Ember’s taking over was inevitable, what would you do differently with your life? Or, imagine you’re Ember… what would you want to experience that you’ve been putting off? What do you want to do that you’ve kept on the back burner, or pushed to the side for when the, quote, “time is right?” Maybe the time isn’t right but question it. Make sure. Make sure fear or a faulty belief isn’t holding you back. 

Maybe just ask yourself one question a day. That should be easy enough. One question a day about some aspect of your life. Are you holding back for any reason? Be honest. If you are holding back, you’ve found something to work on. That’s awesome! It’s not a blow to the ego or anything like that, or proof that you suck, lol… it’s awesome. You found it, and you’re seeking to change it. Nothing better than that. 

I’m going to wrap this up with two quotes from someone who I feel could definitely have related to the pain of the Void, and the ecstasy of Life. The first quote is almost eerie in its similarity I think. Here it is: 


“Once I knew only darkness and stillness… my life was without past or future… but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.”


Sounds pretty much like the Mantris leaving the void and taking over Ember’s body to me. Crazy. Do you know who it is? It’s Helen Keller. Clearly she understood the pain of not really living. And it’s clearly not necessary to have all our senses to live. I mean, think of Stephen Hawking too. The man lived! Could any of us have lived his life better? Helen Keller’s? I don’t think so. They rocked it, right? With some really crummy circumstances too. I mean, come on! 

Nothing makes you appreciate life more than not having it. Not something we can really understand without dying and then too late… but Helen Keller started alive, but not able to really live. So, when she finally could live… she really really lived! 


We might have lived her life differently, but definitely not better.


So, what new pathways can we explore? What dreams can we resurrect? What courage can we muster to do what our heart desires? What are we waiting for?

As Helen Keller says, “Life is short and unpredictable. Eat the dessert first.”

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