king... of an island of one.

its amazing how easy that we as humans can justify whatever we want to revolve around this ever changing universe called ‘us’. i have watched over the years as men and woman of all ages have tunneled their way so deep into the caverns of their own selfishness that they end up lost and suddenly have the need to blame God or others, without taking a step back to see what got them there.

the breathtaking irony is that we as people know when we are wrong, we know when they have reached a place where we have isolated themselves from humanity , right, and wrong, and yet feel comfortably numb to remain there. the course in correcting this colossal mistake is not easily corrected because selfishness and pride are can be easily chalked up to individuality and ambition.

have you ever lied to others so much that you actually started to believe it? have you ever repeated a story so many times that it became a true mythological tale in your own life? i have. because for whatever innate reason we all have a longing to be gods among men. but gods are simply legends, and not human. you may not believe me, or disagree with my wording, but if you take in a brief observation of our current culture the goal is not to be rich, but to be famous. everyone longs for the attention of another’s eyes.

there is beauty in mortality and humanity, there is beauty in this triumphant tragedy called life. if with no one else… try beginning to be real with yourself. tell yourself the truth, allow yourself to feel guilt and regret because without it there is no course correction. sometimes the shame of a past failure is just enough to open our eyes to our own humanity and become a better person.

stop justifying the ‘sins’ in your life, stop pretending that you know what your doing. look in the mirror today and this time just stare. just look into your own eyes because only you know what is happening behind that blank stare. do you like who you see? is this the person you thought you would be? are you proud of all the actions this person has committed? who is this person looking out for?

author g.k. chesterton wrote of a man who sailed from america to england, but early on in his trek he got of course by only a few degrees. when he finally touched down on land he soon came to the realization that he was in africa. you see it is not massive failures that lead us to a life of self-absorption but a few small ‘insignificant’ mistakes that have been corrected so easily if we would just stop and change our course.


Anonymous said…
thank you, i suppose i needed to hear this.
God bless,
Debbie said…
Sometimes I feel very numb and lost, but whether it's because of lies or truth, I suppose it would take some serious self-reflection to figure that out.

thank you for writing this. I connected with it in the same way I connect with a lot of your songs. :-)
Jodee said…
Thank you for this. Very poignant and convicting.
April Jech said…
good post Steven!
It's been awhile, hope you're doing wonderful. Maybe we'll see each other sometime soon.

April Anderson Jech
-- Arkansas
Anonymous said…
Very well said! It is so easy to ignore the little things that we do and pretend like they won't affect us, when in reality, they are often the things that hurt us more than anything when it all comes down.
Great post!

Chelsea K.
San Miguel Cristo said…
Dear Estaban,
I really love the truth that this post resonates. People can't make lies work, but walking a fine line of differentiation ... they can make dreams come true. For some, the difference between the two is blurred. They get no closer to achieving anything of merit because, their blinded by their own grandiose perception of the way that the world should "owe them" the rewards of hard-work, that they haven't even begun to do.
I agree with you about not wanting money, but instead wanting fame. I would pay a great deal of money to be your friend (if friendship only worked that way, right?). People, at the end of the day, know that money can't buy them happiness ... ,but if they can surround themselves with people who constantly remind them how awesome that they are, then these fans maybe just what they need to fill their empty holes in their lives (doesn't work either). Their attempts are in vein, also.
Life, Estaban, as you know, means much more than fame and money. Fame maybe the target of people's desires throughout your lifetime, but it'll swing back to money, and keep swinging between these 2 desires. However, they're both ends of people who desire POWER. Fame maybe what they are using, right now, to get this power, but power is ultimately what they are after, which is what the dev-il was/is after, wasn't/isn't it? ... interesting correlation.
Keep up the great posts, filled with great in depth perceptions of what makes people tick, and allowing us (your fans/friends/followers) to continue to see what makes you, Estaban, tick with greatness as a person. God Bless ya, man ... -San Miguel Cristo a.k.a. Michael "Thordy" Thordarson.
Anonymous said…
The only difference between bitter and better is the "i". I just made that up, but I think it is true.
Anonymous said…

I'll be screaming along tomorrow night in Melbourne as loud as anyone. It's insights like this that make your music so great. Your awesome voice is required, and it's combined with the sweet sounds of Milligan and co, but really it is the meaningful thoughts that I appreciate as much as anything else.

Peace, looking forward to rocking with you again.
Hannah Margaretta said…
when i think a post/entry did it's job by forcing me to be honest with myself, i like to reply with a "thanks". so thanks for always attempting to convey honesty, and conviction, and truth in your writing. i'm just some 20 something chick leaving a random comment that doesn't count, but i still read and try to take to heart what other (wiser & more experienced) people share. sometimes i try to imagine leading a life filled with attention garnered from being in a pretty well-known band, and the thought is kinda staggering. all the moochers and the "i love you, you're like, my idol" and just the craziness involved with it. i'm sure it's a great feeling, affecting such a broad audience, but at the same time, i really, really appreciate hearing you admit your faults and weaknesses. you're as regular as the rest of us, and it's refreshing to hear that simply trying to live life on purpose can bring mighty things indeed. i need to develop that mindset. that clarity that only comes with abandoning my selfishness. how small and puny we all are on this very small earth, once we look at who God is. so thanks again for the reminder that we need to direct our thoughts away from our snobby little selves and go and DO.
エミリー said…
Why does it seem that the things human beings chase most are those which are fickle/temporal? I'm sure philosophers have already asked the question and I just haven't seen their stuff, yet. But I can't help wondering that, now, after reading this. Is it because human beings are temporal, at least, as this life goes? The idea of anything beyond this finite world is largely inconceivable, just by its nature of being infinite. Anyway. Good night. God keep you safe on your tours and travels.
Shannon said…
I quite possibly have never felt more on the right course in my life than this year. And especially 'in control' by, in a sense, letting things be out of control whenever necessary, knowing everything's in control.

It's a circular reasoning, but it makes sense to me. Everything's well and good. :) I hope things are with you too.
Anonymous said…
I can't seem to find the right course to take. And perhaps you could say I'm not being honest about my mistakes, or I'm not "looking hard enough" to find correction, or selfishness has blinded me. But for the most part, it just feels like I'm trying, and failing, that every adjustment to the sail I make is just taking me one step closer to Africa.


yea, bad day..
Sliknic said…
Hey Stephen, I spent all night and morning reading your blog. And on many levels I am experiencing and feeling the same things as you have written. Truly amazing. God Bless man. Thanks!
Lydia said…
what you are saying is so true and i have experience it as well. during the time that i was wallowing in myself i did not even realize that i was not truly living. now i praise God everyday for bringing me out of that! it is a long and painful process, but the fruits of the labor give SO much more joy and freedom!

i just saw you last night in Wilmington, NC and i wished that i could tell you in person how much yours and Anberlin's music has blessed and inspired me. God just oozes out of you! thank you so much and God bless
That is really an inspiring way to look at it. I like the adjectives you used to describe life. Something I have been struggling with myself lately is doing the right thing simply because I know it's the right thing. It's pathetic how quick I look for how my actions are going to benefit me, even if it's to someone else's immediate gain I look for reasons it might benefit me in the long run.

Remaining humble and accepting that you need to constantly monitor yourself, that you are human and can slip and fall "off course" yet remain vigilant and passionate about reaching your destination has proven to be deceptively tough for me. But hey, up and onward. :)

Thanks again for sharing.
RobbieLee24 said…
Selfishness is blinding. You just have to have the right people around you to call you out on it. You gotta have a system.
None the less, your work is beautiful Mr. Arnold and I look forward to more posts from you.

Robbie Lee(:

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