Who said the following, and under what circumstances?
"Be true to yourself. And stay away from the dark thoughts."
Thought I would just go ahead and post the answer, because, well..... google just takes all the fun out of guessing, seeing as the information is immediately within reach in the seconds it takes to copy and paste the info into the search area.
Sooooo...the answer is: Frank Sinatra!
Frankie shared the above pithy remark in the book The Way You Wear Your Hat (subtitled "Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin',") by Bill Zehme, in response to the question: "What is the most important thing a father can tell his children?" The director of our show also happened to mention that after an award ceremony (he thinks it was The Grammys in 1992), when they were interviewing the winners, someone just out and asked him the secret to life. He said something close to "be thankful every day...and stay away from the dark thoughts."
As dissolute a life as he led, he actually had some very interesting and insightful advice that he imparted, over the years, and though some of it I don't necessarily agree with, this particular one, I do.
Many of us are bombarded, daily, with 'dark' thoughts. Sometimes they are a result of outward influences, but oftentimes they are just random thoughts that appear out of nowhere. They manifest themselves in a myriad of ways, including self-doubt and self-criticism, anger, revenge, feelings of futility. They are destructive and debilitating, and not easy to shake off. But the wonderful thing about the human mind is that change is just a thought away. We have no control over what thoughts come into our mind, but we DO have control over how long they remain in our psyches. If we indulge those thoughts they will remain there, slowly poisoning our mind, spirit and body until we actually believe what those nasty little voices are telling us, whether based on reality or not. On the other hand, if we refuse to entertain any negativity and immediately replace those thoughts with something positive, then they have no chance to take root and strangle us from within. And that's what it feels like. But we, ultimately, have that choice: to listen or not.
The walls in the apartment here are paper thin, and during the second week of performance, the girlfriend of one of the female leads made disparaging remarks about everyone in the show, including my work, and her criticism stayed with me until a few days ago. I couldn't shake it from my mind and although I knew it wasn't true, and that I'm sure she was just trying to pump up her friend's ego, (because one of the great reviews spent 2 or 3 paragraphs on my small part compared to her one line of mention), I allowed it to affect my work. I stupidly made adjustments that never felt comfortable. And in spite of the fact that the director assured me I was not doing what she described me as doing (being cartoonish), and I got wonderful feedback from audience members, I still felt bad. It wasn't until after a dear friend, who saw the show, finally told me that what I was doing was giving this one biased person, total power over how I feel about the job I am doing, and that was all I needed. I'd already allowed the comment to poison me, somewhat, so it still took some work to eventually get over it, but I'm grateful I did. What I should have done was immediately dismiss it, considering the source and circumstances, like I did the one bad review, but I didn't and that was the problem. It was a wonderful lesson, though, and I won't allow that to happen again.
And that's basically what we do when we listen to those 'dark thoughts'. We give power to the negative, which can affect us, adversely, for a very, very long time. So staying away from those thoughts, to begin with, is wonderful advice.
It's just a thought away!