The Sage Advice of Nikki Sixx

A color. A fragrant, bushy plant. A smart person. But wait! It’s also an adjective.

Sage [ˈsāj ]. Adjective. 1. Wise through reflection and experience.

If there was any guarantee I could get away with making my body a canvas for tattoos the way Nikki Sixx has, I’m pretty sure I would’ve started getting them years ago. But aside from not having a career that lends itself to them as well as his does, I also have short-list of other assorted hangups. That said, one thing’s for sure: the more I hem and haw over ’em, the better they’ll look in my old age if I ever take the plunge.

I’ll be the snarky 88 year-old in the corner of the assisted living dining room, cat in lap, with the rad, fresh sleeves o’ ink and a G&T in front of me.

Anywho, back to the subject at hand. What’s the sage advice?

“Flip it.”

Two little words. Gobs of truth.

I heard an interview with him this morning on KLOS as I drove to work, and he spoke about his book, This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. He spoke of his sobriety, his family, his death and his subsequent rebirth.

One of the questions he was asked had to do with his years of drug use, and whether he had regret. A summary of his answer was basically this: you do things that you may not plan to do, but you do them all the same — and you can dwell on them and their negativity, or you can flip it.

I think it’s something we’ve all been told at some point or another in our lives. You know, the whole glass-half-empty/glass-half-full idea. We’ve been encouraged to see the glass as half-full, but let’s be honest…there are things that we’ve been through, things we’ve done and things that we’ve allowed to take up residence in our mind more often than we’ve allowed faith to have a starring role. More often than we’ve allowed belief in ourselves to own the majority of our thoughts. And more often than we’ve allowed forgiveness to take hold.

It can be a neverending downward spiral if you don’t flip it. It makes you wonder if you’re a good person, or just a so-so person. Somedays it makes you wonder if you’re a bad person. Sometimes I wonder if I’m worth it — and “it” can be so many things. For me, it’s easy to have a great day, then wonder the very next second why so much good came my way.

Wouldn’t it just be easier and better all around if I were to flip it?

I realized years ago that I’m pretty good about giving other people advice and telling them — because they are — that they’re worth it, that they deserve things and that they need to put themselves first. But when it comes to me, I don’t always believe those things.

Tonight I am thankful for hearing that interview with Nikki Sixx, for letting his words permeate my spirit and for the reminder that it’s OK if you’ve been through less than ideal stuff while navigating the roads of life. What is it that Winston Churchill said — if you’re going through hell, keep going? It really couldn’t be more true. The “PS” to all this would of course be to remember to “flip it” when you reach the other side. Flip it and turn it into something else. Into fuel. Into creativity. Turn the waste into recycled energy. If a part of you died for some reason, let it spur a rebirth in another area.

Let us all be wise through reflection and experience. Wise enough to remember to flip it — because we deserve it.

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