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Crossroads – Giving Up To Get

Would You Sell Your Soul?


What would you give up to get what you want? What price would someone have to pay to make you sell out? There are things you want passionately in your life that you have not been fully able to attain. What bribe would you accept to reach them?

In many stories of blues guitarists, there is a crossroads where the devil offers to make them the baddest, most sought after blues player in the world if they would only give up their soul. What is your crossroads?

(This post started as an instagram photo. You can verify that by clicking on this paragraph.)

What Would You Give Up To Succeed?

There’s no way to say this subtly: When you want creative success, you have to accept the long haul. There is no shortcut.

Some will protest and say, “What about overnight successes?” I suppose there are rare cases. But as Dicky Barrett said, “If it was an overnight success, it was one long, hard, sleepless night.”

Changes often call for stark shifts. Some of these can appear sudden and even damaging from the outside. No wonder so many of them are attributed to demons.

Is It Success Before You Say It’s “Success”?

crossroads roadway

In some of the crossroads stories, the musician never sees what happens as success. Though the devil — and in some cases, even the popular opinion — thinks of the recipient of the demon’s gift as a genius. Still, this does not always translate.

The devil is sometimes called the trickster for good reason. Demonic gifts are not to be taken lightly.

Giving Up

crossroads sunset

Ironically, it is often a kind of “giving up” rather than expecting a huge gift — like the one the devil seems to offer — that makes all the difference. Naturally, I’m not talking about stopping our efforts. Instead, this sort of giving up is about releasing control, ending the desire to manipulate and possess the future.

The crossroads story is about trying to manipulate what comes next. The real way forward is often about letting go.

2 thoughts on “Crossroads – Giving Up To Get”

  1. I’m only now, consciously anyway, nearing 69, gotten to a place of “letting go” of many (not all yet) of my expectations of what my art or writing should be — and I am finding huge swatches of opportunities, waves, and all I can do right now is literally count the pathways I can take. Four days in the hospital and severely curtailed on how much and for long I can do things each day for awhile I’m sure had a hand in this too Glad I saw your post, Stan, helped give me some perspective 🙂

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