It was a distressing epoch. Then, a curious sense of peace came over me. Normally, I would have been quite perplexed for the situation called for a more anxious time. Why did I feel so calm? Recently, it finally “dawned on me” that I could truly be in command of my reality, my world. I had taken control of my body and literally willed it to calm down. I am sure you have been here. This is easy to say, but trying to put into practice.
You are in an agitated state over some situation. This unsettledness is something that you, yourself, have created and energized – thus, you have given it power, felt its concern and been nauseated by its hypothetical consequences. You are hurtling down a path to a not-so-good-ending — all of which is self-created. As you arrive, precipitously near the end, you “pull back” and begin the process of calming down.
This is fully empowering. As I say “ad nauseam,” there is no one, perceptually, but me — I am alone, I was born alone and I will die alone. This is not the irksome burden of loneliness; it is the understanding of my freedom. God and I have a partnership with perception. I maintain that if I can really embark on this path of self-control — in reality self-discovery, I no longer have to suffer the extreme vagaries of life. And suffer I will anyway. That is just the reality of being conscious. Like any battle-scarred veteran, it is impossible to walk away from this conflict called life without some wounds. You must be altered by life; — you are obligated to have some distress just by being alive.
Then we come to the perennial question. What if I just play it safe: I do a “good enough” job with my life? I finish school and I take a bureaucratic position of some nature; I meet and marry Mr. or Mrs. sort-of-right; have 1.2 children; (1) save lots of money; retire and eventually die. Who loses from all of this? The Common Good does – society at large. We are designed to live a life of excellence – my individual excellence — and to contribute to our community. To live this dynamic lifestyle, however, requires a little bravery to overcome the challenges that every human being faces: loneliness and the fear of death.
“Passion has its roots in the Latin word pati, which means ‘to suffer or endure.’ Therefore, at the root of passion is suffering. This is a far cry from the way we casually toss around the word in our day-to-day conversations. Instead of asking, ‘What would bring me enjoyment?’ which is how many people think about following their passion, we should instead ask, ‘What work am I willing to suffer for today?’ Great work requires suffering for something beyond yourself. It’s created when you bend your life around a mission and spend yourself on something you deem worthy of your best effort. What is your worthwhile cause?” (2)
It, of course, takes time to reflect on your personal mission in life. And it is dynamic. Anyone’s mission can change due to education and experience, and this is a good thing. We simply must be “conscient” — aware of its presence. I must believe that I have a mission – no matter how small or how grand. It is the contract that I have signed with the universe upon being given my life. It behooves all of us to promote this idea to as many people as possible.
This will end the victimization (3) and guilt that so many human beings feel. The answer is to realize that you are 100% in control of the reality that you occupy: your life is your fault and yours alone. I am free to be in control of my piece of life. The great poet and activist, Maya Angelou (1928-2014), leaves us with a thought: My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
A closing thought: I feel that all of us feel the trepidation of life. This sensitivity is positive, in an odd sort of way. The angst and suffering that I feel are necessary components of my growth. Sometimes I need to have a day that is painful and disappointing. Life is much like a bucket of excellent ice-cream; I cannot, metaphorically, taste, savor and devour a good day, every day.
To sum up: This week, we spoke about the liberation that personal responsibility brings to the individual.
To be noted: From Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) — He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
Just for fun: Schostakowitsch: 7. Sinfonie
For reflection: Sadhguru Addresses the UN
This week please ponder whether you want to live your life as a victim or not.
Every day look for something magical and beautiful
Quote: Beauty is in front of me every day if I want to touch it.
2) Todd Henry, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day