Saturday, October 2, 2010

Never For The

"Never, 'for the sake of peace and quiet,' deny your own experience and convictions."

- Dag Hammarskjold, Markings

* * *

The shortest route to the fucked life is to deny your own experience. Period. When you trade your knowledge for another's opinion, when you doubt the veracity of your experience, when your unsure mind makes excuses for other's behavior or finds that it is easier to go along to get along, you are fucked. It is hard to be who you are if you have no practice at it. Success seems to come to those who form the current that seems to glide so easily around you, who have none of your qualms, questions or inconvenient hope for something more than a brutish life spent consuming conspicuously.

But it only seems so. It is your perception of yourself (and those around you, those of your time) that implies greater ease or comfort or knowledge in others. It is not a point of fact, but one of perception.

Is the bleakness of this world of mine a reflection of my poverty or my honesty, a symptom of weakness or of strength, an indication that I have strayed from my path or that I am following it?
These are essential questions, ones that we gloss over at great peril to our souls, for it is here in the tension between hope and despair, when we finally admit the latter is forever the obverse of the former and must not be denied, that you find it is easier to carry, to own your experience, to hold to your convictions because they have been earned and not merely added as a fashion statement.

This is the necessary crucible we all must pass through if we are going to unfuck our lives. And the longer you postpone it, the longer you deny it, the harder it becomes to face your life, your choices and embrace them in their totality - not just in the lovely bits - and be exactly who you are.

* * *

My brother offered me this advice the other day. He said, "You've got to do something 180 from what you've been doing, something bold and brave."

The implications of this statement lurch and yawn and rush toward sudden disruptions, chasms, bridges burned, etc., and the truth is there are some bridges that must be burned. It is too easy, too pat to keep all options open. It stinks of a magnanimous world view wherein there is never a reckoning or sorting of priorities. I have lived this and it has been key to my fuckedness. Over much is made of Cortez burning his ships, but it is an inescapable fact that we must choose, always choose one thing over another; to prize this over that and if you prize your freedom, your inherent dignity and worth, you MUST BURN your ships, your bridges, your pride in order to live fully in the midst of the mystery of our existence.

We are not born simply to die. We are here to learn how to live before we die. Deny your own experience and convictions and you are dead before you hit the ground.

Let it go. You have to choose. You have to choose your life over your death and in so choosing something else must die. This is that bold and brave thing - knowing something must die in order for you to be free (no matter your circumstances) and doing it just the same.

Burn it up so you can lay it down.


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