Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Humility If It

The doctor and his soul
Humility, if it is genuine, is certainly as much a sign of inner strength as courage.

- Viktor Frankl, The Doctor and The Soul

* * *

Let me just say this: Viktor Frankl climbed mountains until he was in his eighties when poor eyesight, not a lack of strength nor will, stopped him. The only time he was off the mountain was when the Nazi's first outlawed climbing for Jews, and then his years in the camps. He lived to be 92 and here's the thing, here's the most important thing about Frankl: he used all that time to live fully engaged with his life–the horrible, the tragic, the soul-searing, the joyous, the exhilarating, the work-a-day. He used it all to create his life.

This requires great courage, great inner-strength, great faith, but mostly it requires the humility to do all of that and understand it is simply the task of life to find that strength, to build out of the rubble and detritus of circumstance a life worth living. No big damn thing. Just what we're here to do. It only seems big because we fail to treat our lives as creative acts of consciousness and instead default to living as consumers of other people's lives and doings.

You were made for more than this.

Snap out of it.

* * *

But like my friend, Lou Reed, said, "You can't be Shakespeare and you can't be Joyce. You're stuck with yourself instead."

Right on.

Wanting to be, trying to be something, someone other than yourself is what fucks you in the first place. Let it go. Let it all go, bro. Nothing good is waiting for you at the end of that line. It is simply time, right now, to work with your own shit instead of mucking around in the ashes of what others have done. You have to call on inner capacities you may not believe in, but here's the news: when you genuinely reach out for those strengths, when you act out of the deepest well of your own sense of being, that strength will arrive, that courage will be present and while your outward circumstance may not change, you will be changed. And that is enough. That is everything. And that, overtime, will change the world around you because you will be moving through it with eyes wide open: present, engaged, all hubris stripped away.

You can't be that person, that person who has reached out for the inner strength to live and still be an asshole. Humility is the mark of those who have passed through the fire, the fire of their fears and angers and seen them for what they are: chains. Never will you judge another harshly because you once wore the chains they embrace. Never will you laud the contents of your life over another because that is a betrayal of spirit. Never will you doubt your own strength with showy displays, but instead will sleep easy in the company of it.

Humility, more than anything else, is how you unfuck your life, boy-o.

You want to know how you can tell genuine humility from the maudlin, self-serving, sanctimonious kind? Easy. Genuine humility never speaks of it self, needs no outward justification or reinforcement. It is the product of inner capacities and is satisfied in and of itself.

* * *

I'll leave you in peace with this:

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

Not everyone can do it, but you can. You just have to choose.

* * *


No comments:

Post a Comment