Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sufficient Unto Each

Sufficient unto each heart is its own sorrow. He will take the iron claws of circumstance in his hand and use them as tools to break away the obstacle that blocks his path. He will work as if upon him alone depended the establishment of heaven and earth.

- Helen Keller, Optimism

* * *

Sufficient unto each heart is its own sorrow, its own beginning place, the point of departure where all that came before is rested innocence and illusion: the whole of that course the preparation for the sorrow that unmoors, the crisis of circumstance and faith that now has stopped you, stripped you of the powers you once believed you had.

Sufficient unto each is the unique, impossible to replicate or explain process that your soul and psyche have undergone in response to that sorrow, that grief, that cruelty, that loss, that failure of wit and imagination: unique, impossible, solitary. How you have understood or not understood each moment that brought you here is all you have to work with now that you are here. You begin with what is at hand and right now all that is at hand is your experience, your process, your ability to think, to discipline your thoughts and if you're trapped none of that will appear to be sufficient to master the task at hand. None of it.

But the obstacle is your way. Your pain is where you'll discover the release. The sorrow that clouds your heart is sufficient to begin the process of bringing clarity and understanding and forgiveness to this very moment.

When you run from the sorrow, the trap, the pain, the difficulty, when you hide from it, when you bury any thought of it it will never leave you, never be done tormenting, never not ever will you be past it. Unresolved, unaddressed, unconfronted, unused the wound remains open and you are less than you might otherwise be.

To unfuck it you have to go it and use what is at hand - as weak and immaterial as it may seem - and begin.

* * *

I loathe optimism. I cringe upon being told to be optimistic. I hate the naive assertion that I can affirm my worth through upbeat self talk. I loathe such nostrums. And yet I am an optimist, but my definition veers from the up-up-with-people road. Optimism to me is the willingness to meet each day and do something. Large or small is doesn't matter, but so long as it moves from inside (my head, my heart, my soul) out into the world, then I find I have more strength and courage to continue doing it - regardless of outcomes. Worrying or focusing on outcomes is an attempt to control events outside of your ability to control. All we get to work with is what we think, say and do. Outcomes are judgements others make about our efforts. Let go of giving a shit about any of that. What matters is your process: how you transform thought into word and deed. By getting something done each day I live inside my process, I am in the flow of my life and deliberate optimism has no place.

When I fail to do, to create, to give, to build I become rudderless, doubts re-emerge and I am stuck with having to use those doubts to jump off and begin the process again.

It is never one and done, my brothers and sisters. it is always about returning yourself to yourself so you can re-enter the stream.

* * *

The obstacles you encounter are your teachers; they are the threshold you must cross in order to become who you might yet be. The grace of daily obligations is one path. For you studied optimism may be best. I don't know, but you do. I need the ritual of daily effort - I am like a recovering alcoholic in that regard - but your circumstance, the lens of your experience is different than mine and you have to find your way to remain in the flow of your possibility. Never compare yourself to any other. Always know you are sufficient unto your own heart. You are everything you need to begin. Where it then takes you, what you learn is added to the store of experience and in that moment you will then have all you need to begin and so on and so on and so on...

Believing in destinations destroys the journey. Believing sorrows are punishments misses the chance to grow. Believing you don't already have all you need shits on the gifts you bring. Upon you alone depends the establishment of heaven and earth. You are the creator of your time. You are the one who must choose.  So do so. The unfucking begins the moment you decide to enter the stream.

* * *

Boom. Boom. Boom.

__________

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