Courage

February 6, 2017

“Blessed are they who can walk through the line of fire and never care. Blessed are those, shattered and broken, who stay their course anyway, who walk still, without thought for their destiny, and care nothing for the chaos around them. Those few have a courage in their hearts that we all must look for. They know what it is like to be beaten, and they know that it doesn’t matter. They know what it is like to have lost and have no hope of winning, but still to have that fire which is their life and their purpose intact and burning. Blessed is the one who can go to his death with his eyes on God. He is royalty; he is the most noble among us. Blessed are the poor, but only if they have his courage; without it, they are nothing. We have died a thousand times and it has never diminished us; why then can we not all look on the face of God without turning away? Why can we not all remember the peace that outlasts us, that peace we all know and only temporarily forget? Why are we not all that brave? Bravery is wisdom; it s nothing more. Bravery is the remembrance that you always die and it never matters, that you always lose, and nothing can stop your heart from beating or your life from continuing. If you knew you were eternal, would you grieve so much? If you knew you had no boundaries, would you protect them so obstinately? Courage is remembrance; courage is infinity speaking in your willingness; and courage is possible. Every single one of you can remember eternity. Did you find it today? Did you remind yourself? Did you prize it? Walk on, eyes on God. Wisdom would have you do nothing less. Remember your defeat only so you know it doesn’t matter, and suffer your dying only to remember that you outlive yourself over and over again. Your eternity is untouched, your boundarilessness is uncompromised, and the deepest recesses of your own heart are deeper still, and never end.”

Risk

June 3, 2016

“Covered in shame, we grow weary of our own paths.  Distant from ourselves, forgotten almost, we dread our journeys, without enthusiasm and without hope.  Tired of these bodies but unable or unwilling to part with them, we lead lives that don’t inspire us, lives which we feel are required but which we can’t love.  How did each of us become like this, weary of our daily lives, joyless in all the little tasks, half awake only to the promise of something better and the memory of some greater hope?  Every day of your life is a risk.  You are called upon, every day, to expose yourself even though you are ashamed, to look towards the brighter future even though you are hopeless, to remember your longing and your calling even though forgetfulness clouds your knowingness and obscures inspiration.  All of these are risk.  All of these require courage.  They require that you be different from your routine self every single day, that you reach, every day, for some transformation, however small, for some bright opening and new possibility.  The routine of this life is drudgery.  You may trade one drudgery for another, but unless you change your perspective fundamentally and unless you embrace each day as a risk, nothing is transformed, there is no new chance to live differently.  There is no problem with what you already do; so many things need to be done.  But there is very often a problem in how you approach them.  The problem is in your seeing, but, more than that, it is in the degree to which you open to your own life, to all of the small things you encounter every day, to all the strangers and all of the loved ones.  Even a chore requires presence, even the simplest of tasks can bring about transformation if you are there while you are doing it.  And every act of speech, every word, every statement, should come from a place inside you of genuineness, of sincerity.  Every movement you make can be made with intention.  You don’t need to do less or do anything different; you need to do what you already do with yourself present and with the intention to reveal yourself in each of your acts and in all of your words and gestures.  If you cannot be exposed in your daily life, there will be no opportunity for your shame to ever leave you, and no opportunity for the inspiration that you need to find you.  And without this self-revealing there can be no joy.  Try to live each of your days, however mundane, as if you intend to expose yourself completely, and to find the love and attention you have for everything in your life.  Live like your life is a risk—it certainly should be—and like every day was given to you, one at a time, for the purpose of being wholly and completely yours, to renew and reveal yourself.  Live like that gift is something you love with all your heart, because it is all you have, and it is given in the spirit of such generosity, such freedom, and such hope.  You are not yet ready to say goodbye to what you have here, and so, every day, greet what you have like you mean to keep it, like you want it.  Every day is that precious.  Live as if you knew that.”

Courage

March 13, 2015

“The terror of this life is not for the uncourageous. There is a loneliness here so deep and so complete that it is only the brave of heart that can survive it. And there are threats everywhere, there is the dagger and there is the cold, there is darkness with all of its secrets, and, lurking everywhere, both friend and foe seem bent on robbing us of our dignity and of our sense of ourselves. We are so used to the daily danger that we have become almost numb against it. We are so used to the daily onslaught that it fails to occur to us how brave we must be, how much courage is required just to live here, just to be this small, threatened, lonely human amidst all this perpetual threat. While we inhabit human form we must be so strong, so vigilant, and we must intend such bravery, such fortitude. But that is, in fact, the whole reason we willed this existence on ourselves in the first place. It is because we knew we would be required to muster this courage, to find this fortitude. We put ourselves in a place where it is impossible to live without resurrecting yourself, everyday, from your own cowardice and complacency and instead allowing yourself to shine even though your light might be eclipsed at any moment. The terror of it is the point, because the courage is the point.

We are battered by life here, but that is the gift of it. Have the courage to be here anyway, to love anyway, to risk and speak and pursue what you must and face what is yours, fear or no fear. It takes courage to be really alive here, and that is why you are so lucky that this blessed human life has come to pass. Blessed be this beautiful and daunting human life and all the possibilities in that, and all the bravery it takes to just be here.”