Chapter 7 –
For some, just the mundane fact of being born to their specific parents or in a particular environment proved to be a gruelling challenge.
And of course, there are those who, though lacking for nothing of a material nature, have felt the urge to self-destroy and slip down a dark rabbit hole.
And they did just that, until the day they woke up and took charge of their emotions, thoughts and actions.
Emotions are energy. The energy of our emotions floods our body’s systems. They create thoughts, too.
Those who are in control of their ego-persona, their little raft, know how to successfully alter their energy by choosing congruent responses to their emotions.
These mostly anonymous, resilient beings, each performing at their best, can be found in all occupations, careers and sports circles.
Their fantastic life stories are woven throughout the fabric of society.
‘I never met a bitter person who was thankful. Or a thankful person who was bitter,’ said Nick Vujicic, a charismatic, 38-year-old Australian-American born without arms or legs.
Many of those resilient survivors experienced significant emotional and physical pain stretched over days, months and years, depending.
The long-haul trek into recovery and independence often had them fearful and depleted.
That said, it seems that most of those thriving on the other side of challenging odds do not regret the abrupt and shocking halt of life as they knew it.
They don’t regret having been born where they were, when they were and how they were.
They don’t regret their lives’ circumstances.
They don’t regret the arduous rite of passage into the coherent and inspiring individuals they have become.
If they did at some stage, they no longer consider their circumstances as a curse or a divine punishment.
In fact, they say that their life-changing circumstances and the impulse to push through have made them better beings.
That they forced them to reveal character strengths and abilities they never dreamt they had.
That they forced them to rethink thinking and reframe their potential.
That they forced them to open up to possibilities previously inconsiderable.
The universe [or Soul, God or any higher intelligence of their choosing] rewarded their resilience by blessing them with a fruitful life.
Many feel blessed to be living a satisfying life they had never imagined for themselves.
On the road to recovery, resilient survivors don’t dream of a pay rise.
They don’t dream of a cruise to the Caribbean or through various Norway or African ports of call.
They don’t desire a move to a lavish house.
They dream, desire, pray for what we have – and which we daily take for granted.
They dream that one day, their arms, their hands and their legs or their eyes or their brain or their heart will function as ours do.
They want to breathe the fresh air we breathe.
They want to watch clouds as they pass over treetops – as we do.
They want to feel the sun or the rain on their skin.
They want to be in their own home.
They want to be present for their loved ones – as we should.
They desire to be loved as they are – as we do.
And, one breath, one effort at the time, they got what they desired – and more.
Some created for themselves a journey so amazing, they could not have dreamt it.
Reality check: so, comparatively speaking, how good do most of us have it, huh?
How easy do we have it!
Of course, these stimulating individuals who have managed their circumstances with inspired coherence say they wouldn’t have wanted to have it any other way.
They now know better than take anything for granted.
They now understand what, here and now, is important and what isn’t.
They were [karmically] prompted to accept what had come to pass and to deal with it positively – throughout the long, very long series of moments underfoot. They could have refused, as so many do.
With nothing to lose, they accepted the dare.
Heads up: choices and options are always fluttering by like a swarm of butterflies.
Up to each one the freedom to grab the ones they think they prefer.
These winning individuals are grateful for their recovery and the discovery of their authentic self.
They are grateful, too, for the opportunity ‘life’ has given them to ‘just be’.
Even though longevity might remain more of a moot point for some than for the rest of us, they know they’re actually living a fruitful life.
Regrets, if any, won’t be of the sort that keeps them awake at night.
They now understand that it’s what we do with our ‘extension’ on life that matters the most.
Serious question: isn’t every morning we wake up our own ‘extension’ on life?
Reality check: like every one of us, these people had a choice.
They had the choice to become bitter and to wither.
They had the choice to harness their inner power to regain their independence.
We, too, have these options on the table.
Moment by moment.
And … …?
So … … ?
Dear Reader, at times, you and I dream of enhancing various aspects of our daily lives, but if we don’t choose for ourselves a coherent alternative aligned with our higher self, the universe will provide us with its own new blueprint.
As discussed above, often packed with obstacles of increased difficulty, that blueprint might feel like an obstacle course on a set of Ninja Warrior.
Beyond accessing the prize money, each warrior’s desire is to scale the Warped Wall and claim victory over the odds and, mostly, over the other competitors.
For us, triumph is to have more money than we need, to lead the life we think we desire. It’s also mostly about claiming victory over others.
Mostly over those who know us or have known us in the past. Ex-schoolmates and teachers, too.
Mostly, we want our parents to admit they were wrong about our potential, about our value as a human being.
From stickers and grades brought home from school to medals and diplomas to awards to the outward signs of independence, the trappings of wealth and widespread recognition, our victory amounts to a nonviolent payback for all the years we felt judged as lacking something or other.
The complication stems from the fact that enough ‘proof of valour’ is never quite enough. Our valour, we sense, needs constant upgrades.
Some of us, we might dream of embarking in a life-changing ‘expedition’.
But, unless we genuinely commit to envisaging the destination as a saner, healthier version of ourselves, we might as well just embark on a cruise and take our chances – a dicey proposition, as many unfortunately have found in 2020.
Interestingly, when at the height of their trauma, survivors and every other person facing their own mortality or, in their eyes, a fate ‘worse than death’, said they had wished hard and prayed hard to regain all that they had taken for granted.
As we do.
Day in day out.
Years on end.
Their desire was to stay alive.
Their desire was to be given another chance to lead a ‘normal’ life with their loved ones. And here we are – alive and living a ‘normal’ life with our loved ones – if we so wish.
Their utmost desire is realized for us every morning we get out of bed unaided. It’s confirmed by every move we make freely – even the most mundane.
And so, how happy are we – we who, daily, are free to enjoy the simple things they yearn for and work so hard to get back?
Reality check: on the whole, our deep-set desire is to live a life of boundless freedom, basking in happiness under the approving eye of others.
Our deep-set desire is to be validated while, at the same time, being realized a person of character.
Sadly, regardless of gender, age, race, IQ, fitness level, religion and parental culture, the twain have not necessarily gelled together for us.
As Dr Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’
If only, now that we are no longer children, we were as conscious of our inner connectivity to ‘all that is’ and to others – known ones and strangers alike – as we are of our modem’s connectivity inner-outer realities would be vastly different.
Our culture would be free of division and separation, too.
Thinking ‘Me vs You’ and ‘Mine before yours’ would be anathema to most of us. Parenting, educating, and leading the faithful of any religion – would, on the whole, sound and feel very different.
Then, being alive on planet Earth would yield a very different reality for many.
Many millions of us.
Depending on how our younger self-managed their search for recognition, it propelled some of us to extend ourselves and succeed in the outer world.
It has toppled others down great, solitary abysses.
And, in between, are those of us who have learned to make do with options that may be limiting in some way but not altogether unpleasant. Either way, we do our best to placate those who, in their own web, are physically closest to us.
Overall, it could be said that ongoing generational, cultural confusion between validation and character has kept most of humanity in a stunted state of emotional development.
We are remote-controlled by self-limiting beliefs.
These beliefs are like diesel contamination of our engine.
They can have severe consequences on our health and overall wellbeing.
One of the most debilitating threats to our wellbeing is a sense of helplessness.
Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, born in 1800, was the Prussian army’s chief of staff for several decades. Even when taken out of a military context, some of his thoughts are definite keepers.
‘No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force,’ he said. ‘Certainly, the commander in chief will keep his great objective continuously in mind, undisturbed by the vicissitudes of events. But the path on which he hopes to reach it can never be firmly established in advance.’
Guided by Soul, the captain of our life, our unerring GPS, we already know how to engage set up and engage with a plan.
We, too, should keep our desires, our ‘great objective’ continuously in mind, undisturbed by the vicissitudes of events.
Heads up: we don’t need any more setbacks than we have already had, do we?
So, aren’t our best tactics and moves all about forestalling and/or limiting the range and the scope of any complication already [karmically] pencilled in our life’s blueprint?
Serious questions: really, what will stop for us?
What will change for us, if we don’t stop – if we don’t change anything?
No more passive co-creation of our life, we say.
Bottom line: when it comes to the blueprint we aim to actively co-engineer with the universe [God or Soul], the design should remain loose.
It should be kept flexible like seaweed.
Uncluttered, too, because details of any plan designed for a ‘future’, days or years ahead, often become irrelevant when it becomes the new ‘now’ underfoot.
The emergence of our plans should be desired softly … coherently and loosely, too.
No sudden movements.
Small, incremental shifts allow in possibilities previously unthought. They also keep our raft steady.
The creation of our blueprint should be – and remain – forever a dynamic process.
Reality check: of course, we already know that.
We know it just as clearly as we know the moment we begin designing a blueprint for our new home is not the optimal time to start shopping for roof tiles, flooring, and furniture.
First, plan, then we build.
Next, we furnish.
Then we decorate.
Yes, we have rights.
We have the right to dream and to hope and to energize what we desire.
Sure, we’re entitled to a bucket list of desires.
And, yes, we are, no doubt, entitled to a blessing or two – daily. But, seriously, don’t we already enjoy more than one or two blessings every day?
Anyway, here’s the thing: there are instances where, if we curtailed some of our aspirations and redesigned others to better reflect what we truly want, we might get [karmically] luckier.
So, as Moltke, the Prussian Chief of Staff might agree, due care in planning and due care in energizing our real desires is a highly relevant process once it includes a considered, probing exploration of all options and contingencies.
Bottom line: when we flow from our depth rather react from a skin-thin perspective, we are our wisest and most compassionate selves.
It is then we are our most useful and love-able selves. It is them we are best able to deal with the mystery of life.
Uncertainty is by karmic design the real condition in which we live.
Dear Reader, warrior for the greater good: wouldn’t you agree that desiring, envisioning and planning a journey back to a Soul-full Connection to our inner self, to our intended purpose in this lifetime, here and now, would be well worth a rainbow as its reward?