It’s been a learning process these past few weeks. I’ve tried to live with a sort of internal guidance program that focuses on a few key things in order to stay on track.
Play with presence, with focus, with a heavy bent toward growth of any kind, combined with a strong desire for absolute freedom and the knowledge that any freedom inevitably comes with a unavoidable dose of personal responsibility.
You simply cannot be free without being responsible for what you do and how you behave. Freedom isn’t the abdication of responsibility; it’s the wholehearted embrace of it.
I mean, technically, we’re free all the time and everything we do, we are responsible for. I think that’s the scariest part of freedom, and the most empowering. It’s easy to look back on all the mistakes we’ve made and shitty things we’ve done and cringe, terrified of the thought that we are actually did those things. It’s easier to try and make excuses for it or try to pretend like it wasn’t actually our fault.
To actually feel the weight of all of the things you’ve done, good and often, more importantly, because it has more impact on how you accept responsibility, bad, can be crippling. It can make you feel like shit. Terry Brooks’ The Sword Of Shannara, rip-off of Lord Of The Rings as it’s been accused, actually brings that truth home beautifully in its end sequence. that, and the final battle’s tension actually saved that book for me.
The hero is forced to see himself as he is, stripped of his beliefs about himself. He sees every slight, intentional or otherwise, every time he walked away from another or minimized their plight when he could have helped. He sees every moment of cowardice or indifference, every moment or apathy or cruelty, planned or mistaken, and he’s horrified by it.
He sees the good stuff too, but it isn’t until he reconciles the reality of who he is, good and bad, that he’s able to use the power of such truth to defeat the big bad. He has to see it all, has to take responsibility for it all, accepting it without letting it debilitate him, before he can move on, having embraced this new knowledge and freedom.
It’s really only at that point, where we’ve accepted responsibility for our behaviour, both good and bad, that we can move into a place of greater self-awareness. That’s where I’m trying to get to.
Any growth is good growth. The only sin is not to be willing to try.