“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV
“Its all training, its all practice”, a little mantra I’ve started telling myself each time something happens to me that is outside my order. Each time a new unmanifested or unprepared state enters my reality. Good or bad, I tell myself this as a means of grounding. A grounding wherein I base my determination, self-belief, fortitude, and grit on.
See within this platform of thinking, I can stand as solid as I can be based on the pure faith that I would not be at this very moment, had I not undergone the very teachings which had to lead me to this point. When I begin to understand that no challenge is insurmountable, and no amount of success will be too burdensome to not only achieve but to maintain and master. I urge myself to tap into all elements of my journey, to reveal the lesson I had drawn from it.
Moreover, through my articulation of this mantra, at the very instances where I feel too easily lead by my imaginative fears. I say imaginative since most of the time we do not bear nearly as much suffering in real life, as we have endured through our imagination of future troubled times. Or worse, when we disingenuously decry the disparity of our dolorous daily duty, with that of another.
A belief of superiority of one’s struggle, with the accompanying swagger of pity, steeped in the stench of self-loathing. Because still, naively, in times of destitution. Or with abject cruelty, in times of delight, we too often consider ourselves as too ill-prepared to make way with the un-serving or to embrace that which is deserving. We have either become so used to times of relative ease, that we feel entitled to it. Or we become so well adjusted to injustice, that we feel we are entitled to it too. In both positions, we are caught flat-footed and unsure. Floundering at best.
When reaching back within myself, I articulate the strength in asserting the rightful knowledge that nothing in this life is placed upon the path of those who are too ignorant to understand the lessons born from these moments. Even if this lesson is not so clear and easy to grasp. I attempt to maintain, that even initial posturing will lead to future prospering.
All based on one singularity: That the complexity of life, death and what we do in-between, is done with such exactness, that even if one small, seemingly insignificant factor is not within its place. The whole system would fall within itself. I suppose it is an odd reliance on the deterministic stasis of our environment as a macrocosm, but the frailty of it all in the microcosm.
If we are to picture ourselves as true masterpieces, we will understand that a true masterpiece is continually fretted over, preened and rejuvenated. All at the aim of enhancing that which is the core idea, the picture itself. As well as that which adds substance to the beauty, to best illuminate those unique points of which set it apart.
If we are to consider our journey as a masterpiece on a wall. Starting at the canvass, the blankness of a newborn. However, before we can wield the brush and take place in front of our easel. Strokes are being drawn, and vague outlines being sketched for us. So much so that that by the time we are ready to pick up our brush we find areas that are not entirely how we would have done it.
So we attempt to make alterations that can start to speak towards our true image. We begin to paint our sense of humor, our sense of justice and truth. We slowly begin to shape ourselves as we would like to be seen. However, as we move along mistakes, corrections, fuzzy lines, and cringe areas naturally develop. We are still learning our craft, however, we need to consider the softness a teacher has with a student. When we deliver our critique. When we finally feel confident enough to take ourselves out for display, we step into the greater gallery, and we only now begin to see everyone else’s craftsmanship. Some are loud, bright and colorful. While others are methodical, monotonous and simplistic. Over time, we are drawn to many different styles, some we try to emulate, others we shun. Hoping we develop something which is an acceptable middle. It is however in this retouching and refinement of ourselves that we forget that we came into the room already a masterpiece in our own right.
It is no made-up fact, old wives tale, or optimistical notion that
‘Gratitude is ALWAYS reciprocated’.
It is a principle of living so intertwined within our social structures that we have codified this into our universal laws. We demand that societies interact with each other on the very basis that each one is inherently good and of honorable use to us and society.
We should accept that for the advancement of ourselves as individual actors in whichever theatre of war we are found. We need to embrace one another as collaborative mercenaries. Independent in our subjective aims, however communicative and reliant on others to enable the best possible arena for the exertion of our self-contained desires and objectives. In the performance of the widely held social contract, we are to constrain our beastly tendencies to bite first. We should resist the desire to dominate if this domination comes at a cost of allowing our fellow beasts of their fair share.
It is only in this way of recognizing the selflessness that our selfish aims require, can we begin to get up and out of our enclaves and Alimos. And begin to understand that at each moment we are in no means owed a life which we already know. We are in no means finished artworks, but we are unique masterpieces there to keep toiling away at the betterment of ourselves. So that we may become more skilled crafters so that the strokes we place on others’ lives. It is not of irredeemable proportions.