Discover more from The Medicine of Understanding
A celebration of Resilience and the momentum and meaning we build through our Chosen Defiance.
The waves keep coming. Always.
All we can say, is “Not Today!”
Our steady pursuit of mental and spiritual wellness, for most of us is messy, unsexy and punishingly gradual. This is the way. Not everything we do needs to look like attainment and progress by shared or conventional standards. How quickly we can get up after falling down, is far more relevant to the project of wellness than the fact that we sometimes fall down.
How quickly we can back ourselves, forgive ourselves and choose our stance, is just as important to spiritual attainment, maybe more even, as the composure we are trying to embody.
Our tenacity is a just as much a passport to Belonging as our states of attainment and we are better served by self-kindness and self-acceptance than any aims for perfection.
The following piece is something I use and share to remind myself and everyone else, an Invitation back into the Conversation. An essential reminder that there is a nobility to our resilience and our defiance, after all, if there were no suffering there would be no respite. If there were no discomfort there would be no relief. And if there were no illusion, there would be no enlightenment. And the relentlessness of Life is actually a necessary threshing and a necessary impulse which awakens our own relentlessness, and thereby our passport to growth and greatness.
The secret aim of all tension, is Transformation.
Life throws wave after wave of ordeal at us.
The difference between an ordeal and a trial is not the circumstance, it his how we choose to face it.
They say only a fool turns their back on the sea, for it is relentless, capricious and unpredictable. But when you are adrift in the open water of life, no matter which bright horizon we aim to face, our back is always to the ocean, and we can be caught unawares from every which way, including below.
All we have, all we have is Love and Defiance. It will not be enough forever. But it is enough for today. That stance is what makes of the ordeal a trial. We get to choose our stance, we get to say “not today!”.
And every trial that life throws at us, every wave we ride, becomes a wave we make.
We are who we repeatedly choose to be. We are also a relentless wave. This is not our first rodeo. This will not be our last.
Today, I am swimming. Today I choose love and I choose life. I will face the trial and I will not be timid or undone.”
You did not come this far to have only come this far. There is a shore out there.
Somewhere even the endlessness ends. Somewhere the shoreline is being made anew in every moment and a will no greater than yours is riding like foam to spill onto a beach that is itself what has become of once eternal mountains.
When we reach there, we learn it was the relentlessness, the relentless fear of being undone that drove us all that way, on and on and impossibly on, just so long as we kept saying: “not today.”
You are either riding the waves, being tossed by the waves or you are perhaps making the waves. Either way, there will be waves.
Be relentless in your choosing.
Make for shore.
If you must be undone, be undone at the infinite shoreline, that is where tomorrow begins, that is the event horizon beyond this recurring moment, beyond the threat of new ordeals, where it is right to finally be undone so that we can become something more - at the place where new trials await. It is worth defying even the endless heaving of the entire ocean for this.
A thousand times the waves will come and a thousand times you must say:
I am destined for tomorrow.”
Defiance is the noblest of all human conceits. It is the very seed of god in us.
Below is a reading of this piece, set to fitting music.