The trail of the true human being
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“I was just thinking that of all the trails in this life there is one that matters most. It is the trail of a true human being. I think you are on this trail and it is good to see. ” Kicking Bird to John Dunbar, Dances with Wolves 1990
I don’t really want to start this post in a negative vein, but we’ve all had our fair share of kick-the-shit-out-of-us-days – and days like that occurring too often…well, that’s when we need to give ourselves a good shake and consider our tack and where we are heading in life.
And forget the bull of knuckling down and bearing the burden – what’s brave or wise about that? Carrying impediments when it’s better to drop them or smash your way through.
And if we are like to tow the old-line ever and on, then we must Wake!
I don’t know, I’ve heard enough words of false lions and the so-called leaders of men who would claim it their onus to guide us while they seek their advancement.
Because while our masters might reap the fruits of our labour, when clarity calls and you gain insight on the martial journey through the long haul of practice, and you sense you are “more” than you were, more than the roles you’ve been somehow assigned - then maybe you’ll be no more the father who stomachs abuse from disrespectful offspring, no more obsequious wife heeding the rants of ungrateful husband, no more the weak-kneed employee resigned to his fate – no more one of the credulous working stiff thinking their personal liberty high just because they make ends meet and manage in whiles to break from the toil that has cost them their dreams.
Maybe your prime motivation for getting into a martial art was defending yourself. But the high gain was strength: strength of character conspicuous in the attitude of having respect for yourself as well as your newly elevated ability in the detection of Bull.
For haven’t you noticed how your spirit is rising?
The fallacy of ”knuckling down and bearing the burden” as something commendable is seen for what it actually is: an old-school assertion designed more or less to keep us in check, though somehow assured we are noble for all that we’re suffering shit.
But while the huddled masses submit to an endless loop of steady and uninspiring work, endured rather than loved, and relationships that suck the life out of them, the martial journey is working on us.
Suddenly there comes a time when you sense that you’re in the wrong place and that somehow all the apparel of your former existence starts falling away. That’s when you tack on the trail of the true human being. That’s when you shift.
Because burdens need dropping. By implication they are not really wanted anyway. They weaken us. Weights make us stronger. The distinction is clear. We lift weights by choice. We lift them because we want to. Not because some outside moral authority says that we should or implies in endless, dubious ways all the vague virtues we’re all meant to aspire to.
So we knuckle down for a cause, and for a purpose – but never a burden.
For this is our life and there’s short time to make it into something quite special.
Short time to truly live.
And if something’s not making us happy and we’re not taking steps towards the things that we want, then we‘ve got to change it. And yes, often that’s hard, without a fire in your belly, without guts, we might hardly move.
But while others might submit to lives of underachievement, and we’re turning up and we’re training hard, and the fires in our bellies are stoking, then surely as morning sun rises, growing within us is the will that might never turn back, might never surrender, might never withstand a place or position or person that demands of you less than we are wanting to be. Less than we are.
Then we’ll be blazing…