Posts Tagged ‘courage’

Spiritual Warrior

July 31, 2010

My friend, Jeff (the reluctant bloger), responded to one of my blogs using the term “spiritual warrior.” In my quests to discover the divine truth of me and my life, I often feel that I am battling to discover, uncover, and recover.

Jeff said “it takes powerful courage to walk the way of the spiritual warrior.” My courage comes from my innate gravitation towards happiness. I want to be happy. I want to feel love. I remember those gravitational moments in my early years when I sought to be happy and some misunderstanding soul slapped me down. And because I was small and dependent upon them, I stayed down. I think it does take courage to get up and be willing to tackle the monsters again.

To read more about my monsters, go to “real monsters don’t wear costumes” under my About section.

I am fighting my programming, my natural instinct to survive, my need to belong and fit in with others. My warrior fights for my need to evolve and become while my survivor says “yes, but let’s fit in with the rest of the world at some level. We need them.”

I let my outside circumstances and other people determine who I became and I was a very unhappy soul. No matter what mental or emotional acrobatics I performed, the world was still not satisfied and continued its dysfunction. I could not become any more dysfunctional to accommodate it. To do so would have meant a total mental and emotional breakdown. I would have ceased to exist.

If I wanted to survive, my only option was to begin this journey. I began to slay the demons I had created for myself and who I had come to depend upon for survival. They worked in my childhood, kept the insanity of living in check, so letting go of them was often painful and distressing. After all, how would I survive without them? Can I find my spiritual enlightenment and awakening in this world? Must I slay foes with my spiritual sword or am I to use it to carve my path through thickets of lies to reveal my truth?

Illusions that once secured my sanity continue to be in my way. Beliefs that I once depended upon to make decisions sway like boulders on the precipice of avalanche. How can I create the security I need to challenge these systems? Do I need a specific set of circumstances to evolve? Do I have to create the ideal set of circumstances to become enlightened? Can I use any moment to become?

It helps to have a plan – a new set of ideas, beliefs, and ways of being that I desire. I can even try them on for size and practice before I let go of the old beliefs and ways of being. I can look for ways of being outside of me that resonate with my true presence and find that talent already hidden within myself. I just have not brought that monster out to play.

I know a few people who are genuinely, innately nice. They are kind and generous with their way of being in the world. They seem broadly happy and satisfied, even when they are overcoming obstacles on their way to becoming happier. They have an attitude that I can only describe as “inquiring” when someone is angry, rude, or hostile. I have felt this way of being calling me for a long time now.

All people who come on my path are my teachers – the “good” ones along with the “bad” ones. If I recognize them and label them, then I know I am them, too. A good warrior also knows when to lay down the sword.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

Courage in the presence of reality

April 15, 2010

Every day, I get a Daily Buddhist Wisdom (sharingbuddhism.com) that encourages me to seek the way of the Buddha and offers some insight and inviting knowledge that inspires me along my path. Today, the wisdom words were:

“Each of us wants to be wiser, more compassionate, and more courageous – to be better than we are. We would like to turn suffering into happiness, affliction to benefit, hardship to ease. We would ideally face both trial and tragedy in ways that could exalt and strengthen us. In every purpose we want and seek these higher tendencies-wisdom, courage, and compassion. These are also the prime qualities of a Buddha.” –The Buddha In Your Rearview Mirror

I agree with just about all of this . . . but the part about “ideally face both trial and tragedy in ways that could exalt and strengthen us” . . . well, um, no. Not really. I don’t need the exalt thing. My ego might want it, but in the presence of reality, I don’t think I could stand it. Exalt means to praise or pay tribute to someone. I might praise myself for having dealt ideally with difficult circumstances, but the fact of my reality is that I really don’t want to face “trial and tragedy.” I certainly would not seek them out. Both seem to find me just fine all by themselves. And I don’t know that I have faced all of them “in ways that could exalt” me. Sometimes, I just sort of caved and whimpered my way through. I probably came out of those a little bit stronger, but mostly smarter. If I have to suffer to attain the rank of Buddha, I would rather pass. Thus ends my Buddha quest.

The idea that we must suffer in life is all about our point of view. Suffering begins because we have the idea that someone or something is not the way we want or think we need it to be. In the presence of that reality, it takes courage to admit the root of suffering and still continue through it.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass