April 7th, 2016
'Hero Training: Embrace The Heartache'
Heroes are in the business of alleviating suffering and promoting flourishing but before you can do that you have to know why you’re doing it. I’ve found that the best way to know why you are going to alleviate suffering is by experiencing it. Fortunately, you don’t have to do much or go far to know what suffering is - just plug your awareness into your feelings and your feelings into your social environment. If you do that you should find a world in need of your unique skill-set. Sadly, most people will spend all their time flying on auto-pilot and will miss the numerous opportunities to intervene and improve a situation for self or others.
You see, there’s a danger in living in a society that values intoxication and escapism. When everybody has checked out mentally and emotionally the causes of suffering go unchanged and like so many busted oil or gas lines the pain-producing pollutants will just keep billowing out into your psychosocial environment.
We’ve been conditioned by the ease with which we can send an e-mail, change the channel on the TV, and order fast food into thinking that life is supposed to be easy - that we’re not supposed to experience emotional discomfort or mental distress. We like predictable profitable ventures but in reality ‘the good life’ is often a turbulent, emotionally-taxing, psychosocial battlefield in which power-struggles and culture-conflicts are the norm – or at least they would be if we were heroically engaged with the causes of suffering.
Fortunately, you and I were born to be heroic. We were born to be Guardians of The Good Life. We were born to intervene – to optimize situations for life success. We are overcomers on our way to a place called Victorious. We are always living as if we were on the edge of triumph. We are built for life.
So, I invite you to do like Maynard James Keenan said in one of his TOOL songs and ‘weep like a widow’ and do the job that the ancient scriptures tell you to do; be a good steward [of the situations in which you find yourself]. If you can embrace the heartache that you feel when you see the world falling down around you then you will have a better idea of where to aim your heroic intervention.
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