The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Reasons or results

Yesterday was a breakthrough day.  My meditation was clean and sharp, indicating that the emotional garbage I’ve been processing has finally turned into mulch.  I met with my friend “Mike” and things were both worse and better than I’d thought.  He’s actually been sleeping on the street.  But he seemed lucid and honest about his massive screw-ups, which he feels stemmed from a childhood filled with low-expectations.  His family was pretty much white trash, and he was on the low end of the totem pole. This led to some serious identity problems that have plagued him his entire life.  But he’s going into a shelter today, and I put him up in a hotel last night.  Thank God.
Afterwards, I went to my Silat class, where my teacher Cliff Stewart debriefed me on my weekend helping Stevan Plinck teach his seminar at Bud Thompson’s JKD school.  One of the subjects that came up was the fact that another student has had several family members die, and that he is experiencing some emotional trauma as a result.  Cliff encouraged us to be supportive, but also to remind him that it is vital to “get on with life.”

Get over it.  Get on with it.  Wow.  It was great to hear that in another context.  Class was great, and I woke up this morning even clearer, with my energy running just great after six hours of sleep. 
It isn’t that “Mike” doesn’t have genuine complaints.  Or that my co-student doesn’t have plenty to feel horrible about.  Or that I don’t have real, no-b.s. reasons to feel betrayed, hurt, threatened by the natural human responses to race difference that have damaged my people beyond meaningful calculation.  But the truth is, life doesn’t care.  We either get on with our lives, learn to deal with the hurt and obstacles, or the world will just roll over us and never know we were screaming “stop.”

I don’t know a single human being who doesn’t have perfectly understandable reasons for being a basket case. We can all find reasons to be dysfunctional, and since it’s all relative, being ignored by mommy in Beverly Hills can feel just as bad as being homeless in New Orleans—to you.  It is all relative.  People commit suicide over the “silliest” crap, and others stand tall in the midst of soul-rending chaos.  It’s up to us.  We either have reasons to fail, or we have the results we crave.  You can’t hold both in the same hand.

I needed last week.  And yes, I’ll be down again…this is an inevitable part of the process of growth.  The difference is that I understand this now, better than I ever have, and I let it roll over me.

Reasons, or results.
What’s your pleasure?


Anonymous said...

I like this, a lot.

In the training I deliver I have taken it a little by bringing in Repercussions as in:

You can either have reasons or results and YOU have to live with the repercussions of your choice.



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