“A certain kind of courage is required to follow what truly calls to us; why else would so many choose to live within false certainties and pretensions of security? If genuine treasures were easy to find this world would be a different place. If the path of dreams was easy to walk or predictable to follow many more would go that route. The truth is that most prefer the safer paths in life even if they know that their souls are called another way.
In this life a pious journey is required. It is pious in the sense that a genuine path brings out our devotion, but also because it cleanses and clarifies our sense of self. The result may be pious, yet the process may look and feel like a stripping down to bare bone. From the common comforts, we must go to the edge of life; from simple self-assurance we must go to the extremes of our nature.” Michael Meade – Fate and Destiny
Of the many people who inspire me to try to be true to what calls and carries me, Michael Meade remains a special gem. He reminds me that the struggle to follow your calling, not being afraid to live life deeply and meaningfully, brings the unique gift each of us has to fruition. I am grateful to have heard him speak several times.
Admittedly, there are times when I would rather not feel that I am frequently swimming upstream in the cultural current. Times when I think perhaps life would be easier, if not for me then perhaps for my friends, if I could learn to just shut up and shop, watch the game on tv, and not be, well, so selfishly complicated. Some people seem to find their meaning and purpose without so much mess.
But, we all walk through life with our distinct perspective gathered from our unique circumstances and struggles. And whatever path we’re on with whatever wounds, loves and obsessions we have, we will always find others along the way who share in both our wounding and healing.
In these dark times, where talking and listening can be so hard, it’s easy to miss the mark, to misunderstand and to be misunderstood. So how to carry on…and to the best of our ability keep digging deep for the gifts we’re here to give, even though we often don’t know what gifts or wounds we give to others?
A good chunk of my life has been spent trying to digest, who I am, who you are, how is it that we’re here, and what it is that we live for. It’s not an effort for me to ponder these things, it would be an effort not to. In finding others, like Michael, who help point the way or affirm the conviction that reflection brings meaning, especially to our suffering – by allowing our gifts to surface, be shared and passed on to others. In this I am both comforted and affirmed.
He reminds us that we’re here, each of us a unique self, called to be uniquely who we are, so as to become gifts to each other. Our job is to live our struggle authentically enough to let the gift shine and perhaps even to pass it on.
Michael tells his story here. It’s a bit long, but absolutely from the heart. He recounts his troubled youth and experience in the military in which his defiance and refusal to become a warrior in the Vietnam war, lead him to become a warrior for meaning, sanity and even life itself, as he recalls time spent in military prison for his inability to follow orders to.