The Only Way Out Is Through

It’s very hard when you are young to understand that sometimes in life you have nowhere to run. The self is always there and you cannot avoid it. If you are stuck in circumstances in your life, you are also stuck in yourself, and that’s the issue.

Going forward when you have no path to follow is extremely frightening. You are alone, you are vulnerable, you can feel helpless, confused and bereft. But going backwards is never really possible, and staying still is absolutely not possible, as time marches on, relentlessly. You can try to hide, both from the issues you face in the world and from yourself, but in the end, this never works as you pay a high price for the deception.

Countless words have been written by souls far wiser than I about courage. The Bhagavad Gita teaches about this very well. You can read about it in the writings of St. John of the Cross. You can study the life of Buddha or Jesus or St. Thomas Aquinas or many many other people who have dealt with difficulty and learned from it. In recent times, you can look at Nelson Mandela’s life or the life of someone like Gabbie  Gifford.

The way to go forward when you are lost is to gather yourself together, trust yourself in each moment as you go and endure whatever you must in order to keep going. The reason you should do this is because that is all there ever is to do, it only just looks like there are other alternatives from time to time. If you want to change something, create something or build something, the only way to achieve that is to risk failure and loss but try anyway.

The people in this world who are the movers and the shakers, who upset the status quo, who make a path where there has been no path, are not like most people who shuffle along, following the person in front of them. A true artist is never part of the crowd. A true artist has a unique and special point of view about life that only he or she can express. In finding that expression, you can expect struggle, effort and discord to cross your path, but don’t let that thwart you from reaching your goal. Go! Who knows what or who you will become!

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