The bravest thing I’ve done is to take responsibility for my life: my thoughts and feelings, actions and behaviors, my pain, and my creations. This type of responsibility is like a subscription that renews. It’s not like you’re done with it. And it can propel you into another sphere altogether. Taking responsibility is plenty courageous. There’s a point of total breakdown, of annihilation. It’s a death for certain.

Then courage in the form of an honestly raw accounting of the mess you’re in. This is what I call the ‘blood and guts of healing.’ It need not stop there. In my case, and the possibility exists for everyone, taking responsibility for myself lead to something much scarier: embracing my true nature. It launched me into a quest, which wouldn’t have been possible without the ‘first’ courage.

One of the biggest things we run from is our true nature. After all drama is so much easier. You know it inside out, can give a command performance in your sleep, and really validate how miserable your life is like 2+2=4, no room for error. This is the persona I’ve donned, these are my poisons and you better get the hell outta my way! I’m running from my Self and even Olympic athletes don’t have the steroids I do.

I did that into my early-mid-thirties. Among many other things. It was hedonist, escapist, lustful, fun, utterly dysfunctional, I loved and wept and guffawed, opined, judged, raged, gave and stole, alienated and hurt people and myself, danced my tush off… and…

On the dawn after Hurricane Andrew had torn through South Florida, I became awakened. The proverbial light bulb. And that was still way back in the dark days, when the courage I knew I’d have to muster terrified me.

You have to be brave to have courage. Ironic isn’t it?

Folks, I’ve news for you. There’s so much unseen Grace. Divine intervention is waiting at the edges of your willingness, like a flickering candle about to drown in its own wax. Initially, it only takes your cupping the flame to steady it against the draft, to tease the wick out of the wax. That’s all. That moment of caring attention where you’re quiet and still enough, so that your true nature can finally enter, after its years of knocking and show you all your colors.

Then the journey begins of healing the wounds of the human, and even more fear-wrought, that foundation propelling you into Self.

Self can be described in many ways and it’s not so important to do that here. What’s important is that upping the ante is courage on an entirely different level. This is the courage to own that while you were broken, your spirit never was; while you believed you were flesh and bones, your soul smiled and winked; while you felt worthless, gold poured into your heart; while you felt unloved, you were cradled in patient compassion; while your mind was weak, your consciousness was fortified; while you were in darkness, the Light buoyed you; while you were lost, wisdom protected you.

I know this. As a child, even though my personality never took it seriously, even though it was by rote and I thought I didn’t know how to pray, my soul took over and prayed and prayed and prayed every time my house was filled with voices bellowed, things smashed, doors slammed, love crushed and laughter squelched. When later I consciously prayed my soul just beamed warmly.

In the physical world, you can’t ignore a wall. In the spiritual life, you can’t ignore Eternity. Eternity in this sense is the absence of time, not an endless span of time. Eternity is as real as the street you live on. Your street exists in Eternity. So there are two choices. Numb and run, and my god are there countless ways to do that! Consumerism is geared for that alone.

Or, allow the bravery of your true nature to infuse you and take the lead. This is going to require spiritual backbone, vigilance, recommitments, endurance, sourcing courage again and again, along with a host of other resources. But it then becomes a meritorious life. And simply happy and healthy.

That’s the one I chose, choose and re-choose.

I’ll end with a haiku of mine from way before my dawn, a kind of precursor:

hide and seeking
our souls
games people will play

© Pamir Kiciman 2007

Soul Bravery

13 thoughts on “Soul Bravery

  • 10/09/2007 at 9:30 PM

    Hi Pamir.
    Your comment is so incredible it pierces the soul. It makes sense to realize one major challenge for people is to accept who and what they are. Most people spend much of their lives fighting or even ignoring signs of the truth. Perhaps this is why it has been said that existence is an exercise in remembering what we each forgot about ourselves at birth.

  • 10/10/2007 at 7:22 AM

    Liara, so poetic. Names are fascinating to me. Ok we’ll get back to the mutual fan-club later 🙂 .

    That last sentence is haunting. Perhaps that’s why some artists want to paint like children again. No doubt veils are drawn at birth. Yet enough opening remains for many years. In the end it doesn’t matter as long as you enter at some point, consciously, willingly.

    Marianne Williamson says it well:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

  • 10/10/2007 at 7:34 AM

    Pamir, your post resonates so deeply in me!

    I think we are braver than we give ourselves credit for ~ we simply need that one sparkle of awareness to set us on the road to courageously accept ourselves. Numb and run is an absolutely accurate description of the lives we lead when we haven’t seen the light yet ~ or perhaps truly felt enough desperation to motivate us into life-changing action.

    What touched me most is what you say about so much unseen Grace awaiting us. Yes, yes, YES! It is something (someone!) to fall into backwards, arms wide open … free! Like a kid into loving arms. Just imagining this makes me feel more free and more at peace. Life is a good place, after all. 🙂

    [Thanks for stopping by ~ I’m glad I found you too!]

  • 10/10/2007 at 7:44 AM

    Beautiful post Pamir. So often the shrinking violet syndrome is so much easier than letting our light shine. It baffles me because this doesn’t do anyone good – not oneself or those you surround yourself with. So why do we do it? I agree with Marianne, we are scared. But, I wonder what is at the root of this fear? Is this where the devil (or whatever one may call it) hides?

  • 10/10/2007 at 8:28 AM

    I don’t know much what to say except your post touches me deeply. I recognize much of myself in you. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • 10/10/2007 at 2:57 PM

    Pippa, I really like the image & feeling of falling back into the Presence of Love, with complete trust.

  • 10/17/2007 at 4:41 PM

    Hi Pamir,

    Thanks for sending me your link. Your writing is refreshing and opens plenty of new pathways in the brain. I was writing this morning about Deer medicine that can help through the cocoon phase, the time when you’ve made a decision to change, but you find yourself in darkness feeling stuck, yet protected. Like you said, when you see what your life is and how you got there it maybe ugly and beautiful all at once. Deer has helped me with a steady compassion and fearless acceptance returning again and again to this phase. Your work feels closely aligned with Deer whose strategy is also to walk new paths toward fresh green grass…

    Peace my Friend, David /\

  • 10/18/2007 at 11:59 AM

    Erin, you ask the tough questions 🙂 . I can’t answer that here, perhaps a blog post, ok?

    Jenny, recognition is so important. In commonality we find answers & collective solutions. And those are the ones that engender peace.

    David, thanks for stopping by again. Ah sweet, guileless Deer. Simply walks past the monster at the gate, eyes always on target. Doesn’t resist or give power to the monster, just walks on. On!

  • 07/26/2009 at 9:52 AM

    This was a nice piece. I could definitely relate. It seems like the first step is the hardest.

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  • 08/04/2009 at 1:53 PM

    Michelle: First step has to be taken & it can be hard. Some other difficulties can arise later too, but it’s these that make us!

  • 09/02/2009 at 11:29 PM

    This is where I am right now in my life, what you are describing here. I’m glad I read it.

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