“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” — Robert Browning
I don’t like things easy. Ironically, I have it pretty easy, so in my case, I have to go hunt down ‘hard’ on a regular basis. Fortunately, it exists in abundance.
Why do I want it Hard?
Because I don’t trust Easy. Easy is liar. Easy is cheap. Easy is boring. Easy looks like something you want until you actually spend a little time with it. Even so, Easy fooled everyone into thinking it was the goal, the epitome, the must have.
It isn’t. It is the opposite. It is the enemy of growth, change, and personal evolution. The steadfast pursuit of Easy is the root cause of the pervasive ennui that plagues our world.
It’s surprising how successful Easy’s con job was on humanity, but an exponentially increasing number of us see right through it.
You’re either growing or you’re dying. There is no third direction. And Growth is not Easy.
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” –Cynthia Occelli
For growth to happen, you have to be willing to put yourself in uncomfortable positions. You have to push yourself. Disobey stasis. Be a disruptor. You have to wilfully, tenaciously engage challenge. The struggle of the challenge, the triumph of overcoming, and the lessons that come with the ensuing reflection is what ultimately offers deep satisfaction to life.
When it starts feeling Easy, you level up. Continually.
What do I consider Hard?
As insurmountable as they seemed at the time, the challenges I sought and met over the past two decades seem trifles now, like all faded glories tend to. Such is the nature of our revisionist memories that let us cling to the good reveries and forget past hardships and hurts.
Nevertheless, I will be exploring and chronicling them on this blog, slowly.
Only the most recent of my elective hardships continues to feel like the Everest it was: the challenge I took on six years ago and finally managed to successfully ‘complete’ this year– deciding to foster parent a troubled former street child who had served a five year prison term for murdering his uncle… Acting as defacto mother, counselor, friend, and protector to him to allow him to find his feet in the outside world.
That challenge was the most traumatic and deeply transformative experience I ever put myself through. It still amazes me the strength, courage, and stamina I continually mustered, for years, to try to pull a hurt human being out of a very dark existence.
I’m not sure anything I do in the future will be able to compare.
I will share that story with you eventually.
But I’m still seeking Hard.
While that event utterly transformed me, it also took so much out of me that I have now turned my challenges inward, to focus on self. Rebuilding and repairing body and spirit after such a tremendous expenditure of self. Though directed inward, the goals are not any less difficult to achieve.
To the contrary, intentionally, consistently working on self is one of the Hardest things you can do. See for yourself. You have front row seats to the main event right here…