For Those of Us Who. . .

(For those of us who sometimes have trouble
being comfortable in our own skins. . .)

A personality can be as heavy
to lug around as an ailing body—
like an aging vaudeville performer,
taking his bag of tricks town to town,
hoping for one last round of applause
before he expires.

But is it possible, voluntarily,
to climb up on our own individual cross:
the cross of our finite, limited personality
cobbled together over the years, battered
and ragged as it might be?
Can we climb up and suffer the simple reality
of what is actually true for us,
true of us,
without flinching,
without hiding or
rationalizing,
without crying out at injustices done
or planning solutions?

If we pay in advance, pay voluntarily like this,
a certain magic can happen.
Our situation becomes not only bearable,
but transformed.
The burden becomes almost weightless,
a joy even, in its own tender, bittersweet way.
We see that we are all perfect examples
of humanity—flawed, tossed about
by life’s pummelling, reacting
without understanding what hit us. . .
And yet—still noble somehow, still carrying
the ancient torch that our life has meaning,
that our struggles are valuable, win or lose.

Let us then offer up our shortcomings
on the alter of Pure Seeing. There the fires
will turn them into courage,
the courage needed to carry out our sacred duty,
to climb our own personal Golgotha
with our head held high.

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