The Power of Life

Life is like a flower and blooms just the same.
It has to be protected from harm and fed with love;
love for yourself and love for others.
Life is much more than a shallow game for fame.

Bloom Fully.
Bloom Free.
Bloom and Be the Most Beautiful Flower,
You Can Possibly Ever Be.

Have the Courage to Do This,
and Give Others Courage to Bloom too.

Have the Strength to Believe This,
and Together Give the World a more Beautiful Hue.

- Adam Stuart

I wanted to say a quick hello to a friend who had sent me a nice message a few days ago. I noticed on her MySpace page she was "angry" (and believe me, she has good reason to be, and the reason she first contacted me).

As I began to type I was looking at a picture of a flower, and the above poem flowed out, replacing the intended quick "hello" (I added to the poem as I was writing this post, feeling more, flowing more). Beauty is being redefined for me all the time, and I want to thank all the beautiful people who awaken me, nourish me, inspire me, and cause me to think differently. This is done with your words of thanks and appreciation, inspiration and encouragement. And some of you do it without ever having to contact me, just by incredibly being incredibly who you are, already blooming as your most beautiful selves.

Believe me when I tell you, these things mean more to me than I can measure, taking the $4.50 my body is worth chemically and helping me make my spirit truly priceless and invaluable, as it should be. The trouble is we're all only worth as much as we believe we are, by how much we think we are worth in this world. So we irrationally pursue money, fame and material possessions as this measure of how worthwhile we are, ignoring our inner dreams and inner growth. There is NOTHING WRONG with money, fame and possession, only in HOW it is attained, and at what cost? But that's another write for another time.

Rich and famous, poor and anonymous, far too many of us feel worthless, trying to live up to media images of what we should be, while tearing down those still unafraid to pursue their own inner dreams. I've felt as worthless as anyone in the not-so-distant past, and am now only just beginning to really feel the pricelessness and uniqueness of my own soul; like I did when I was a child and told I could be anything I wanted to. I believed it then, and am beginning to believe it again, and believe it or not, you're helping me believe it.

The person I was responding to this afternoon had commented on my "There is Zen in Fire" post, asking me how I "...stay so positive in such a world." Although my comment back was a positive and short one:

"by learning to live in the now, this moment, in zen - and then in this moment fully, think, see and expect ONLY what I WANT and not regretting the past or fretting the future. kinda like dreaming big, doing big and becoming big (my class motto 4 my students) "

As I think of the cause of her anger, I am enraged, and not being able to do much about it right now, want to expand on my answer in hopes of shedding light and possibly strength for all of us to keep fighting the good fight, no matter how hopeless and futile it may seem at times.

I want to say that it's not easy, it's Hoover Dam hard, and is a daily choice that needs to be made (Sofia and I had just watched Madagascar, where I got the "Hoover Dam" line from :-).

My darling 5-year-old was the last to go again this time, and cried in my arms yesterday, saying she wanted to see her mommy but wanted to still be with me. I stayed with her, dancing with her and holding her, holding back my own tears while trying to convince her how wonderful it was that we love each other so much that it hurts this much to leave. I reminded her to look at the moon and know Daddy was there looking at her, watching her, protecting her, and loving her. This only seemed to hurt her worse as she squeezed more tears from her eyes and buried her face in my chest.

As I got on my bike and headed to class, I didn't want to hurt, I wanted to hate. I didn't care that it could be worse and that others have it worse. I cared that my child had to go through this, that I had to go through this. I couldn't pretend not to have this pain. It was real and it was gripping. I punched my handlebars and roared my way to class 30 minutes late. When I came home I saw her unfinished animal crackers still on the dining room table. I wanted to pretend she is upstairs sleeping (I can't seem to change the "is" to "was". I think I'm still pretending she's here).

All I want is to crawl into her bed every night and wrap her in my arms, whispering "Daddy loves you" until she turns and wraps her small arms around my neck like she does when she's here.

But as I looked around and had to deal with the reality that she is gone, that all of them are gone, I set my helmet down and felt myself becoming the thing I hate, the thing I fear. It is "The Warrior Standing Alone.

Bleeding so much on the inside it seeps out of his skin and onto the ground from his fingertips. Raising his face in the night rain and screaming for the gods to stop the pain. Going into his cave and rolling the Hittite's clever stone. Covering the entrance and keeping the world from causing him more pain.

Exhausting himself fully living, he has finally run out; out of energy, out of love, out of belief or spirit. And for what? There is no one there to love him now, no one there to fill him back up. He has learned to trust no one, other than the heart of a child. For the sin of being himself and trusting others, he has been punished by both God and Zeus.

Looking in the mirror and seeing only Sisyphus, he realizes he has been condemned for eternity to push a monstrous boulder up a hill all day only to have it fall back down the next. He has accomplished nothing, tried but failed, and now only tired and frail. With the last of his life force dripping out of him like blood from his fingertips, he holds one solitary hope of a warrior, that a good death finds him in the end, by the way he lived before that meeting takes place."

- Adam Stuart (I'm embarrassed to claim it, but unapologetic for my feelings; their painful depths letting me know just how alive inside I still am)

These are foolish and dangerous thoughts, and proof to me that no man is an island, that no person can go it alone for too long. And it is your comments that give me the strength to go on sometimes when I need it most. We need each other if we are going to survive, no matter how positive or smart or strong we are separately.

It is also proof to me that the devil lives no where else and is real no where else other than inside your own head. My own thoughts and fears, brought on by pain and exhaustion, will be the living death of me, my strength and spirit, if I am not strong enough to fight it. I will end up giving up, and going through the motions of life, becoming a member of the already too-crowded walking dead.

Combine this depth and hardness of emotion with doing deep meditation and (foolishly?) hard-core Navy Seal and Animal© workouts to release this pain and frustration, and I'm really waking up feeling not so good sometimes. If I want more, I have to become more, which includes using pain instead of letting it use me.

There will be pain as long as there is life. Let me allow it to make me grow, and not avoid it by hiding in the temporary escape of drugs and drunkenness, night-time TV and strangers in the night, wallowing in self-pity and playing the victim, or tearing down and hurting others just so I can feel better. None of these can offer me any healing or permanent change. The problems will still be there, and that Hoover Dam boulder will be back at the bottom of the hill again.

So sometimes I wake up saying "Shitaki Mushrooms" sometimes (another Madagascar line - my students might read this so I keep it clean for them). How am I going to do anything today? How am I going to enjoy life and fight the good fight? A sense of humor helps quite a bit, as does music that makes your body move, and listening to or reading some enlightened being's words that clear the clouds of everyday life from your head.

But the greatest power that powers life is love, self-love being most important. Love is never outside yourself. We can't get it from others, only connect to its vibrations from others by opening our own hearts to ourselves. No matter how much others send us loving vibrations, we will never feel them if we don't first feel it from ourselves.

So on those days I wake up without that get-up-and-go or in my children's AMAZING love flow, it's the beautiful flowers blooming in the form of your wonderful comments that give me my answer to how I'm going to live today:

By allowing myself to believe in myself at least as much as others do
and by believing in myself more than others who might not do.

My time on earth is short, and I can become myself or become forgotten. And for one more day I can deal with the pains of life in ways that bring change, evolution and greater pleasure to my mind, body and soul. And I can start now by THINKING ONLY of what I want, SEEING ONLY what I want, and EXPECTING ONLY what I want to happen. Just like building wealth or a relationship, getting in shape or getting a pilot's license, it's created from daily creations.

Let's do as much as we can, giving as much as we can to ourselves and others, and we will find others giving back to us when we need it the most. And together we will nourish each other and create a more beautiful world .

And it won't be so hard to stay so positive in such a world. I'm willing to fight for that, to fight for love. It is The Power of Life.


Anonymous said...

YOU are my enlightened being whose words clear the clouds of everyday life from my head. The drawing of the warrior is awesome!
Jan from SD

Adam Stuart said...

YOU just made my night! Thank you Jan, you're a good and valued friend. Thanks for the compliment on the drawing. I feel so good when I make the time to draw.

Anonymous said...

Adam, I can only feel your inner pain through your writings. I have seen the pain in your face and in your eyes. I know that it hurts you deeply when your kids leave. Stay strong and positive. There is a rainbow out there. tj

Adam Stuart said...

I have to disagree with you on this one TJ. There is no rainbow "OUT THERE". It's only really ever "IN HERE", inside of one's self.

And my point is pain is not necessarily a bad thing. It's part of life, especially those willing to risk getting hurt.

Not risking is not living. Pretending pain doesn't exist at times is not living. Feeling sorry for yourself and allowing others to is not living.

I AM strong and positive. That's how I am able to write about it, and how I am able to create the rainbow inside, more and more, bigger and bigger.

Hiding from pain does nothing. Dealing effectively with it does wonders, even creates miracles.