Monday, August 17, 2015

Heal Thyself

I told him that to endure oneself may be the hardest task in the universe . . . The greatest palatinate earl and the lowest stipendiary serf share the same problem. You cannot hire a mentat or any other intellect to solve it for you. There's no writ of inquest or calling of witnesses to provide answers. No servant—no disciple—can dress the wound. You dress it yourself or continue bleeding for all to see. Dune Messiah, Frank Herbert

There are people that cross our paths that seemingly cry out for assistance. We are therefore moved to try. But in some cases, it soon becomes apparent that it is impossible to aid them.
Because, in order to successfully move forward, they must first abandon a grimly gripped principle. No matter how much we gently admonish or exasperatingly bellow, they will not let go. We soon realize our help was no help at all, merely fuel that continued to propel them on a doomed course. With regret, we step back, defeated, acknowledging that in order for these misguided individuals to progress, they must first be willing to help themselves. 

It is at those times that the lyrics of Matisyahu's "Bal Shem Tov" chime through my head: 
Search heaven and the seven seas
The answer lies inside you
You know it won't come easy
You've got to find your own truth

It's your life to live
And I can't live it for you
It's your time to give
And I can't give it for you
It's your fear to lose
And I can't lose it for you
Death or life so choose
And I propose it for you

So find your word of truth
You got to find your word of truth

I know, in my own case, that dawning comprehension beats being clobbered with a verbal anvil. It is when my own sluggish thought processes finally go "ping!" that I fully fathom an idea or path that can so greatly change my perspective and action in life.

That is, I suppose, the point of free will. We are free to mire ourselves in the bog of our own making, and we are equally free to smooth out the road ahead, to some extent. 

As I choose, so will others choose . . . and I am unable alter their free will.   

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