In a World of Soldiers, Be a Warrior

   You may know the famous lyrics “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” in the song All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers. I’m here to say that’s right Brandon Flowers, although I would extend that to say if you have “soul”, or character, that is actually what sets you apart from being a soldier. Having soul does not make you a soldier, it makes you a warrior.

We’ve all heard the term “soldier on” when we perceive a need to put our thoughts, feelings and inclinations aside just to get through the day, the week, the month, or even the years. But I am here to propose something different, and to suggest that this might not be the best attitude to have.

Perhaps it is the mental space we get in when we are looking for determination. We know that determination and will is the key to weathering any storm or overcoming any challenge. However, what are you conquering if you’ve turned off parts of yourself? A part of life perhaps, but not all of it. Soldiering on is not a way to be alive. It is damaging, not only to ourselves but to our surroundings.

The difference between a warrior and a soldier is that a soldier soldiers on while the warrior transcends its path. The soldier mindlessly pursues duty, without plugging into any higher, deeper purpose or meaning. The warrior is mindful of each step that it takes upon the Earth, lighting him or herself on fire to serve as a guidepost for anyone lost in their travels. The warrior walks an illumined path of sovereignty. The soldier is unconscious to what he or she is manifesting, taking orders from an external authority or an external standard.

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What is the point of moving forward when your footsteps are not created with purpose? It is in this way that there is little use for the soldier in this world, if only to service the current paradigm. That’s why I say, in a world of soldiers, be a warrior.

This is where the message turns to metaphor, so bear with me here in this next part.

The tricky element is that to be a warrior requires one to be okay with not being okay. If you are lost in the context of your surroundings, it asks that you be okay with not having a path to follow, because when you begin your journey on fresh ground, you’ll fall into a place of belonging through conscious will. The best part of making your own path is that limitations are no longer an issue, with no marching bodies in front or behind, and no line to tell you where to confine yourself. When you lift your head from the dirt and trail of the other that was showing you where to go, suddenly a new world becomes apparent to you. There are landscapes you’ve never seen, obstacles you’ve never faced, but all the while in awe at what would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

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So what do you do? You wander a bit. It gets interesting here because you may start to question where it was you were even trying to go, or what you were trying to achieve in the first place. What was it that you were servicing? Certainly not yourself, and certainly not the people, which are still in need of assistance in a world hurtling towards self destruction, all while the world persists in their hypnotic, militant trance. It all comes apparent, one way or another, and that is when you receive the call to service, true service. It is the path that embodies service to others rather than service to self.

It is in this way that service comes in many different forms. Service is not always direct, like volunteering at a soup kitchen or buying meals for the homeless. These acts, I will ask you to consider, can be more of a symptom of service rather than the service itself in this specific framework we’re talking about. There is a service to walking to the beat of your own drum, to allowing your own unique expression to shine through and be shared with others rather than conforming and editing parts of yourself to fit into a regime. The concept that this is a form of service is not so far fetched when you consider the fact that you are the only you in the world. There can be no other, and will be no other in the history of Earth than the you that is you at this exact moment. Therefore, what you bring to the world cannot be replicated, and cannot be replaced. In conclusion, you have a duty to be yourself, to walk your own sovereign path, and shine your light in the world.

To be yourself in a world that wants nothing but to put a reign on individuality, to put people in boxes of gender, sexuality, political association, race, and so on, rather than let you identify and walk as a human on the Earth, requires the strength of a warrior. As a warrior, do not let anything happen other than what your soul is naturally inclined to do, to be of service to humanity in the awakening realization that we do not stand alone but together, and that because we are all sharing the same air on this brief dance on a speck of dust floating through space, we’re not going to make it unless we call ourselves what we are, humans, and accept that we’re all connected in this way.

So with that I bid you farewell. Please share your thoughts in the comments. If you like my work and would like to support what I do here at Metanoia, please visit my Patreon page. I offer services for self discovery, promotion, mindfulness, and book lovers.

Also, thank you Marci Brockmann, Joe Milians, and Jen Dougherty for becoming a patron for Metanoia!

Featured image by RHADS

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A few nights ago, I awoke at two in the morning covered in sweat. Uncomfortable enough to do something about it, I went upstairs to turn on the AC and stumbled down the hallway, the urge to get back into my bed overwhelming as always. But this time, as I walked past the back door, I was abruptly drawn to go outside and look at the stars.

Despite the strong pull, I had to stop for a moment. Was it safe out there when I was home alone? It is easy for me to feel alone in the middle of the night, even with someone sleeping close by. What was lurking in the dark? Ever since a nightmare I had years ago of a mysterious, malicious man coming at me in the night towards my house, it was difficult to not be scared of being in that doorway, let alone walk through it.

Once I shook myself out of the dazed sleepwalk, I quickly became aware of how silly this was. It was a beautiful, clear night and I’d be a fool to not enjoy it, if only for a moment.

I sat on the deck stairs, the air soft from land that emitted heat of the summer sun. I live right behind a highway, and it had never felt as still and quiet as it did then. I could feel the world sleep, and for the first time it brought peace instead of loneliness.

Suddenly something caught my attention, a flash of light in my left field of vision. I turned towards it, thinking it was a shooting star that I had missed, and I saw it again, this time as just a flash. “Hi!” I called out happily. Right then, a huge meteor flew across the sky. I laughed with a giddy lightness, and smiled at the thought of a small, grey alien with those giant characteristic eyes casting a stone across the waters of Earth’s sky to meet my salutation. It felt a lot like Interstellar, when Cooper tries to deliver a message to his daughter across time and space through a medium that surpasses all realms of our current understanding. Whatever was out there, I felt warmth and company in the light-polluted dampness of night.

  Upon reflection of the moment, the feeling of soft support and company was strange, given that it was scary to go outside alone in the dark in the first place. Once coming back inside, I realized my basement was more spooky than my backyard. The yard had a horizon that I forgot about, a backdrop with pinholes of light from other worlds calling out. It was a cramped space that I hid in that made me feel safe. Outside, I felt love and wonder. I questioned if people would change if they were forced to sleep under the night sky again. It’s strange to think that although we’re afraid to go out there due to exposure, it is actually more embracing and kind than the box we keep ourselves locked up in for comfort.

Contact with boundaries internal and external are necessary, breaching thresholds that harbor love and wonder, the sky a symbol of the frontiers of our minds, our psyche. External boundaries may even mirror internal ones, and so crossing one reciprocates the other. As they say “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”  –Hermes Trismegistus 

It is not just about putting ourselves out there just so we don’t excessively shelter ourselves. It is about making contact with the divine, whatever that may be for each of us. It’s about looking out and wondering what is looking back, and what they see. It is about feeling the softness of our frontiers, not just their occasional harsh, unforgiving nature. Despite whatever lies in their crossing, the ultimate is love and compassion.

I walked back down stairs to my bed, forgetting to turn on the light to the staircase, holding on tightly to the railing when I judged the last step. When I got to the bottom, I felt it level, and walked off onto trustworthy ground.

The Freedom to Choose

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

  Hello to all my loyal followers, and hello to any newcomers.

   Now that the spring semester has begun, most of my time and energy will be funneled into school, especially since I am trying to secure my graduation for May. This unfortunately means less  posts, and allotting any free time I have to writing my novel, so I apologize for the lack of posts over the next few months.

   I’m finding that this is a very unnerving time in my life where there is much uncertainty for the future, and fear of this unknown. It is not so much the typical scenario for all youth where there is a dilemma in not knowing ones purpose or passion. Its more of an anxiety brought on by the apparent lack of opportunity after a life of trying to produce just the opposite. This discomfort brings me to what I wish to talk about today.

   I see it in others and I see it in myself. Very often we believe that we are stuck in life. We don’t think we can get out of our career choice, our job, our relationship, our geography, our finances, or anything at all. Perhaps the mindset comes from knowing that these situations were completely circumstantial, which often is the main factor controlling where we end up in life at some point, despite our best efforts, and despite what we’re told about things like hard work and perseverance. But recently I was reminded of something, and it prompted me to take my own advice.

 

   I’ve seen horrific things that people must endure on this plane of existence, things I will not go into detail. I’ve been fortunate enough, and thankful for having a life in which I did not have to go through these things, and yet still be able to learn something from being a bystander. What I’ve learned from these people is that there always is a choice, no matter what. There really are no excuses.

   I must convey what making a choice actually entails here. When you are depressed for example, you do not simply decide to start feeling better and make it so the day after. This is what many people mistakenly say to others, especially those who have never been through great hardship (or for those who have and see this as a way to avoid their baggage rather than working with it and truly moving on). Change doesn’t work like that here. For some, it takes an entire lifetime to bring forth some manifestation, or a change in destiny. For these people, it was between that and never breaking free, and they chose freedom. With this, you are presented with the option to let life happen to you, or to gather up some courage for the long haul. I suppose everyone is different, but I  would rather have a life trying to get somewhere. I would not want to give my power over to circumstance. I do not believe thats what I, or any of us were meant to do. As the saying goes, “After all, none of us are getting out alive anyway”. In the end it didn’t matter what occurred for the people who took control of their destiny. What mattered was that they acknowledged their position, had a conversation with themselves, and started looking for a way to make a change. They evaluated what was worth taking and what was worth leaving behind.

   I have no idea if this will strike a chord with any of you at this time. Perhaps it does for some time in your past, or perhaps it will somewhere down the line in your future. Either way, I felt compelled to say something about this.

   For me personally, there is this feeling of being lost, but not in life, in another way entirely. I recently heard someone present the question “Where is my Joy?”. Yes, where is my joy? Where is that old friend? For me, it is misplaced in the distractions and the checklists and the obligations. I warn myself not to disconnect from the path that leads me to my bliss, because when I do, I could temporarily lose my way back to that. This is where I find myself now. Overcoming this may be the way to dislodge myself from the clingy sap of self doubt, mistrust, and disappointment.

   Perhaps getting back to oneself in this way is not as complicated as it feels. There’s a song by my favorite artist Aurora I wish to share that resonates with this.

   In her song, it is extremely frank, and yet so eloquently put.

   “I know I can. Thats why I do it.”

 

Featured image credited to Folkert Gorter