I have just re-read Theodore Roosevelt's 'man in the arena' quote. Today I understand his words with fresh eyes. A deeper perspective now resides in my bones. It has taken me my life journey to glean this profound lesson.
The last many years have found me drawing on great courage to live a life true to me. One that I feel is also best for my little loves. For the most part, I have been surrounded by ones who comprehend this as they too, also committed to living soul-filled, whole hearted lives. There were also others who just couldn’t make sense of it.
It is a new place for me to practise discernment around the opinions of others. There are views that I respect and welcome and I have learnt that there are others that don't deserve a look in. Retrospect has taught me that the one’s who are playing full out in life, are too busy to be judging and chattering about others. If another is not living a life of truth, one from the 'souls essence', then I am not interested in that opinion. It takes courage to live a meaningful life, steeped in truth and authenticity. If you are one of the many who listened to the soul aches, one who dared to risk everything for the adventure of being alive. Then I thank you for bringing the world what it really needs.
From this moment I only take on what you have to say or give it thought if you are playing in the field. If you are giving your all, taking risks, falling down, rising, bringing courage to live your fullest life. It is then that I will hear you. If you are hiding out in the back, not playing full out in your own life, then I’m not interested.
There are my intimate few, who's opinions, I value. Sometimes I need my truth tellers, they support me in discovering who I came to be. Choosing select cherished ones. The ones I trust with all of my heart, the ones who’s motives are pure. They lovingly share the negative, free from agenda, without being mean-spirited. Discernment can make or break a person, it is a hard lesson to really get. When learnt it is, the ultimate wisdom, the greatest freedom. Surrounding yourself around healthy soul's, is the ultimate act of self-love. Those with integrity, love and boundaries, the ones who pull you up, even in the moments when you are down.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
This post was inspired by the great work of my favourite scholar, Brene Brown. Whose work moves, inspires and gives me great courage to keep stepping up even after I have fallen.