I find myself at yet another of life’s many crossroads – sitting in the center of the intersection on a particularly gloomy set of days. We don’t plan for these things, and we are never quite as prepared as we should be. So what should we do when we don’t know what to do? As my dear friend, Stephanie says, we do nothing! We sit and wait for the universe to reveal its truth. We simply exist.
So here I am in Brooklyn, New York, place of my birth and youth, simply existing. If the universe is speaking to me through my tears, he is an awfully gregarious fellow. I feel like I plunged into my adult life without a raft and the water is far deeper than I had imagined. I am duck-paddling my feet to stay afloat, but the undertow is terribly treacherous.
Anyhow, I will get to the point and quit turning my recent circumstances into metaphors. In times of struggle, I often think of Nelson Mandela’s supposed favorite poem, “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. In such periods as this, it is important to remember how powerful we truly are, how quickly we can flip a negative situation on its head and find a better way to live. Please enjoy these words and meditate on their meaning:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley