In Steve Biddulph’s book “Manhood” he cites Richard Rohr’s Five Truths of Manhood. This week we are discussing Rule Number Two….”life is hard”.
When I read this I saw it as nothing new. What I did see (and feel), maybe because I was ready to hear and experience it, was a bizarre sense of relief. This may seem almost unfathomable to some, so let me explain.
Have you (or someone you love dearly) ever been sick and didn’t know what was wrong? You go to the doctor and they diagnose the illness, prescribe some medicine, maybe the need for an operation or further treatment. And although the diagnosis is not always ideal, at least the certainty of knowing what can be done about it has occurred.
So, my relief, from the prognosis that “life is Hard”, comforted me in the knowing that this is not only the same for all of us (at some level), but also opened my eyes to the myth I had been sold that, if we strive hard, if we do all the right things, if we are “good people” that we will always be rewarded. Ha Ha!! I don’t know about you, but this is not the law of the jungle I live in. Hardship and tragedy can beset even the saints of our world. There is no formula, only that life is hard.
Please know, as a coach, this is not cynical view, more a genuine observation of the thousands of personal and client experiences I have been involved with. And there is a choice.
The BIG question is,
How do you choose to respond to the irrefutable evidence that life is hard?
As blunt as it may seem:
Stop living life like it owes you a favour, like you are
the only poor soul who is suffering.
This may seem harsh, but please know my comment comes from love for you, the reader, as well as the wider community that is every brother and sister who shares the same “Spaceship Earth” as we do.
My thoughts are, that when we come to terms – and I mean really come to terms – with the fact that life is hard, maybe we will appreciate that:
- we are not owed anything by anyone – there is no such thing as entitlement
- our happiness is not gained through the trappings and excesses of life,
- these trappings and excesses are toxic to us and are slowly killing the planet. (One more flat screen TV or Smart Phone will not be the thing that alleviates your suffering or makes you happy or defines you as more valuable than the next soul. But it might add to the planets suffering.)
I know now, that having been diagnosed and treated, that I can feel a sense of relief that I am OK – I am not more than or not less than anyone else. And maybe knowing this I can open my eyes wider to the suffering of others, with empathy, equality and truth.
Lastly, I hope, in this new found full understanding of “Life is Hard”, I can let go of the baggage that is meant to define me, make me happy or frankly, entitle me to more than the oxygen I breathe (everything else is to be received with humble gratitude and deep appreciation).
What about you? Are you ready to free yourself from the bindings of your suffering and pain and realise we are all in this together?