the heart of darkness

What is the worst that could happen ? We all have fear and we all have thoughts and feelings about the future and pangs about the past. In the same way we are injured and blinded by the tensions we are not aware of, we are affected and harmed when we do not face our fears and trepidations.

Here is a drill for the heart muscle:

Take something you hold dear. It can be your image in the eyes of a loved one or a body part and consider what is the worst that could happen. Write or imagine what will happen and how it will affect you and others in the short and long run.

Here is an example:

A soldier is walking point. His job is to find booby traps and enemy forces and guide his force according to the plan. He has to keep his calm alone and be aware in all directions as he traverses stone bush and water looking for trouble.

Let us consider what is the worst that could happen.

He could be kidnapped and tortured on video for all to see and hear.

He could step on a mine and lose a leg and bleed to death or to a coma.

He could miss a mine and be responsible for another soldier’s demise.

He could notice trouble beforehand, report it and try to engage and still loose his life.

He could do a great job and have an officer hang his own shortcomings on him.

All this and more goes to some extent in his brain and lives inside him until fleshed out and considered by all his facets of mind heart and body. Through thinking and working through the emotions and body responses we feel during this practice we do not get immunity from doing wrong or having wrong done to us (that is reserved to bad novels)

what we do gain is acceptance and the ability to do our best. Not immortal, not faultless. Just humans.

In the words of a good author. Don’t be a great man, Just be a man.

For Olivia.