The Essence of Excellence

I have risen to the zenith, and fallen.

Have you ever had a moment in your life when everything that you ever believed about yourself was called into question?  A time when it felt like the ground was collapsing, or as if your chest had a massive weight pressed against it?  You remember feeling frightened, alone, as if nothing could be done.

Helplessness.  That is the feeling I describe, the feeling of losing one’s self, one’s identity, one’s Soul.  That is what we truly lose in such times.  The material stuff of life can again be purchased, but losing a sense of purpose can be potentially devastating.

However, also in these moments of free-fall, there can be found the euphoria which accompanies ego destruction.  As we hurtle toward the bottom, we may see past all the trappings which led us to the scaling of false summits.  Only in the crumbling rock around us, may we truly accept the end of a life we desired, a life that perhaps we clung onto, to the detriment of our developing Souls.

The Gods will perpetuate life, even and especially when we ‘decide’ to remain stagnant.  Believing that one has reached the end of the journey, or that one has obtained all of the requisite knowledge, before death occurs, is a glorious falsehood.

I have pieced together the scattered remnants.

And then, we awaken, as if from a dream, seeing the heap of our former lives laying about for all and sundry.  The abrasive exposure of our wounds compels us to dress them in the ointments of the past.  But these are unsuitable, so we must obtain new remedies, in order to fully heal.

This is the time for experimentation, for when you have lost everything, you have nothing, not even your biases.  Those things which you would never have considered seem more appealing with each passing day.  Many difficulties no longer seem difficult in the face of tragedy, and perhaps there are answers in places previously overlooked.  We may even find pieces of ourselves, lost long ago in the climb.

I am rebuilt, victorious.

As we don a new skin, a new purpose, and take the first steps upon a new path, we may be overcome with the memory of shattered dreams.  But this is no cause for alarm, because now, in our clarity, we can see our past mistakes, as well as our future triumphs.  Success, though never assured, is but a hair’s breadth away.

We are prepared now, and rise to meet the challenges as they are set before us.  As each is conquered in its turn, we realize at last, that the essence of excellence is the struggle itself.  None of us may obtain our true greatness without the struggle, and we must wrest our goals from our own sabotaging hands before we may even think to struggle with outside foes.  But when this is done, all that opposes a true and right path will fall away.

That is why we must each struggle on, to carry our dreams, goals and desires into this world.  Each of us has something worthwhile to give, and also something yet to learn.  The struggle only ends in death, and none of us are perfect until that moment reaches us.

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5 responses to “The Essence of Excellence

  1. Just had to drop in and say that Tool is amazing. Interesting fact I learned about a year ago: they incorporate sacred geometry into their music. I thought that was pretty badass when I heard it.

  2. I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. I needed to hear this today, right now, at this point in my journey. I will be re-reading and thinking about this in the days to come.

    • You’re welcome. I know there are people who needed this, and they (and you) are the reason it was posted. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up, and remember to always strive for your personal greatness. Take care, Nyghtmist.

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