“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 punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”
– Invictus by William Ernest Henley, 1875
a brief reintroduction to your power within
No matter the hand you’ve been dealt, no matter the circumstances you were born into and frankly victimized from, no matter the events that’ve panned out and regardless of how things might seem to never break in your favor, I’m here to tell you that none of that matters.
You’ve heard that before, I’m sure.
And you’ve probably called bullshit.
And you’ve probably been 100-percent, absolutely, completely justified to say so.
And I’m here to tell you that none of that matters.
Life is not a competition of hardship. But because the hardships that do befall us are so incredibly agonizing and have a way of particularly singling you out, those times of abject loneliness and utter pain seem to insulate us from the entire world around us.
It’s only you, and suffering.
But we all suffer. It’s a human condition. And one that every single human being in the history of our world has endured. Without question. And although instances suffering varies in millions of ways and to significant degrees — as the hunger of an impoverished child simply doesn’t compare to a young teen’s first heartbreak — suffering is still suffering.
We all endure it.
We are each baptized by its fires.
And life swings its pain-wreaking chisel, taking chips and gashes and gouges from our flesh.
Because if it didn’t, the angel underneath would never be revealed.
And an angel is there. Really.
There’s no magic recipe.
You discover the path by simply walking it.
In each and every one of us lies a wealth of potential, a treasure-chest of incredible tools — imagination, heart, willpower, creativity, genius — and limitless power. That power comes from realizing that we always, always, always possess the power of choice. It dawns from our unrestricted ability to show and give love to everyone and anyone, and in ten million different ways:
- Forgive, and liberate yourself from your past
- Lead, when no one is following
- Give, when you’ve got nothing left
- Dictate that today be great day, for yourself and for others
Power from within comes from honing your personal gifts, recognizing the amazing privileges — big and small — that you’ve been given. It comes from reflecting upon the rights you’ve been granted and the opportunities at your finger-tips.
Your power arises from simply recognizing and appreciating your goals and innate dreams.
Power is bleeding gratitude.
An absolutely brilliant and limitless power lies within you.
Close your eyes, and feel your unconquerable soul.
Let the angel be freed.
Flickr photo credit: Lord Jim