My own audience of interest in what I teach is beginning to take shape. I didn’t go looking for them, they have actively seeked me out. Young men mostly, with pockets of women that really desire a philosophy of living, over and above a short term therapy, are starting to contact me for coaching. It appears young men in particular are starting to resent being made to feel guilty, to be expected to fit into a new ideology of what a man should be. One amazing young man who has been an absolute pleasure to coach said to me recently “So really, you are just installing within us something that has been lost from the past?” What an accurate statement that sums up my mission, because one thing is for certain, it’s not going to be found in the current societal culture and its obsession with blame, rights and entitlements.
Towards the end of this year I have seen all manner of self harming, suicide attempts, utter despair where clients have openly broken down in my arms and convulsed in frustration and grief. What an honor to be able to coach these remarkable people and see them become seemingly forged out of iron and live life on their own terms. Being broken as Hemingway said, lets the light in.
This honestly, takes for more courage than the ones that do everything they can to mask the deep inferiority that exists within them, which is normally demonstrated in bullying, attacking and belittling those around them.
I have heard many times “I don’t want to live any more.” It is often not a truthful statement but a searching question. A question that is asking “I need to see an alternative, I need to believe there is another life worth living.”
And of course….there is. The truth is they are already not living, they are already living a dead life. In that moment I say to them “I cannot take away your suffering but I can show you how to create something from it, and in doing so show you how to live with courage.” For suffering needs a creative outlet, not an intellectual analysis.
I have no doubt that the philosophies of old in the time of warriors will once again take centre stage and nudge the idea of modern dialogue therapy into redundancy. At least for most anyway. For most of us really do not need or even desire the options that are available at the moment. This idea of fixing an aspect of our life will continually and increasingly be exposed as inefficient and an overall philosophy of living will remain the obvious solution, due to its emphasis on a complete way of life.
A life lived with courage.