Anyone desirous of uncovering his individual pattern of expression is faced at one point or another with the challenge of doing so alone, or at least in very limited company. Friends and things come and go with the currents of life, some rest upon your shores for longer than others and if you’re lucky, you’ll find those who stand by your side no matter what the weather.
That said, no one can force you to actualize your true purpose. Sure, mentors and teachers can point you in the right direction, but the revelation of your inner greatness is ultimately your responsibility. Some mistakenly predicate their sense of worth on their proximity to others they hold in high esteem, such as a spiritual or a secular leader, but make no mistake: your value is absolute, provided you continue to express your highest and finest in relation to the circumstances you face, exactly as they are configured.
Whether you are alone or in close company to some imagined ideal group of associates, you can be yourself and release blessing into the world you center. Whether you are flush with money and possessions or scratching to cover the basic needs, you can maintain your integrity, keep your crown of individuality and uplift all that you touch.
Consider these words from William George Jordan:
“In our darkest hours new strength always comes to us, if we believe, as the silent stars shine out in the sky above us—when it is dark enough. The hardest battle for our highest self is, when hungry for love and companionship of the soul, we must fight on—alone. If we have one or two dear loyal ones watching bravely by our side, understanding us with a look, heartening us with a smile or inspiring us with a warm hand-pressure, we should fairly tingle with courage and confidence.
But if these leave us, slip away under the strain, or even betray us, let us face alone the seemingly empty life that is left us, just as heroically as we can. Let us still stand in silent strength, like a lone sentry keeping guard over a sleeping regiment, in the grim shadows of night, forgetting for a time the terror of the solitude, the darkness, the loneliness, the isolation and the phantom invasion of memories that will not stay buried, in the courage that comes from facing an inevitable duty with a sturdy soul. Of course it is not easy to live on the uplands of life. It was never intended to be easy, but oh—it is worthwhile.”
You will be much happier if you maintain your integrity and stand alone than if you compromise for the sake of maintaining company. The good news is that if you keep your crown you will find support and comfort from others who do the same. In this sense, you’re never alone.
The crown of individuality is worn in good times and bad, in both company and solitude. If your sense of self-worth is predicated on that which surrounds you, it will oscillate with the times. You’ll praise prosperity and curse adversity and your sense of self will rise and fall as your possessions and relationships wax and wane. If, however, your self-worth is born from within, from that inextinguishable and inexhaustible fountain of life that animates your body, mind and heart, then you will welcome the good times and the bad with open arms, a tranquil heart and a wizened mind, making the best use possible of anything that comes your way.
11 thoughts on “The Crown of Individuality III”
As my old man often used to say, “Use it or lose it!” I think that definitely applies here!
A beautiful description of the one true constant we are blessed to have available. Thank you!
I have experienced some very dark hours recently and at times was very much alone in my level of distress, but I have to say frist hand how some of William Jordan’s principals became very real to me in these moments. Integrity, value and our internal sense of greatness when accessed is great comfort in the darkest of hours, it connects you with all others who stand on the same principals and draws them near. The beautiful blend of Hake/Jordan thoughts allows for a refreshing perspective on what has seemed to be unattainable ideals. I own these words now because I have lived them, here is where this goes from a nice meditation to practical living.I can only hope that it provides examples for my young adult children looking to spread their wings.
The “muscle” to stand alone when required is developed in little matters day by day. Am I willing to stand alone as a conversation turns to gossip or as a discussion becomes centered on judgement of another. Without display or conceit, am I willing to simply stand alone in that small circumstance or do I compromise for sake of company? If I do, I probably will find it very difficult to stand alone in what was described as the darkest hours.
History recounts so many pivot points where one individual held steady and maintained integrity, alone and apparenetly against all odds and adversity. In all likelihood we are here today because of the attitudes and actions of such ones. Opportunity comes in many forms – pleasant and unpleasant, easy and difficult – but the central opportunity is that of being ourselves.
Obviously we are not isolated individuals, and our patterns of relatedness matter in many ways, but we cannot base our willingness to live on those patterns. We cannot, in honesty, withdraw love and creative energy because of the configurations around us. It is understandable that there will be a variety of harsh challenges, given the nature of the world as it presently is, along with many wonderful and apparent blessings. Let there be a steadiness of generous radiance, in the light or in the darkness! Wherever there are those who remain true to themselves, there is light in the world.
Great way to start my day. Good stuff, thanks.
The soul’s triumph over adversity is perhaps some of the most enriching, rewarding, ennobling, drop-to-your-knees humbling experiences one can ever go through. It calls upon your every available inner resource to keep yourself together, to stand tall and remain centered in a landscape of shifting fixtures. It teaches you inner dependance, brings to full relief any unconscious attachment to people places and things that will never merit what lives inside of you. When you truly learn proper relatedness amongst people solely hangs on what lives inside people, then you are coming into your own. You are crossing a threshold of individuality and earning your rightful throne with its accompanying crown.
The way the world is today, with all of its inconsistencies, probably mandates more lonely nights than would be otherwise, but once you have your first victory here, you find it ain’t so bad in fact, as your faith in all things good is strenghthened and goodness reigns supreme in your heart. You vow to be a carrier of good into the world for you wish to minimize any sorrow having tasted firsthand the bitter ashes of a now fading memory which was once your own sorrow. This is the beginning of compassion, and empathy evolves from letting others learn this most valuable lesson to further the light of good.
Most excellent morning to everyone!
Having spent my share of long, dark nights, I’ve come of the opinion you shoulder the most oppression in your own mind and heart. While some think to build legions of friends to help them face their potentially hardest times, I found in fact you go it alone. No one external to yourself can give you the courage to face adversity or help to quell a frantic mind or heart. If you haven’t built your own muscle of faith and have developed a measure of mastery over your heart and mind, the assault from inside of yourself can be more grevious than what is occurring in the circumstance.
That is one of the reasons I choose to nourish my mind with the things that strengthen it. You can’t fill your mind and heart with hate or fear and then hope it will be dependable. Our hearts and minds are our greatest assets. They are our connection to unending strength, love and alliance. Strength and protection are available to all but we must do the inner work daily to build that capacity.
Wonderful post, thanks for the real soul food!
Wow, amazing words that just cut to the core of the importance of where we lay our value!
In many cultures hero stories, there is a time when the hero must go it alone. When this happens, they have a choice to make: will they slink away in fear, or will they continue on, no matter whether the odds are great or terrible. When you consider it in these terms, one decision seems obvious and the other seems despicable, but what is usually not seen is that people have to make these very decisions in their own lives. The prize might not be tangible like they often are in stories, but it has a very real value.
The crown of individuality is not called a crown because it has little worth. It is a symbol of your responsibility to rule your actions wisely and justly. If all it takes for you to throw that away is a close friend or companion leaving you, did you really value it that much anyway?
Each person must choose their own path in life, and those paths are built on the steps of the decisions they make every day, small and large. Will you take the “one step forward, two steps back” approach? Will you take sure steps forward, as long as your friends remain by your side? Or will you take the steps that retain your integrity, by yourself if necessary? The last way will let you keep the crown of individuality, and you will be able to live with the knowledge that you have done the right thing.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the writing of William George Jordan they speak the truth in a way that cuts to the heart of how we are meant to live our lives.