Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Refusing to accept negative labels by others

I've had a recent understanding about my life, and where I came from, and where I want to be.

As a child, there have been many people who have labeled me into what they thought I was, I've been called malicious by some, useless by others, weak, stubborn, stupid, or ugly. It took quite awhile before I understood who I really was because I had allowed the opinions of these people to infect my vision of myself. I realized that sure.. these qualities can exist in anyone at anytime of their lives, but they are not what makes a person who they are. No one is perfect, and no one is evil. In reality there is no such thing as a "good" guy, and a "bad" guy. There are only choices that one makes in their lives. Some people make choices based on their pride, some make choices based on emotion, some make choices based on money, and other reasons. I had to ask myself what do I base my choices upon.. and the answer was "peace". I have to do that which brings peace to my soul. Now, peace does not mean that it is an easy choice. Sometimes a peaceful choice hurts quite alot, but I know within me that it is the right choice, and I feel secure about my decision.

When I had to make the difficult decision to put in my resignation as a Sensei, I stood upon the solidity of "who" I am on the inside. Sure.. many people have jumped to different assumptions as to what the reasons are, and why things are happening the way that they are.. but they do not know the whole story, and neither will they be able to know it. Sometimes they are not ready to see the reality of what is happening around them. I keep hearing one of my favorite Paul Simon songs "The Boxer" playing in my head " Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." Many people are looking for the "bad" guy, looking for someone to blame for the fact that this event happened. In the main center of all understanding, I can say that there is no "bad" guy. There is only the truth that things have followed their path until this event became the result. Yes.. I love Shotokan karate. Yes.. I invested years of training, and money into it. I do not regret doing so. I have learned many things that I will carry with me into the future. Regardless to which style of karate I belong to, I will still be "me". My love for kata still exists, my joy has not ceased, and my energy hasn't lessened.

I know who I am, and what I want to be, and I know that I continually struggle for my goals. Perhaps the struggle involves moments where things do not happen as gracefully as I would like them to happen, but I continue the struggle. It reminds me of the ending of Paul Simon's song:

"In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade,
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down,
Or cut him ’til he cried out in his anger and his shame,
"i am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains."

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