Posts filed under Temperance & Patience

The gift of love is not a simultaneous promise 
that an easier life will start coming your way. 

It is, in fact, the opposite:
the gift of love is, in many ways, not a gift at all,
but rather a privilege we protect, a treasure we must maintain,
a service to our soul we must pay for;
for over and over the bill comes due,
paid off through the surrender of personal pleasures 
which we previously treasured while we were all alone 
and loveless.

Posted on May 20, 2015 and filed under Assessments, Delusions, Perspective, States of Mind, Temperance & Patience.

On Aggression.

Aggression is a tool.
It is neither a purpose nor a goal unto itself,
but merely a tool employed in purposes and goals.

  Photo courtesy of strength professional Matt LeBlanc (self-taken).

Photo courtesy of strength professional Matt LeBlanc (self-taken).

Thus we must be mindful of how that tool works:
Aggression is an amplifier.
Aggression can expand other qualities of ourselves,
but is indiscriminate of which qualities it expands;
we are temporarily blinded while employing aggression.
Thus we can not see whether the qualities expanded are good or bad.
Aggression does not concern itself with those differences.

Aggression applied toward giving of oneself over to an effort is productive.
Yet aggression applied towards getting what one wants
can create a lopsided deficit in a person:
while it feels good to get what we want, and we sense accomplishment
a life focused on "getting" is not as productive as a life focused on "giving."
Aggression keeps us blind to the differences.

So if we want to understand this powerful tool of our aggression
so that we might employ it towards useful ends
it is important to understand the differences
between getting what we want versus giving ourselves over to a task
while we are not yet under the influence of our aggression.

It is easy to presume "getting" and "giving over" are the same thing,
because both result in moving toward a goal.
Both require concentration and both can inspire obsession.
And certainly both can be benefited with the tool of aggression.

But the difference lies in the result:
when using our aggression results in having more than we did before we started
— both more to offer others as well as more left over our own personal reserves —
then that means we have been giving over to a task;
giving to ourselves and not just "getting what we want".  

And when we employ aggression yet the result is being left wanting more for ourselves
– more of the goal, more of the desire, more than what we just received –
it means that the pursuit we were focusing on left us deficit
in spite of getting what we thought we wanted.
After all, why would we be feeling sense of want
if we were fulfilled in our use of aggression?

Aggression keeps us blind to the result of deficit.

This seems the first lesson in using this tool of aggression:
just to note that aggression, unto itself, is neutral.
Aggression is not unto itself a benefit or a deficit;
neither a virtue nor a vice until employed.

It is how aggression gets employed 
— towards giving oneself over versus towards getting what one wants –
that makes aggression good or bad.

Learning and re-learning this difference over and over,
as many times as you need,
will make you more of a leader.
Aggression will be your enemy,
but it will also be your ally.

Be the one who knows that we are blind while we use this tool;
we will only be able to learn the difference after the fact,
after we have expended aggression's power.

Do not fear aggression
yet do not favor it.

Do not savor aggression
yet do not revile it.

Let it teach you about blindness
and reveal to you differences in your clarity.

Aggression is a tool. 
And so, as with all tools,
it takes practice to master,
attentiveness to use wisely,
and discipline to use well,
and patience to master.