LIFE IS HARD, GET USE TO IT
Somewhere along the line, human's weak little intelligence got ahead of our understanding of what the reality of life actually is.
And collectively we crossed the Rubicon that separated centuries of human understanding about the harshness of life, and the ethereal, divine fantasy of a magical Nirvana where all the hardships of living ended.
Perhaps it was on the fateful day of January 10, 49 BCE when Julius Caesar took his tenth legion across the Red River in northern Italy and led them south into Rome. Because within a century of this date, the Christian concept of heaven began spreading through the Roman Empire. Eventually all of Europe would embrace the concept. Heaven, that marvelous place of peace and rivers of milk and honey would become a carrot on the stick to millions of the region's population. It was heaven, that other world place where a soul could find peace and ease after life, that gave hope and justification to the relentless hardships and brutality of daily life.
It was the concept of living in heaven after our flesh had rotted, that lessened the reality of people's lives and helped many tolerate their fates just a little bit better.
So, for the last two thousand years people have tried to turn a blind eye to the real world, and the real hardships they were born into and encounter.
Allow me to take the veil from your eyes dear reader.
Life is harsh. It is brutal and violent and painful at its very core. To wake each day, is to wake up in a middle of a marathon of death and destruction. As the sun barely breaks the distant hilltops, and the warm comfort of your bed still lingers in the thin sheets you think yourself lucky to own, a horde of circumstance and misery is riding full gallop toward your miserable little life. By the time you open your eyes and look about your tiny room, the four riders of the Apocalypse have seen the lingering smoke from your night fire and are racing straight at your gate.
Heaven will not save you. Nor will some mythical Nirvana or Valhalla stop the weight and mass coming straight at you. Long before you place one foot on the ground and steady your stance or think upon your next steps, life, with all its harshness, its difficulty and derision toward you, will be upon you. Ready or not, wanting or not, heaven or not, it will burst into your life, inside your room and is prepared to crush you. It will crush you just for being alive.
That is the reality of life. Our ancestors knew this fact. They lived each day with this knowledge. So much so, that on those rare occasions when they somehow managed to fight back life's many hardships and win some small insignificant battle or benefit, they would drink and dine and dance as if there was no tomorrow. Life does not allow many victories, but when it does, our ancestors understood they must hold that win high. They must exalt what they had accomplished and celebrate it.
The world is a hard place, fellow travelers. The only way to get through it is to embrace the hardship. Not complain, or whine or sit soaking in a hot tub. But get out into the day, get out and face the Four Horseman. Know now that you will not win. You will not ever win and every day is going to be harsh. It will be bitter and painful and rack your soul with questions about your value to and in life.
But life isn't looking to break you. Life isn't looking to destroy you. Like the sword in the fire, life only knows the beauty and purpose of its heat. Life's hardships mean to temper you, and make you stronger each time you are thrust into the fire, and then again into the bath. Time again and again and again, life challenges you to become more, to become more alive and in tune with the mountains and rivers and oceans. Your are not a flower, nor a breeze upon the wind.
You are a human. You are made of fire, and ice, and mountains and stone. You are infinite soul in a finite frail body. Your mind searches the stars for meaning, while your fingers digs in the dirt for food.
Life is hard. As hard and unforgiving, as the Universe is cold and empty.
You are life's child.
It needs you to be hard, cold and strong like it is.
Don't hide in your thoughts of a heaven, real or not. So, don't back down from it. Don't turn your eyes down from looking at it. When you look at life, you are looking at your own reflection.
Embrace every hurt, every cold bitter truth of what living offers us.
Be like Julius Caesar, who on the evening after crossing the Rubicon held an amazing fest for all his leaders. It was then he was reported to have said, alea iacta est, “the die is cast”
And like our ancestors, celebrate madly, wildly and passionately those precious few times you win, and never forget from the moment you are born, the die is cast.
You can not go back across the Rubicon, and must march forward no matter how hard, how painful, or how brutal.
ALEA IACTA EST.