I reevaluate myself fairly often. Am I being honest? Am I being kind? Am I being true to my beliefs? Am I letting the stress of life get to me? Am I making decisions based on fear?
It’s why no matter who says something to me, but especially if it’s someone I love, and whether it’s a compliment or a complaint I take a beat to listen and evaluate it.
I do this not to drive myself into neurosis, but to stand guard against the corruption of my soul.
Because I am the gatekeeper.
Others may have influence, others play a part, but ultimately I am the final authority on the trajectory it takes.
Contrary to the excuses and justifications people like to use to excuse their behavior; circumstances and opportunities play only a small part.
They open and close doors but it is I who decide to go through them or not. It is I who decide, whether consciously or not which way my moral compass points.
And I wish it were as easy as setting it and being done forever.
But this life challenges one constantly, continually to choose. And those choices have repercussions we don’t get to always see or understand.
Which is why I stand guard against the corruption of my own morality.
I stand guard against my own laziness.
I stand guard against my own greed.
I stand guard against my own bitterness.
Because I don’t want to be caught off guard. And I don’t want to let myself slip into an abyss of complacency.
Unfortunately, it takes work to do this and it takes sacrifices. Because the easy way is not usually the correct way.
And I sometimes lament my own stances, because they cause me difficulties, because they can be hard to stomach.
Especially when others who don’t seem to have standards to live by seem to get much farther ahead and have more fun.
But ultimately, I am proud of who I am. I sleep well at night. My heart is at peace. My mind isn’t wheeling and dealing it’s way through life trying to get ahead at any price. I have a mostly peaceful inner life.
And those things are valuable to me beyond measure.
Is it easy?
Sometimes yes, sometimes very much no.
But it’s worth it.
I suppose if it was truly easy to have integrity and valor this world wouldn’t be in the mess it is now though. Would it?
All I can do here is my part, my best.
Do I fail sometimes?
Yes, miserably so.
But I pick myself up and keep going. Because I believe in myself. I believe in my beliefs. I believe in the value of compassion and truth and I try to hold myself accountable for my own actions.
I stand guard because no one else can truly stand guard for me and I take it on because it is one of the few fights in this world truly worth dying for…. the very breath of my soul.
I don’t count myself better than others for this challenge I take on. If anything it probably paints me in the light of a martyr, which I am not trying to be.
But everyone must pick a battle in life, whether we choose to acknowledge that or not. And while not all battles are worthwhile I have not been given the duty to judge them, nor do I want it.
The world is vast, our choices innumerable. Our lives are our own adventures and we must choose wisely.
So I stand guard as my way to guide myself because no matter how bleak or how many shiny objects I’m presented with, there is always a choice.
And the best way I’ve found to choose wisely is by following my heart and the soft whisper of my own soul.
I hope you find your own path to inner peace.