A man who shows no sign of responsibility for his actions mission (or lack thereof) has often at some point in his life cared too much.
The more distanced or indifferent he seems, the more he once tried and was disappointed. The sense of failure that follows when a large sense of responsibility and caring cannot be matched with the envisioned outcome (which is almost everyone encounters at some point in life) took too big of a toll on him. It is not often and usually only after initiation or careful training and self-investigation that we find a healthy way of dealing with failure and a sense of unworthiness. And therefore we sometimes pull back, to protect ourselves.
His sense of responsibility was not too much or bad. It was aimed at the wrong things.
While it may be natural to think he needs support and kind words, I have found that it can often led him to pull back further because he doesn’t believe himself to be worthy of praise and kindness. Although this mechanism may sub-optimal, the result may actually be of great benefit.
In the end every man must, to speak in the words of the late Ray Bradbury, ‘do his own bit of saving’*. He should not rely on the words of others to trust himself, but instead be his own source of trust.
Rumi said that ‘whoever brought me here will have to take me home’** and that goes here as well. The very thing that brought him suffering, his great sense of responsibility (misdirected), has to take him out of it as well. The cure is in the wound (Rumi).
His sense of responsibility was not too much or bad. It was aimed at the wrong things. Instead of directing it on some outcome, which is never fully in our hands, it should be turned towards holding a space for himself where he can fully be himself, to take responsibility for the steps he takes, the intentions he sets and the caring that is in his actions. Never should it be about the result of his actions, the way other people take up his advice or how they are able to love themselves. Let the first be his responsibility and the latter work itself out. May his caring finally include himself, and so from there he can be joyful and give more to others as well.
HeartRoads – Men coming home
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Note: The mentioned works from Rad Bradbury and Rumi are included below.
“Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.”
Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451
Whoever brought me here
All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home.
This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.
Rumi – The Tavern Ch. 2.