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Life that Works: Remembering the Warrior

“A warrior thinks of his death when things become unclear…. because the idea of death is the only thing that tempers our spirit.” -Don Juan

I was 19 when I met my husband. He was reading Carlos Castenada books daily then and often would quote Don Juan’s teachings about the life of a warrior. This spiritual direction was one of the deepest attractions that I had to him at the time; even if he was repeating someone else’s words, he was speaking the truth to me.

Learning the ways of the spiritual warrior has been one of the themes in our long relationship. The foundations of  seeking, speaking and attempting to live the truth as  often as we can is what saved us continually in our marriage and in our careers.  We have never given each other the slack to indulge in a storyline for very long. The narratives we spin about each other or our own individual challenges usually don’t serve our purpose. They usually serve to distract us from the real work of trying to live and love authentically.

Recently, it’s been easy for me to get lost in what seems a never-ending storyline of ups and downs, challenges, victories and defeats that are rolling in too fast to keep up within my business. I am unclear, or clear for a moment, only to get lost in one story or another and forget why I am doing the work to begin with. I confuse the bottom line concerns with my  intention. I measure my efforts with financial targets and  forget that I have been working to be of service to Love.  I lose sight of the fact that I am only trying to learn how to be a warrior, defending the truth of the heart.

The reality of death has been holding our little community in South Eugene for days now. It is true that there is nothing else that tempers our spirit like the recognition of  our little time here and that we never know the last day until it is upon us. Facing death is where we are all called to be warriors.  It clarifies what matters in a way that nothing else can.

I think of the boys who survived their friends’ deaths, who tried to save them by stripping off their clothes to make a rope to them. I try to imagine the courage of reaching for them and not being able to save them. I want them to recognize the truth, love and heart that saved them there, even as their friends were lost.

Every day we have the chance to remember the warrior in us.