It is tremendously challenging to be mindful and not become discouraged now and again.

The heroes of many novels are men of character, with iron wills and impeccable moral compasses. They are robust, infallable, pursuing justice with unwavering focus. But these are men of fantasy only. They lack dimension. They frequently lack passion. They are caricatures.

Willa Cather was a champion of capturing the small acts of intention that differentiated men and women from their neighbors. Her portraits of flawed and frail humanity are compassionate but unflinching, so that one can love the wild child thoroughly yet understand, and accept, her failings.

In these stories, somewhere between the unrealistic and the honest is a shared thread: isolation. The stalwart hero stands alone with his sense of honor. The wild child is an outsider because her passions are foreign to her community.

Is the message, then, that living a life of intention is isolating?

Isolation doesn’t reconcile with Connection, and most of us require connection of one form or another in order to both remain healthy and continue to discover our potential. And for some of us (including myself) connection is a source of the energy we require, in that we must give out some warmth and on fortunate occasions receive warmth in return.

Are we then condemned to half a life when we choose to live mindfully?

This question resonates with me this morning.


4 responses

  1. nicely put.. i’ve wondered too – being productive and impulsively living in the moment don’t always go together. and then on deciding which is more important to realize one’s potential..

  2. Yes. Balance is probably the key here, and it’s something tremendously challenging not only to achieve but also to maintain.

  3. yes, i think you are right, balance is the key.
    i think it comes with the prudence of saying Yes and No at the right times.

    1. Saying Yes and No at the right times is a skill I’ve yet to master – perhaps that ought to be added to the To Do list.

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