I am the guy on the train, probably in your very car, who is intently reading a book, Non-Violent Communication, by Marshall Rosenberg. You may not even notice me; I certainly don't notice you. I have just uncovered the secret that I have been searching for almost forty years, without even knowing that I'd been looking for it. Can you imagine the glory I feel? Can you imagine the excitement? I can barely contain it - I am trying to not show the tears of joy, running down my face.
It’s going to be hard, but I can do this! I really can! Because it is so clear, and it is everything that I have sought after; sought for all of these years. All I need to know I have found, and now it is time to merely practice it...right?
Did you know, that knowing something is about as useful as suspecting it? I didn't. Behavior is apparently unattached to intellect. All I know has little to do with who I am. I can not take shelter in my knowledge. Years ago, I would have been defeated by this truth.
When I was younger, I really believed in a united wholeness of being. I thought if you understood something was real, you would somehow be changed by it, and in being changed you were somehow renewed, different. I didn't understand that you can know smoking is stupid, deadly, and unpleasant for everyone, and still be addicted to cigarettes. It took me something like five years to figure that out, and another five to truly stop smoking permanently (which means at all).
But I'm older now and maybe a little wiser (I certainly found that non-violent communication answer...). And I know that even if I have all of the answers, if they are not my answers, if I haven't put in the work to own those answers, if every letter doesn't contain a bit of my effort, my sweat, my blood, I don't have anything. I have nothing, except perhaps a hint of the direction I must travel to get where I want to go. I don't really have how far I have to go , how long it will take me, what I will gain and loose on the way. I don't even know that they'll be open when I get there, or they'll have what I’m looking for in stock and in my size. What I know is that there is a path, and it might, just might lead me where I want to go.
So I'm sitting here, knowing that I have a long way to go. I’m mot even sure who I’ll be when I get where I’m going. And yet, I am happy. Because I know that with enough work - and focus - and practice, and that with enough understanding from myself and those I love, I can one day set myself free.