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Someone Gave Me the Secret Code
Aug 29, 2023

Reading time 3 min.

Like most of us, I get a lot of “stuff” pushed to my phone and computer. This quote was part of an article that caught my attention. “There’s a phenomenon in nature where all systems descend toward chaos without the maintenance of an outside force. This is known as the second law of thermodynamics or “entropy.” In other words, Failure is the default, and success is an exception. It is easier to fail than succeed. Much easier. Like incredibly easy.”

This quote helps simplify my understanding of how much energy and attention it takes to create something new. Something as simple as changing a programmed response to the circumstances of life. It helps me have compassion for people I engage with who easily get triggered by a seemingly simple interaction.
Yesterday, I stopped to purchase one of my favorite breakfasts, an everything bagel with lox and tomato and a coffee from Starbucks. I always have great joy and anticipation about my pending meals. The owner of the bagel store made a mistake with my order. I asked him if he could please remake it. I received what felt like a triggered response of anger, followed by a lot of blame for not being clear. This rather silly interaction quickly descended into chaos and escalated into the battle of the bagel. I paused and asked him if he would rather be in a relationship or be right. He tersely responded that he would rather be right.

I’m about to turn 70. I need to maintain the momentum of my purpose and intention without allowing inertia, procrastination, and ambivalence to take hold.
I have many ways to help return my attention to what’s essential in my life. I have a somewhat regular practice of meditation and prayer. That’s helpful, but I need the accountability of a community of men. I belong to the ManKind Project (MKP). There is a local chapter where I live that meets weekly. I need my life reflected back to me so the blind spots in my life can be made visible. In turn, I can adjust my perceptions and behaviors to always align with a clarified, authentic, and vulnerable expression of who I truly am.

The local MKP men’s group I belong to meets every Monday night. Our check-in includes certain words that carry a lot of significance. Two of the words include integrity and sobriety. They both share some common traits. We are asked if we kept our agreements with the men in the group and the people in our lives. We are asked if we are showing up as honest, vulnerable, sincere men. We want to make sure we are not sowing the seeds of trauma and drama in our interactions. Sobriety is not about substance abuse. It is about bringing clarity, humility, and sincerity into how we engage our lives. Most importantly, it’s about bringing our shadows into the light and leaning into the truth of who we are. Not always perfectly, but always open to learning and deepening.

A friend shared that the words we believe in first need to be felt. The community of men I am deeply connected to will always hold me accountable. I need to be accountable to myself first to ensure I am always leaning into my life and living it as fully and deeply as possible.

I never want the desire to stay the same to be more painful than the risk of growing. We are always in choice. It is important to live one’s life in conscious choice.

Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of life, I remain open to Grace and the gift of my life.

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