For those that seek to have a crown on their heads must be ready to offer their necks to the guillotine.

No one came me into this world laughing, the moment you jump out of your mother’s womb, the first thing a successful birth comes with is a cry from the baby. That is the fate that befell you and me. No one asks when you want to enter the world, and no one will ask when you want to leave. In the end, life is a solitary journey, the earlier you realize this the more time you have to enjoy the freedom it comes with. You may have friends, relatives, parents, siblings and even children, but they will never take on your suffering nor will they experience your excitements. They may share the moment with you but not the intrinsic feeling. That’s yours to take to the grave when you die alone, as you will.

Anyone who has really thought through the issue, will agree with me that no one is ever granted even as little as 30 minutes out of their entire life where they are absolutely content in every conceivable way. Our minds, in their endless uncontrollable monologues, will always pursue suffering. Remind us of something we need, some conversations in the past, something that could potentially happen in the future; the coulds and woulds. Some people’s opinions of our lives, our opinions of theirs, some fears, some sadness, tension, some panic over some uncertainty. The mind will dig and dig and dig, and since it’s the one in control and not you, it wins all the time. Leaving you to deal with your shattered suffering pieces.

As such, whatever it is you are currently pursuing, be ware that to want is the source of all suffering. Failing to get that which you seek, is a burden, getting the very thing you pursue, another burden, in case you get it, the unavoidable loss is yet another source of suffering. By nature man will want, and therefore, either way it goes, suffering is abound. My life changed when I realised that one must not only enjoy the “positives” of life but must also learn, painfully so, to embrace, I dare say enjoy, the “negatives” as well, for they are inevitable. When you learn to truly enjoy the burdens of disappointments, the smell of betrayals, the deepest of sorrows, the fear to lose everything.. when you can own them, when they no longer scare you, or when you learn to love the fear, you’ve hacked life.

You must internalize the fact that every head that pursues a crown, is supported by a neck that deserves a guillotine, that the best of love comes with the most hurt, the biggest of triumphs from the fiercest of battles. I’m not saying you should not pursue sh!t, by all means do you. But in that endeavour, keep in mind that every coin has two sides. If for instant you love praises, and constantly pursues them then you must embrace the hurt that accompany critiques. In fact, you should not just embrace them, you must internalize the fact that you deserve them. Everything you seek; great love, vast wealth, power, admiration, everything you want there’s a price. For example, if you choose to get a job, then you should embrace the suffering of that pursuit, the suffering that comes with getting or failing to get one, and the potential suffering of losing the job. Simply put, you deserve to suffer if you dare to want. The ones that deserve happiness and fulfilment are those that will embrace and endure the suffering.

And so in the words of Fredrich Nietzsche, to those that I love and care about, “I wish you suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not — that one endures.” In other words, those that deserve true fulfilment must shoulder the burden of suffering. We must correct the belief that fulfilment must come easily or not at all, a belief ruinous in its effects, for it leads us to withdraw prematurely from challenges that might have been overcome if only we had been prepared for the savagery LEGITIMATELY demanded by almost everything valuable.

I understand if you may see this as cruel. As a child you were born and found yourself surrounded by happy faces. You were rewarded for the most mundane of things, every smile you gave may have come with standing ovation, and when you cried you were eagerly attended to. People stopped what they were doing just to tickle you, so you could reward them with a smile. You then grew up thinking you deserved all this attention, that people really cared about you and you unconditionally deserved the care, that life should and in fact must be good; free of suffering. The idea that suffering is a bad thing was indoctrinated in you, you were conditioned to avoid it at all cost. In the modern world, most of us never lose this childhood innocence, I did. I realized that nobody truly cares about you, not without conditions. Every care you receive, including that from your own parents is self serving the giver. I also realized that suffering is not necessarily a bad thing. By definition, suffering can only happen when you are in pursuit of a good thing, and by that definition it is actually a good thing.

I expect people to criticise my articles, insult or even judge me, I deserve that sh!t. I deserve to experience backlash, that at some point in my future I will be judged by my current writings and expressed opinions, I deserve that too. I seek to share my experience with the public, to educate and to learn, wherever that leads, good or bad, I deserve it. For those that seek to have a crown on their heads must be ready to offer their necks to the guillotine. As the stoics would say, Amor fati. Until next time, wash your hands, wear a mask, embrace your sufferings.

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Ken Juma

Thinker of thoughts, lover of life.. and death too.

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By Ken Juma

Ken Juma

Thinker of thoughts, lover of life.. and death too.

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