“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” – Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States
This week I sat down to write about the human spirit. I wanted to understand how is it that something common to every human being is so difficult to grasp. No doubt this is the domain of religion, but my inquiry is more practical in nature – what does it mean to be human? Though my quest did not yield the articulate definition I was hoping for, it left me with a powerful thought: the human spirit offers us the capacity to persevere in pursuit of truth.
Our most rewarding endeavor is to build confidence in our beliefs and cultivate the wherewithal to actualize them. We are born to contribute by creating. From that intangible space between mind and heart emerges the palette of creativity. Our thoughts are manifest through action, each a stroke of the soul’s paintbrush. Life is the canvas upon which our spirit renders it’s masterpiece.
Each of us struggles with limitation in a very personal way. Without limitation we would have no individuation. Humanity would be a canvas of even monochromatic brushstrokes. Our perceived limitations offer the kaleidoscope of human experience. The apex of our potential is where we find the full expression of our being.
In striving to realize our full potential we encounter the source of our fulfillment and frustration. That which is most true to us, the deepest desire in our heart, is rarely a straight and easy path. In my own life, I’ve endured lots of failure and even spent a year living in my car. I’ve been in situations where I simply did not see a light at the end of the tunnel. Worse than failure, is ambiguity. Not knowing how to move forward, being stuck in limbo. It’s painful and can make the strongest person want to quit.
The alternative, however, is not being true to oneself. It is to diminish the human experience, settling for an easier life at the expense of our heart’s joy. We let ourselves down and sell others short the benefit of our full grace. Each of us is an example of what is possible and, by virtue of that, inspires greatness in others. Our greatest contribution to those around us is our own excellence.
When there’s a truth that we are aching for, when a person yearns to fathom the color of their own soul, the human spirit gives us the capacity to see it through. How ever many times we might fall, the human spirit gives us the strength to get back up and try again. Inevitably, persistence begets progress. One day, despite all odds, we accomplish what we set out to create.
We overcome limitation when we change our perspective. We tend to think of ourselves as existing in one time and place, but we don’t. The present moment is only the tip of the paintbrush. It takes time to create a work of art. Our journey begins with the first stroke and our spirit, that intangible essence which makes us human, sees us through to the last.