It is natural to fear being hurt and even to go to great lengths to avoid it, but pain is inevitable, unavoidable, and necessary for our growth and for the development our character.
Pain, whether physical, psychological, or emotional, is part of what makes us human. Without it, we would have no motivation, we would have no need to create, and we would have no need to connect.
Our damage gives us texture. It gives us depth. It adds layers to who we are and what we are capable of feeling, experiencing, surviving, and sharing.
It is not to be sought out, but neither is it to be avoided. It gives us definition, but it does not need to define us. It makes us who we are, but not who we must always be.
It is the texture that our damage gives us, it is the cracks, the crevices, and the jagged edges we develop over time, that gives the love, the beauty, and the light somewhere to go, something to hold onto, and somewhere to settle and grow.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.
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