We cannot live a meaningful life while also expecting everyone to like us.
It simply will not happen.
If we are attempting to be ourselves, to fulfill our potential, and to live a life in accordance with our truth, someone, somewhere will look down on us. Someone, somewhere will have something bad to say about us.
It is impossible to figure out who we are and who we are meant to be by conforming to the expectations, limitations, and insecurities of the people, community, and culture around us.
We have to be bold. We have to be brave. We have to live out loud, in the open, and in the light.
But, we must be aware of the fact that standing in the light makes us vulnerable.
The light shines on the good and the bad in us.
It shines on our strengths and our weaknesses.
It highlights all that makes us unique, especially our flaws our failings.
We cannot step out into the light without being criticized and without being judged.
Judgement is inevitable.
We can either choose to face it, embrace it, and to transcend our fear of it, or we will succumb to it, shrink away from it, and hide because of it.
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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