Just like everything around us, our emotions are in a constant state of change.
In this way, they are not much different than the seasons, nor should we expect them to be.
Happiness and sorrow, excitement and frustration, love and pain, will all come and go throughout the days, months, and years of our lives.
Our feelings are part of us, but they are not us.
There is more to who we are than our emotions.
For this reason, we should not allow ourselves to be ruled by the way that we feel.
Instead, much like we prepare for the summer heat or the winter snow, we should be prepared for our feelings to change.
This means not only acknowledging that they will change, but also taking note of what causes them to change and the affect that these changes have on us, on our words, and on our deeds.
The goal is not to be unfeeling, but to be more than our feelings.
The fact is that a life worth living requires that we feel very deeply.
But, a life worth living also requires that we speak and behave in a way that is consistent with what is true and constant.
We must learn to be more reliable than our feelings.
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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