“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
This weeks blog is written by Mike in memory of John Howes
As I have grown older this quote has come to mean more and more to me and I have come to understand that is fundamental to developing the resilience to survive life. I choose that word survive “carefully and on purpose” and distinct from endure.
Because to live, to get up day by day and handle adversity, fear, stress, uncertainty, disappointment, futility, confusion, heartbreak, betrayal, random impersonal acts of aggression, careless people, bigotry, draconian rules……and on it goes. Surviving all of that takes something.
As a Father, business owner, son, friend, life partner, mentor and coach I often find myself having this conversation and always, as I am having it with others I have it with myself. And the core of the conversation is perspective, a perspective that keeps front and centre the understanding that all of this hard, painful, draining and confusing stuff is part of life doing what life does and anyone who does not experience it is either a liar or so cut off from themselves and others that they have no awareness of its existence.
Last week we buried John Howes. John passed away on the weekend of the 23rd of July after losing his battle with perspective and resilience. I was fortunate to work with John for about 6 years. Initially as a support trainer in our Bronte group, then as the lead trainer of Sydney Park and finally as my operations manager at Evo HQ. During that time John and I developed a very special bond.
In late 2015 John started to share with me some of his internal conflicts and we started to talk about integrity, resilience, a consistent inner and outer world, and the pain and power that comes from truly facing your demons. The last time John and I spoke was on Thursday the 20th of July.
When I learned of John’s passing I was shocked, sad and angry.
While we never truly know what is going on for somebody else I think I was one of those people who John let inside. John felt betrayed by people (and by life) and the world became so unsafe to him as he became so unsafe to himself.
At the heart of that is perspective.
If I could hold Johnny close now I would tell him to keep it in perspective, remind him that whatever it is that it will pass, remind him that tomorrow, when all has settled it can look different again and I would tell him that life is hard and that it is just the way that it is. But it is also wondrous, enriching, graceful, provocative, passionate, and fulfilling in its complete tapestry.
We have lost a special human being, a man who I looked up to, cherished and will miss.
Onwards and upwards in memory of John Howes
– Mike Britton