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Glaring at me are several months without composing any meaningful writing for my blog. This has been painfully discouraging to me. I’m not sure whether to attribute this to Writer’s block, life’s challenges, or simply laziness.

Facing this depressing evidence of perceived ineffectiveness is rather unpleasant for someone like me who usually sees any sign of weakness as unacceptable, a lack of ingenuity, or worst absolute failure.Man_in_the_Arena

I can sometimes be ruthless with myself! 

Talk about a generous amount of self-loathing, sessions of a good talking-to, interjected with powerful good ol’ get-up-and-go! But I have miserably failed to locate my mojo!

This has been somewhat of an epic battle. I wish I could say it’s been easy.

Something clicked today. I stumbled upon Theodore Roosevelt’s speech, ‘Citizenship In A Republic’, delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910.

It encouraged me, gingerly reminding me that I’m human after all and what I might be obsessively concerned about as a rare malady is the way of all humans in general and particularly of creative types.  

Here is the excerpt I like most. . .

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

So this is what life in the Arena is all about. Both the lows and the highs. Not only the highs!

After immersing myself in this I’m being a bit more compassionate with myself.

In a culture where we are conditioned to exalt successes (whatever we may perceive them to be) and frown upon failures, no wonder it is temptingly easy to hide our impeArenarfections, put an armor over our vulnerability, and pretend all is ALWAYS well.

While gorging myself with a delectable amount of chocolate seems convincingly appropriate at the thought of my lengthy absence in Blogosphere, my reinforced sense of freedom has come from embracing my weakness and being vulnerable enough to share it for the whole reading world.

The truth is life’s ups and downs are all a reflection of being in the Arena 

During moments of weakness, how do you pull yourself out the funk?