What is Missing? A Warrior’s Perspective

Script from Unbreakable Podcast episode 28: Connection the 13X Factor of Life- the pursuit of what is missing

As we always want to talk about what it takes to lead an Unbreakable life we often don’t highlight what it missing. I want to begin with a poem written by a man in war longing for something.

i carry your heart with me

By E.E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
 i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

So what is missing? What is missing in a warrior’s heart?

What is missing in a man’s heart in war, isn’t death. I can assure you in war death is not lacking. This is the missing part most people who have not seen combat simply do not understand. Life in combat isn’t the delivery of death at all. Yes there are violent men who get stuck in dealing death, but that isn’t what is missing in a warrior’s life.

E.E. Cummings is an interesting poet and man. He wrote during a time that none of us can relate to, World War One, a world at war. A war of attrition and war of expending resources to attrite life. I don’t think it worked. Life cannot be attrited. Life and the search for more of it always finds a way out of the mouth of death. Yet for those who have not seen war what is missing? What is the search for life missing?

E.E. Cummings wrote a poem to his war buddies as a tribute to them and life. It is called

the boys i mean are not refined

the boys i mean are not refined
 they go with girls who buck and bite
 they do not give a fuck for luck
 they hump them thirteen times a night
 one hangs a hat upon her tit
 one carves a cross on her behind
 they do not give a shit for wit
 the boys i mean are not refined
 they come with girls who bite and buck
 who cannot read and cannot write
 who laugh like they would fall apart
 and masturbate with dynamite
 the boys i mean are not refined
 they cannot chat of that and this
 they do not give a fart for art
 they kill like you would take a piss
 they speak whatever’s on their mind
 they do whatever’s in their pants
 the boys i mean are not refined
 they shake the mountains when they dance

So what is missing? What is missing in a teammate’s heart?

What causes the desire to team up with another man to go into hell? Most people who have not seen war cannot fathom what is missing.

I suspect women have something missing. I say I suspect it because I am not a woman. I am an outsider to a woman. Although I think I know my wife, Stacy, although I think I know my daughter, Autumn, alas I do not know them like I know men, like I know a warrior.

Steven Pressfield in The Warrior Ethos when talking about Leonidas on Sparta, opens up the dialogue about what is missing for the women of warriors. This missing piece remains true today. I paraphrase…

Leonidas knew that to defend Thermopylae was certain death… he knew they would die. The bigger question was how would Sparta herself react to their deaths? Who would the Spartans themselves turn to in the decisive hour? They would turn to the women- to the wives and mothers of the fallen.

If these women gave way, if they fell to weeping and despair, then all the women of Sparta would give way too.

The lioness hunts. The alpha female defends the wolf pack. The warrior ethos is not, at the bottom, a manifestation only of male aggression or of the masculine will to dominance. Its foundation is society wide. It rests on the will and resolve of mothers and wives and daughters. And in a few instances of female warriors as well, to defend their children their home soil and the values of their culture.

So what is missing? What is missing in a woman’s heart?

I personally find it rather amazing that few books are written about the gift to a warrior of a strong woman. We men think we are bad asses and strong and can do things alone. We lie. The woman makes the man. Weak man, weak woman. Strong man, strong woman.

Yet what is missing in a woman’s heart that she can hold up a warrior and family and nation?

As I grow older, as my past deeds slip into darkness, as my kids move away from home on their journey to adult life, I wonder what is missing for dads.

Why do men get married and have babies and make a family? It is hard. It is hard to add another life to yours. It is hard still to add a child to your life as a man. Many men completely fall apart because they lose track of what is missing. When dad losing traction with what is missing for him the wave of effect is brutal. Brutal to the lives and growth of his kids.

What is missing? What is missing in a Dad’s heart.

As a retired Navy SEAL, retired war vet, I wonder what is missing for vets. All those days and weeks and months and years operating, leading, at war, at the team area or on the ship or in the battalion… gone. All those missions, all of that stress, all those days fighting… gone. The buddies lost the buddies, still alive but all gone. No uniform, no ceremonies, no saluting out of respect.

What is missing? What is missing in a vet’s heart?

In my constant search to teach others what is really possible for them in their lives, I am clear that finding what is missing is the deal. Find it. Nurture it. That missing thing you all are missing. You need to find it.

I thank you all for your search to find your Unbreakable self.

I leave you with this quote from Chief Seattle for what is missing.

“And when the last red man shall have perished from the earth and his memory among white men shall have become a myth, these shores shall swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children’s children shall think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway or in the silence of the woods they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night, when the streets of your cities and villages shall be silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled and still love this beautiful land. The white man will never be alone. Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not altogether powerless.”

Let this help you find connection because that is what is missing.

Listen to this episode on the Unbreakable Podcast. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. For more information find us at www.thomshea.com and follow us on Facebook. We are committed to providing you with the tools for rapid sustainable growth in all areas of your life.

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