Curtail: (v) to prevent, reduce or diminish
Imagine a door.
Standing at the door is a tall fellow—broad shoulders—a bit intimidating.
You are pleased to see that he has a smile on his face.
Yet as you stand back and watch, someone approaches the door. Our guard steps in front of it and says some words to the person that you cannot hear. He responds belligerently. The doorman holds his ground and the visitor stomps away, infuriated.
Now you’re curious.
You wonder what’s behind the door. Let me tell you. Yes, to make the story more interesting, I will let you know.
Beyond that door is joy without shame.
The acquisition of being happy with the world around you and pleased with yourself without being haunted with the regrets of bad choices or unnecessary shortcuts.
Are you interested?
So now that I’ve told you that, are you prepared to approach the door?
Of course not. You just saw someone rejected, and he didn’t look any worse or better than you.
Beyond all means, the worst thing, in our minds, is to be rejected.
Even in the pursuit of joy without shame, it wouldn’t be worth being refused entry, dragging your ass away, refused entry.
So let me give you another clue.
The man standing at the door will only ask you one question.
(Don’t roll your eyes. I didn’t say it was a great clue.)
Just one question.
You still seem perplexed.
Okay—let me give you one more clue. I’ll tell you what the question is.
That perked you up. Here it is:
What are you willing to curtail and change to receive joy without shame?
Be careful, now. Because all the religion, politics, philosophies and entertainment have flattered you and me to believe that we are fine the way we are. Just misunderstood.
Since our youth, we’ve heard it: “Be yourself.”
And now you’re coming to a door where you’re being told that you will be required to deny false gratification, insincere sentiments and dispel lies to come in and find joy without shame.
Are you prepared?
Are you willing to look into the face of politics and say, “There is no hope in you because you lie to me, thinking I’m a liar, too, and will understand your lies?”
You will have to gaze into the glassy eyes of religion and say, “I need more than eternal salvation. I require a human life that is abundant with experience.”
Can you curtail your faith that entertainment will provide the necessary food for your emotions, soul and body, and instead, call it out for failing to recognize your whole person?
And finally, push away from the false comfort of a pop psychology, giving you false confidence instead of challenging you to learn your world.
Are you ready to walk up to this “bouncer?”
Or do you need some time?
Yet I will tell you—the question will always be the same.
Certainly, the smile on his face will always be there, but the choice remains.
The decision is yours.