The Eternal War: the War Within Ourselves
War is awful but sadly it’s been something in humanity since the dawn of time. War is barbarism. Yet maybe because of its base awfulness that it strips us down to our pure survival instincts. War brings out the best of traits of people, like bravery, sacrifice, duty, honor. And on the reverse side, also the worst of us people. We get to see what people really are like, and what they would do to live and survive, especially when stripped of the veneer of social mores and peace.
Everyday, we are at war with ourselves and within ourselves. We are all fighting our own demons. Sometimes unconsciously, sometimes consciously. I would suspect though for most of us, it’s unconsciously. This is because doing requires facing our own worst fears and doubts and most of us would prefer not to. (I wrote about this in a previous post: https://hardfork.substack.com/p/facing-your-fears-the-true-underlying.)
I’ve spent decades doing everything I could to run away or avoid facing it. Throwing myself into my work and career as it’s a handy distraction from working on myself. I suspect this is the case for many type A individuals like myself. It took a pandemic, lockdown, financial challenges, a somewhat broken family life and lots of time to myself that forced me to confront this reality of my fear.
We are all nothing until we decide what to become. And to do that we have to face ourselves. If we don’t do this, we don’t improve and we don’t move forward. You have to face it and break all your old weaknesses, bad habits and mental habits that are holding you back. I repeat the quote from Pablo Picasso, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”
The process is painful but necessary for our own personal growth in life. It helps you find your own truth.
To bear and endure what others cannot. To do what others are unable and unwilling to do. That is what being an aspiring warrior, a leader and a well functioning adult is really about. It’s about facing yourself, which means all the things you like and dislike about yourself. It’s about accepting these things and pursuing the path that is true to you despite all the challenges and social pressure. This is the war you need to fight if you want to build the life you dream of.