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The Biggest Battle You Will Face In This Life

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At one time I didn’t care if she was in the same country as me. Another, I couldn’t bear to be without her company.
In one moment I was ready to fight for a future together. The next, I wasn’t sure if we should even be together.
Like a flick of a switch I could go from ‘put together’ and pounding my chest to ‘falling apart’ and broken down in tears.

She called me a ‘flip-flopper’, and rightfully so.
I worried it was something more serious…

I would look in the mirror and hated the person I saw. How could I do this to someone… anyone? This is not the man/person I imagined I would become. Not only was I inconsiderate of her feelings, at times I actually got a kick out of it. Had I officially gone crazy? Was I becoming a danger to people I love the most? To experience these thoughts and questions after 30+ years of a ‘normal’ life truly shook me to the core. My whole identity was put on trial, and worst of all I had no idea how to control it. No matter what choice I made, I couldn’t seem to stick with it. It was like a constant ping pong match going on in my head, and every time I went for the win, I found myself striking the ball back… back and forth… over and over… yes and no… I can, I can’t. Now, later. Rinse, wash, repeat.

I finally reached a point of absolute exhaustion… and that’s when it hit me.

This battle was more than a struggle to be decisive.
It was more than the inability to choose.
It was more than just forcing myself to only say the ‘right’ things or cater to the feelings of others.
It wasn’t a random occurrence happening out of my control.

It was a lesson… a lesson in the biggest war we face in our journey into self-awareness.

When I think back to my perceived ‘normal’ life in the past, there was one thing that always remained consistent – I lived and operated solely from my ego.  People saw me as ‘put together’ because there was no way that other side of me was allowed to see the day of light. In fact, I didn’t even see it as ‘anorhrr side of me’. Instead, it was a side I had to erase.

Yes I balled my eyes out in the shower when I was the only kid not invited to an elementary school party held by my former best friend, but  I took it as a reason to build an even stronger ego.

And So I did.

Every passing day, month my ego was under construction – whenever it felt to be breaking, I would retreat to being alone with myself and made it my mission to build it even higher and stronger. By last year, I was so wrapped up in an emotional facade, completely disconnected from my true feelings, that I remember literally brushing off the words of someone opening their heart to say the love me. I smiled, and moved on… barely a tingle in my body from the courage this person had to be vulnerable.

vulnerable…

VUNERABLE….

Introducing the enemy… or hero – depending how you look at it.

As I began my journey and career in personal development 5 years ago I started to become aware of this idea of being vulnerable. It was a big part of my public talks and coaching, but it was incredibly calculated. I knew how to share it in a way that kept my ego in charge. It still does… but now the walls are starting to crumble.

The facade has become too much for me to bear. My neck and back are constantly hurting, my posture sucks, and my whole battle with a depressive state this past summer/fall showed me how much it can crush me if I continue to build it up only to let it fall again.

Being vulnerable is scary. It opens you to feelings that are incredibly uncomfortable and pain that can leave a long-lasting sting. In this state, other people have much more power in hurting you. But only at first. The pain they trigger is simply that which we’ve avoided to confront for so long, individually and collectively. It hurts because we’ve never taken the time to explore that hurt… To give it new meaning. Only when the wound is consciously exposed can we work on healing it.

My transition to living a less lopsided life is in full effect.

I know I will never get rid of my ego, but there’s only so much it can control me if I begin to become familiar with what it’s like to live publicly in a state of vulnerability. To not retreat to it only in solitude, but to live with it as a part of being human. If I can make vulnerability just another part of who I am and express it as ‘normal’ as it is to express my ego, the ball is back in my court. There’s no longer a battle within for there is no enemy I’m trying to beat.

“If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.” ~ African Proverb‌

I’m learning that we can reduce the ego’s power by not trying to starve it, and at the same time not trying to hide our vulnerability. Both must see the light of day for sanity to exist.

 

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:

 

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

 

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

 

The old Cherokee simply replied, “If you feed them right, they both win.”

 

“You see, if I only choose to feed the white wolf, the black one will be hiding around every corner waiting for me to become distracted or weak and jump to get the attention he craves. He will always be angry and always fighting the white wolf. But if I acknowledge him, he is happy and the white wolf is happy and we all win. For the black wolf has many qualities – tenacity, courage, fearlessness, strong-willed and great strategic thinking – that I have need of at times and that the white wolf lacks. But the white wolf has compassion, caring, strength and the ability to recognize what is in the best interest of all.

 

“You see, son, the white wolf needs the black wolf at his side. To feed only one would starve the other and they will become uncontrollable. To feed and care for both means they will serve you well and do nothing that is not a part of something greater, something good, something of life. Feed them both and there will be no more internal struggle for your attention. And when there is no battle inside, you can listen to the voices of deeper knowing that will guide you in choosing what is right in every circumstance. Peace, my son, is the Cherokee mission in life. A man or a woman who has peace inside has everything. A man or a woman who is pulled apart by the war inside him or her has nothing.

 

“How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you will determine your life. Starve one or the other or guide them both.”

 

–Cherokee Story

 

It is this battle my friends that will be the biggest battle of your lifetime… and it will be nowhere near easy.

We live in a ego dominated society that attacks vulnerability in every chance it gets in order to put them back in their place – back into their ego. However, if we are going to move forward collectively, we must have the courage to no longer let those attacks scare us away from this part of us that is so important… so real… so human. We must truly learn to feed and care for both wolves so that through our self-awareness we can consciously choose in which state we reside in every moment. To allow both to serve us instead of allowing each to use us.

To help you in the transition, here are few tips/insights of learned along the way…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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