“Sometimes, the greatest battle to win is the battle over ourselves.”
In my last post, I shared a poem that was written by one of my beloved Godmother’s former students. The line quoted above is from that poem and it resonated so strongly with me when I first read it. I ended up quoting it on my social media pages and even use it in the biography section of my Instagram page. Since the beginning of my process of awakening, which I say began in the summer of 2012 after a bad car accident I was in, I have continuously learned and developed a better understanding of the notion that is so simply stated in this one line. Life in and of itself can be challenging, but it is true…the greatest battle we will experience in life is the battle over ourselves.
We are the masters of our thoughts, the captains of our emotions and the vehicles through which our individual “stuff” that we carry around interacts with others. I had often heard similar musings before that 2012 summer, but it finally began to sink in afterwards. Just before the car accident, I was on an emotional brink. I was very stressed out with work, reeling from a painful breakup and was generally not happy overall. I had heavily contemplated quitting my job, although I had nothing else lined up and a 5 year-old son to take care of. I firmly believe the accident was the Creator’s way of slowing me down to a literal halt. Instead of quitting my job and jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, I was given a 6-week reprieve from my job. To this day, I am still so thankful to the doctor who took one look at me sitting in his office, banged up emotionally and physically, and said, “I am taking you out of work until mid-August” and scribbled those same words on his notepad. It was early June when this occurred and I wanted to drop to my knees right there in his office in gratitude.
For a few days after I was written out of work, I sat in total silence in my house and allowed myself to feel EVERYTHING that was running through my veins at the time. Hurt. Anger. Fear. Sadness. Mortality. Once I had gotten to a place where I felt it all, I started to do the work of putting myself back together again. I remained committed to my work in therapy. I threw myself more deeply into my Yoga practice. I bought and avidly read on a daily basis Mark Nepo’s “The Book of Awakening.” I started having conversations with other people on the path. Most of my growth is detailed in blogs I posted during that time in my life. And while my life has been far from perfect since that summer, I have definitely gained a better understanding of my greatest battle in life (besides being a parent) being the battle over self.
On this very morning, I have been dealing with a gamut of feelings and emotions. Rushing my son and myself as we get ready for school and work. Beating myself up for not getting up earlier, so I wouldn’t have to rush and more so, snap at my son. Seeing things on social media that I want to react to, but am trying hard to not let get to me. As these things began to swirl around in my head, somewhere deep down, I heard the line from the poem and I knew I had to blog. Sometimes when I post my writings, it’s the title that comes to me first and then I build the content. Sometimes it’s the content from which I build a title. Today, I couldn’t think of a title that would match the quote and so, I thought to myself, “let’s just leave it untitled”…and that’s what I decided to name this particular blog.
In the song, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” it is said that life is but a dream. And this can be true. But I like to think of it more along the lines of life is but a journey. A confluence of experiences, emotions, thoughts, choices and fate. I used to think it was about attaining those things – a good job, a nice home, stellar wardrobe, etc. – that would make me happy. But I realize now that true happiness comes from deep within and our very thoughts – those things we only tell ourselves – are the foundation upon which to build that happiness. And you are blessed if you have had an awakening. I now better understand that it’s our desires and our attachment to those desires that can cause a feeling of suffering. I am knee-deep in my own awakening experience and my goal…my hope…is to emerge more detached, truly enlightened and most importantly, as the victor in the battle over my self.
When life proves to be a bit more challenging than you feel you can handle, remember the words of the Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Here’s to wisdom and all things good. Love and Light, dear readers. Namaste.