If there is war within ourselves, there will be war outside ourselves.
I don’t necessarily mean literal war, though on an energetic level that is true enough that as a collective whole, war within many will translate to war among many.
Moreso, I’m talking about the hell that is war within ourselves, being engaged in a daily, ongoing internal battle. No matter how much we might try to keep that under wraps, it will spill over. The cracks will show.
Perhaps this can be the deepest motivator of all to do the work, whatever that work is, of birthing ourselves, and of not letting ourselves get away with too many emotional loose ends–because as much as we try to hide it, camouflage it, bury it, or pretend otherwise…the war within will eventually show up as war in our lives: in relationships, career, health, day-to-day interactions with others, our businesses, the state of our finances and the cleanliness of our homes.
The tricky part: not realizing when we are waging the wars within. It seems so logical and obvious in the moment to say that it’s someone else’s fault, or that if some external circumstance would change, it would all be easier.
“If only XYZ would change, then I’d be exactly the person I’ve always envisioned being.”
If our partners would stop pushing all of our buttons.
If our kids would behave.
If the house weren’t such a mess.
If there was more money.
If we had more “life balance.”
All fantasy. I indulge in them too, when I’m not being conscious about my life.
It’s war. It’s war within. It’s war against what-is and it’s war with our actual experience. It’s war with all of our perceived flaws, and war with the button-pushers. It’s war with our kids and war with our money and war with any hope of internal balance that we might aspire to.
War is war, and we are the ones launching the first grenade.
What’s It Like?
Where in our lives can we “Make peace, not war” ?
What is it like to be at war with yourself, and–consider this question–what does it look like when you are not at war with yourself? What choices are you making?
When I’m not at war with myself, I’m…engaged with my life, rather than resisting my life. I’m making time for spiritual practice–prioritizing it. I’m thanking the Universe/god/spirit. I’m taking radical responsibility for my life. I’m writing a lot, and the writing is flowing through me rather than being efforted. I look around and I’m inspired by the simplest things: the way the light slants off of a hill; a particular shade of purple; a home decorating magazine that I wouldn’t have otherwise had “the time for.” I appreciate the sound of a friend’s voice, or the sweetness of the air, or the perfection of my body that does so much for me.
When I’m not at war with myself, I’m… not at war with others. I don’t need anything to be anyone else’s fault; I can own my part. I can look at someone who is upset with me and feel calm detachment, knowing that they are in charge of their own story, and I needn’t feel a sense of fear or anxiety that if I don’t act, something will be wrong. There’s a greater sense of intuition in my interactions with others. I listen on a different level. I can “feel” what is needed and necessary. I am more comfortable with the quiet that lulls in conversation.
That’s how we stop the wars–we stop fighting. We can stop fighting if we take a step back and consciously choose not to engage.
This doesn’t mean that we resolve to only think the “pretty thoughts.”
It means that we stop fighting the fact that we’re thinking “un-pretty thoughts.”
We get more committed to living and working with what is true for us, rather than waging war on that which we’ve decided to take a position against.
Living life, we get a bit busted up and bruised along the way.
Here I am, this is me, here I am.
We can learn to fall in love with our scars and run their fingers over them, tenderly.
Here I am, this is me, here I am.
The first act of aggression might well be the act of not being willing to say to the world: Here I am, this is me, here I am.
Offer yourself up to your life with the tenderest of embraces and gentlest of surrenders.
Wave your white flag: Here I am, this is me, here I am.