The Fight

10 10 2007

dscn2526.JPGThe fight with oneself. This is something that is commonly talked about by many people as related to all aspects of their life. The fight against weight, the fight against our negative qualities (like anger or selfishness), the fight against our inactivity, the fight against our desires which do nothing to serve us or anyone else beneficially, the fight against our ego (which alot of these fall under). It is a war we wage with ourselves on a daily basis.

I just recently read an article about a fitness company and the positive results their training methods bring about. There was good feedback from the participants and then the article ended with the Head Trainer saying: “We’re all at war. The biggest battle we face is ourselves.” Now I’ve heard this before, but this time it just left me with a really odd feeling. It was completely contradictory to what the rest of the article was saying. The article touched on things that were being learned: “improved their conditioning and leadership skills”, “teamwork”, “help establish friendships”, “learn self-sacrifice, be team players and motivate others”, “become more……confident”. I may be way out in left field here, but aren’t these really positive things. Where as these are what are associated with “war” and “battle”: conflict, hostility, contention, undermining, fighting, opposition. As far as I can tell, these are pretty negative and seem contrary to the positive aspects trying to be developed.

And in a war, there is always a loser (in fact, many will contend there is never even a winner). So to be at war with oneself means you are battling against you, which means that one of you is going to lose and that loser will be……you. So even if what you’re fighting for is positive, you still lose. And we wonder why it’s so hard for people to stick with a consistent, healthy exercise program. Fighting is exhausting and no one likes to lose.

It was interesting, I took a look at the history of the word War. War can be traced back to the Indo-European root *wers-, “to confuse, mix up.” And the meaning of other words with the same origins suggest the original sense was “to bring into confusion”. For an industry that talks an awful lot these days about fitness being a source of creating balance and wholeness, there sure is alot of this “win the battle against yourself” still being thrown around. In fact, in the very same article the Head Trainer also stated: “Fitness is an aspect to get to the mind because the mind will get you where you want to be”. So, thru fitness, fighting the battle with myself will overcome my weaknesses and put my mind in a state that will get me to where I want to be. Which if I’m fighting, means into a state of confusion.

I’m not knocking the head trainer of this fitness company (it was just the article that triggered this). Because it’s not just him, it’s everywhere. I hear it around me all the time. What it is, is a reflection of the state of mind of humanity right now. We are all still thinking in terms of “fighting” for those things we believe will bring about positive change in our lives and the lives of those around us. And the truth is, it can’t happen until the fight stops. Once we learn to stop fighting AGAINST ourselves, and rather work WITH ourselves (no one said it was going to be easy;), we will then learn to stop fighting against others and start working with them. It’s a paradigm shift.

So next time, you are in the middle of a really tough workout (or any challenging time in your life), take a moment to see whether you’re in fact fighting with yourself. If you are, take a breather. Say “self, I need some help here. It’s going to take all of me to get thru this one. Let’s work together and make it happen”.





3 responses

11 10 2007

Abdu’l Baha says that we should avoid all conflict even with Satan himself. So does Baha’u’llah. The battle with oneself is really about cooperation with one’s inner being and not a fight. When you do intense workouts in any area of sport, what happens is that you come face to face with your own weaknesses. These weaknesses are what become the vehicle for growth. By making friends with them you get the most growth. What is especially nice about sport for me is that you get to come face to face with your issues. The confusion over the process in my mind is when I am trying to get rid of weaknesses like trying to losing weight, but life is more about adding more positives because it is always endless. I like to think of it as adding more positives.

11 10 2007

“Remember how Adam and the others once dwelt together in Eden. No sooner, however, did a quarrel break out between Adam and Satan than they were, one and all, banished from the Garden, and this was meant as a warning to the human race, a means of telling humankind that dissension–even with the Devil–is the way to bitter loss. This is why, in our illumined age, God teacheth that conflicts and disputes are not allowable, not even with Satan himself.” ··· ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 275.

11 10 2007

wow, great article! This making me think alot of myself too. Thanks for sharing!

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