“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.” – Marcus Aurelius
Foes are not just humans, they are the challenges we face daily in our thoughts. Self-doubt for one, evident in those nagging internal voices that tell us we are not good enough, need to do more, and while they are at it, persistently telling us we are failing miserably at meeting expectations, mostly our own. Left unchecked, these foes run havoc on our confidence and have us stop in our tracks from going the extra distance and living our vision.
If you listen long enough to doubt, and believe what the voices say, you’re bound to fall flat on your face. No matter all the good things you have done, you might as well crawl in the hole and play dead.
I come up against these demons every now and then. For a time, they take over, until I finally realize it isn’t worth the heartache to let them run the show, and I have to pull myself together, turn to those demons, and tell them to stop and get the hell out.
Every day we have a choice to live a different story than the one we are handed. It’s hard to consider this, especially when the forces of our lives deliver us a challenge we think we can never overcome. A child’s suffering, for example, that is bigger than our ability to fix it, a disease so powerful we don’t know if we have the strength to survive, a work challenge that left unmet could put us out of work and home. How do we face these and retain some semblance of our own humanity and dignity?
The truth is we have to face the foe, in ourselves and others. To not, is to bury ourselves away in a life we do not want. To not, is to say to others there is no hope.
And there is hope. A child cries, but we hold them in our arms and tell them to not despair. We fall down, but we remember to get up. We face pain, but remember joy and a thousand other reasons to embrace life.
A garden is a testimony to possibility. The creatures that inhabit it attest to this truth. A bird sings a song. A butterfly floats upon air. Both have crossed the miles and hid from danger before landing upon a plant or tree to share their story. I am a spectator in awe watching them in Merlin’s Garden. Minutes before I was tired and stressed. Now, I feel a sense of peace and hope.
Life is everywhere. So is possibility. Do not give up. The foe transforms and becomes the place for new beginnings.