It's no secret that the greatest adversary you'll ever fight is yourself.
Over the course of your years you'll struggle to overcome:
- temptation of mind & body,
- institutionalized indoctrination,
- socialized self destructive behaviors,
- incorrect beliefs,
- volatile emotions,
- thoughts that make you weak,
- and on down the list it goes.
At your darkest moments you'll scream, "What do you want from me?!"
You might be yelling at god. It might be at your wife. But, at its center, you're angry at yourself.
You're asking yourself that question so you can fight its answer and finally be rid of its torment.
What if, instead, you asked to understand? Really took the time to hear what it is that you need.
The uncomfortable truth is, it's usually fear or internalized shame that you're trying to destroy.
Unfortunately, that's never possible.
What you can do, is give yourself the space to really explore what your fear, shame, and disappointment is trying to tell you.
And this is the true secret of martial arts training.
Sure, you're learning physical techniques to defend your personal boundaries, but you're also cultivating personal integrity on a social and personal level.
The hard work and effort it takes to grow and maintain a martial arts practice is the same kind of discipline, self control, and confidence required to create the internal space necessary for listening to your fears.
Repressing any desire only makes it show up somewhere else, (and stronger than when we tried to hide it).
It's like our fears have learned to use our own energy against us...
So, the answer is stop fighting your fear and shame. You're only giving them energy to grow stronger.
Have the strength of mind (body & emotion) to understand your fear. Only by seeing into the heart of our weaknesses can we accept them, and then build on those lessons for a stronger tomorrow.