"If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm." - African Proverb This is what my business consultant, Tim Long, signs off with at the end of each of his emails. Each time I read it, I think about how wonderful that saying really is as it applies to the enemy lurking inside of our minds and our hearts.
Look at fear and any fears that may sabotage your actions or beliefs. That voice that says’ Don’t go in that ocean because of that terrible sting ray bite you had 5 years ago” That fear is mine. Yet every year I face that fear and decide that jumping in that inviting ocean with all of its healing properties and energy is worth more than the fear of a sting ray. The fear does deprive me of some of the enjoyment I could be having until I get to a place of relaxing and being in the moment instead of that experience of years ago. That fear becomes my enemy within me and then it plays out so that the outside world looks harmful to me.
With our COVID situation, the risks are real. So is the courage to find a way to live a life that is full and meaningful. Our lives have changed, again that is real. Change is a part of our human existence. Our challenge is to find deeper meaning and productive use of this time of the COVID virus. Taking time to explore any dissatisfaction with ourselves, along with uncovering any unnecessary fears, beliefs, relationships, expectations or even feelings of guilt that haunt us. This is how we clear out the enemy within. Judgements, criticisms of ourselves and others create an inner enemy that wins and we lose. It stops us from being ourselves to the fullest degree of our abilities.
Visualize a complete “YOU” with freedom to speak your truth which is a given right, I believe and freedom to create the life that fits you. What would you do or say that you are not doing today? Would you be living where you live? Would you be with the people you are with? Would you be doing the daily things you are doing today? If the answer is “No” then this is your time to figure out what you would be doing differently and make a commitment to make the necessary changes.
This time to reflect is necessary and needed for our world to survive. Find your own personal truth through meditation, prayer, journaling or talking to a trusted friend or therapist. Acknowledge your truth with your words and actions and become the best and most authentic version of yourself. Explore the enemies within. Be grateful for their messages and please do not ignore their voices. Dig deeper and discover the real you and come forward as the you – you started out to be at your birth. Challenge accepted!!
- Janet Whitney, MA. LMFT.