How much do you want to avoid war and conflict? Can you spend your entire life in peace, not raising your voice, not crushing anything nor anyone? Do you even want to?
It is only in recent years that most societies started to despise or demonize war. Most major civilizations in history valued war as a noble activity. It was depicted an a way to exercise courage, bravery, loyalty, respect and more.
Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.
I’m not advising you should go to war with your neighbor (after all, he’s taking care of your dogs when you’re away), but maybe you should reconsider war as a valuable activity, especially the ones within yourself. Depending on the circumstances, going go war might be the best thing you can do.
I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.
Ulysses S. Grant
Struggle of Wills
According to Carl Von Clausewitz, war is a “struggle of wills”. According to me, it’s a learning experience, an opportunity to be better. Not better than an enemy, but better than oneself (some will argue that oneself is usually one’s worst enemy, but I digress).
An internal war is visible as an internal conflict. Maybe you want something but you can’t have it. Or you struggle with a choice, a job, or a relationship. Basically, you desire a life that’s different from the one that you have.
You have two choices. You can either whine and hope to be rescued, or you can…
Fight to win
Why don’t you want to do what you know you should do? The reason you don’t is that you are in conflict with yourself.
When you have a problem that you want to solve, your mind automatically steps up and go into problem-solving mode in order to find a solution. If it works, great, you won! If it doesn’t, well… a new war begins.
What does all that mean? That your ways may have been good before, but they’re not anymore. The war calls to you and allows you to grow. You work to solve the problem, so you can exercise your muscles, whatever they are. Maybe you need more courage to fight head on with the enemy, maybe you need to learn more about your subject, maybe you need to call up the whole Scooby gang to win the war.
In any case, if it pushes you out of your usual ways, it will most certainly help you grow.
If everything is always right, you never grow. Why do you think monopolies stop innovating? Because they don’t have to! And when corporations are challenged by competition, the whole system benefits. That is the same inside one’s mind.
Fight to lose
Now, you might not want to go to war, it’s scary, and you might die.
A part of you anyway. The old one. The one you don’t need any more. The part that represents who you were, the one you’re desperately holding on to. That’s how you keep yourself from changing. But once you’re on the battlefield, you realize that some things aren’t that important anymore, they don’t serve you, so you transition to a new state of being. You test the limits of your beliefs, actions and habits. And you can become a better you.
Use the anger! The anger is what gives you the strength to make changes you’re afraid to make. When you can’t really stand your situation, you do anything necessary to change it. You summon all the energy and resources you have to modify the circumstances.
But you have to channel that energy in a constructive way: destroy only what truly isn’t good for you, like your limiting beliefs, not other people or yourself. Once you’re free of these old limits, let the desire to build take over, decide what your life is gonna look like and start to make it happen.
Every conflict is an opportunity
Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.
William Ellery Channing
Have you ever noticed that the most caring people were the ones who had the hardest time in life? They had to fight to live, and that experience made them grow. You can be a victim and suffer all your life, or you can be a hero and step up. You can use your potential, or let is go to waste.
Whatever you decide, the fight will come to you eventually, so you’d better accept war as a gift rather than a curse.
What’s your next fight?