The first sin I committed was crying. It was blasphemy in our home. It meant you were weak and my father… my father said he “doesn’t have weak children”. So I would be punished, locked into my room… sometimes for hours, other times for days.
The next crime I would commit repeatedly would be to question authority, “why?” I would ask… “tell me why you are right?”. If I wasn’t shouted at, insulted or ridiculed I would be beaten.
Don’t cry… Be strong… Be confident…Man up… I would say to myself while turning off everything that was inside. From time to time I would boost my confidence saying: these moments build up character, make you resilient… learn to praise them… smile… you are fine… everything is fine.
Everything is fine…until you stop bubbling all this nonsense about how ok you. Until you start being honest with yourself. You are hurt. You feel alone. You think you are never enough.
I was 20 when I started learning to be, to be myself, my true self, to be open and recognise my emotions, allow myself to be vulnerable. Baby steps… one foot in front of another.
Even if obesity kills more people than war does, we are born and raised in a warrior culture. Man and women alike, we are made to believe that in order to succeed we have to be fighters. What is success for you, by the way?
I will present you 3 key points in being nourished with the soldier’s view of the world.
1. We are thought that emotions are bad.
Sometimes we are told this explicitly: “Strong man don’t cry” or in a more subtle manner: “It’s not such a big thing, get over it”. We are educated to keep sadness, sorrow or pain for ourselves, to bury them deep into our souls. Afterwards, we put on masks to hide our wounds.
Don’t let them know you are not invincible, to even think you are a fragile human…
Being vulnerable is an act of courage. You are brave enough to embrace your true nature. However, those who run from themselves, those are the ones who are afraid. Maybe you are too… you fear you will be hurt or rejected if you show your emotions, you still wonder: “what would others think?”. Despite this, you stand your ground and open up.
Deep, meaningful bonds are created when we are willing to open up, to be vulnerable, to show our genuine self. True love is when you look at someone (including yourself) and embrace all his(her) lights and shadows. Not only we should base our relationships on this type of love but we should create a life guided by this state of consciousness: compassionate, accepting and vulnerable.
It is an act of true bravery to be vulnerable.
2. We are raised to see the world in terms of goals and milestones.
We are teaching that in order to be, we have always to do something, or to become someone. We are made to think that we are never enough and we have to earn respect and appreciation from the outside world. We start defining ourselves through the mountains we climb or the milestone we achieve. We praise more the diploma, the car or the coat than the human being.
Sometimes we turn 40,30,20 and we achieve those objectives. Although then we realise that those are not what we wished but the dreams of another man. However, some never stop until they burn out, until they lose their essence, until they die.
Oftentimes we have such a fix mindset that we are seeing obstacles that must be overcome and results that must be obtained anywhere we look. Most of the times, this is how a marriage, a friendship, or a job can turn into a battlefield. In war, there are no winners and losers, only people that get hurt.
Being instead of doing
3. We are made to believe that perfection exists
Thus, we transform our lives into crusades to get to this Holy Grail. We are never contempt with what we have because there always will be something better… a better job, a better relationship, a better house…
Perfection, as seen by humans, is artificial, a construct of their minds that take into consideration a limited set of variables. However, we run after this thought…We run and run and … we run out of time. We spend our lives searching for perfection and we forget to enjoy the moment …
…and then on our death bed, we wish we had more time.
There is nothing more perfect than this moment.
He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
Sun Tzu “Art of War”