Powerful word of the month: Pain
I think it is fair to say that the Modern Warrior is more familiar with pain than the one who has surrendered to a lesser intention.
The Modern Warrior stands where others withdraw. Their wounds are their badge of honor. If you choose the way of the Modern Warrior you will bear many wounds.
In victory every warrior looks to be brave and courageous. Yet it is defeat that strips you bare and forces you to see your truest self. Success allows you to maintain the illusion of who you are. It is in failure that you come to know yourself best. The skills of a warrior may help them in victory, but they are useless to them in defeat. When you face defeat, all you’re left with is yourself. It is then that you will face your greatest battle. You will find yourself at war with the darkness within.
Your greatest danger comes with the elation of victory. will be to convince yourself that you are beyond the reach of this darkness, that you have traveled so far that your soul is impenetrable. Yet the warrior learns that their greatest victories and defeats often come like two sides of the same sword.
The battles we fight become inescapably both internal and external. Victory in one battle does not secure for us victory in another. You may be winning the battle within to live your most heroic and courageous life and yet still lose your job and find yourself in financial peril. You can in the same moment that you achieved the highest point of success in your career come home to face the end of your marriage. We’ve seen through the tragic loss of unbelievable and successful talents such as Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, and Kate Spade that the victories on the outside may only be hiding the battles lost within. All of us are portraits of contradiction. In those moments we feel most unstoppable, we find ourselves most fragile.
So many times I have found myself most vulnerable after I had seemed most unstoppable. Those who see you from a distance will notice the battles you fight for them but not the ones you fight for yourself.
Although it is true that success breeds success and courage fuels courage, it is also equally true that every warrior of light has to fight against their own darkness.
This is one of the most difficult truths that I have had to learn is that in the wake of my greatest victories will come without a doubt my greatest despairs. The greater the heights of victory, the greater the depths of despair. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that fear makes you a coward. The moment you believe you are not vulnerable to the most basic of human frailties, you have postured yourself to be shattered to pieces. Everyone gets discouraged. More of us than will ever admit will struggle with depression or being depressed. Life carries great weight, and if you find the courage to take on great battles, you will feel an even greater weight that will sometimes seem more than you can bear.
We should pause and reflect deeply about this truth. The warrior is not free from the darkness but must face darkness and bring to it the light.Whether you are running to the battle or running from it, whether you are running for your life or running from it, never forget that the warrior’s strength is not in how powerfully they can strike their sword or wield their weapon. The way of the warrior is the way of the whisper. The warrior knows who they are and who they will become. Even in those moments when you find yourself struggling with discouragement or even drowning in a deep sense of despair, even in those moments when you are afraid and feel yourself past the brink of exhaustion, the modern warrior continues to stand because they know who they are and who they will become.
Your wounds are not your weakness; your wounds are your strength. Do not be ashamed of the scars. They are your marks of honor and courage and beauty. Through your suffering, you will come to know that it is in your weakness that you will be made strong.
I don’t know the battles you have faced, the pain you have endured, the struggles you have encountered, but I am certain of this: they do not have to be your shame; they can be your glory.
The way of the warrior is not free from pain, it is not free from disappointment, and it is not free from failure. The warrior is known for courage, for honor, for integrity. Yet the warrior knows well the struggles that come with fear and self-doubt and even despair. The warrior faces their greatest adversary when they have to face themselves. The warrior knows there are no victories that are not first won within. Never forget who you are.
This is the fight of your life.
This is the fight for your life.
This is the way of the MODERN WARRIOR