“What are these scars from?” she asked.
“They’re battle wounds.” I replied.
She looked at me for a long time.
“Who were you battling?”
I do not believe that the greatest battle in your lifetime will ever be with another person.
In the same way, it will not be with another country.
The greatest battle that you will ever fight is the fight with yourself.
Are you winning the fight?
For years, I was at war with myself and I almost lost. Following high school, I literally ran around the whole world. At one point I moved 12 times in 6 years. Eventually, I realized that I was running away from self.
After finally understanding that I was stuck with self, I knew that it was time to stop running. I did one of the most difficult things in my life, and began to look within.
This painful process forced me to experience a new vulnerability that I never even knew existed. I gave myself permission to feel. Initially, I had no idea how to manage the emotions that began to surface. However, in time I discovered the power of pen and paper, and the strength of my own voice.
I began to use my voice in times of need, and learned to call on support. It became evident that I did not have to fight my fight alone. In fact, when I moved away from my victim mentality I found hundreds, thousands even, who were fighting a similar journey.
I sat in rooms filled with people who spoke parts of my own story, and suddenly I was not alone. These people provided me with a strength that I did not even know existed.
For years, I was unable to be with myself because I hated my own company. Today, I actually crave silence and need that time by myself.
The reality is that if you have a relationship with self,
you are never truly alone.
Relationships will end, and people will die. However, you are stuck with yourself for this entire journey.
I suspect if you look within, do some work, you will embrace and love what you find.