At War With Self
Written by: Charneise Alston, M.Ed
Today, our nation honors all of the brave soldiers who have served in the armed forces in hopes to protect our country. Your selfless act of service required a personal sacrifice that is forever honorable. Your ability to override fear, leave loved ones behind, discipline your behavior, and risk death is permanently etched in your legacy. May you always feel loved and honored by all civilians for your courageous act of duty. Happy Veterans Day!
Although I have never served in the armed forces, ironically, I am standing on the frontlines of battle every day. I am at war with myself and the battlefield is in my mind. In order to live a purpose-driven life and reach our full potential, we must defeat the enemy who is ever-present in our minds. Truthfully, my enemy is the inner me. I am my biggest opposition so it is important for me to train my thoughts and guard myself against the lethal attacks of the enemy.
It is not inherently natural for me to want to live out my God-given potential. On the contrary, staying on the sidelines of comfort is more instinctual. Complacency causes us to back out from the war and fear cripples us from ever walking in our purpose. When we dream without limits we nourish ourselves for battle.
In most of my frontline experiences, I often lost my footing by focusing on the fight rather than the victory. It took years for me to understand that I am fully equipped to win the future that I desire in my heart. I had to boldly stand in my circumstances and earnestly believe that if I detonated my faith, the right path would become visibly clear. By doing so, I was able to replace my fear with peace. What is preventing you from living your best life?
In order to declare victory over your circumstances, your thoughts and words must be in alignment. Since we cannot avoid circumstances, dare it to strengthen your faith. When our minds are bombed with discomfort, discontentment, uncertainty , fears, and judgements, an aggressive defense can shift the outcome. Actively replace negative thoughts as they surface in your mind. Many people are imprisoned in their minds because of their negative thoughts. You strengthen and grow whatever you place your attention and energy towards.
Negative people focus on negative thoughts and events from their lives. As a result, everything becomes negative: their outlook, conversation, and outcome. If you are currently uninspired or depressed, inspect your thoughts which feed your emotions. Negative thoughts fuel unpleasant feelings. Be cautious and carefully choose your thoughts. We move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts.
In the past, the enemy would try to convince me that I was unworthy. I would have to battle my insecurities with faith-filled words. Regardless of my circumstances, I had to speak words that aligned with my purpose. I knew that words carried creative power so I was selective with my conversation. I would declare victory with my words by making positive affirmations and my thoughts quickly followed.
Thoughts stir up desires which is why warriors have battle cries. Stay motivated and on course by speaking your own encouragement. Your words and thoughts can reframe your perspective and bring clarity. I heavily relied on the support of my family and friends whenever I stretched my faith beyond what I thought was possible. You do not have to go to war alone. It feels comforting to have comrades when going to battle. Your faith will have you exploring uncharted territory so brace yourself as you live out your heart.
In addition to ridding yourself of negative thoughts, certain associations may have to end. Everyone cannot handle your sacred journey. Dream killers will project their fears and plant seeds of doubt in your mind. Your mind receives daily incoming attacks from both internal and external forces. Be mindful of the company you keep.
As with every war, there is a consequence for every battle we lose. Yes, we pay a price for every lost battle and so do our family, friends, community, and future generations. I am vividly aware that my purpose is creating my legacy. When I forfeit my purpose and fearfully live a subpar life, the impact that I was predestined to have on others is affected. I cannot afford to fear the war. Instead, I must embrace that life is a battle and we must be willing to muster the strength, courage and discipline to fight for the life that we truly desire. Hooah! Oorah! Hooyah!
“The Soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”
~General Douglas MacArthur”