The Enemy Within

Every 31st of December/1st of January, thousands if not millions of people re-evaluate their lives, goals and achievements. The dawning of a new year brings with it hope for a happier and brighter existence. And so the New Year resolution lists are declared and energetically pursued. However, within 2 – 3 months, they are forgotten, adjusted and eventually abandoned. Our lives, ironically, get in the way. We procrastinate until we no longer have the will to follow them through, until the New Year reappears and we start this maddening cycle all over again. One has to wonder, why we bother with these resolutions or list of things to do before we turn 30, when we know that we will probably not stick to them. It’s like we want to be great but we are afraid to be great. There is a famous poem by Marianne Williamson, ‘Our Greatest Fear’, where she states that our greatest fear is our greatness.  And the more I read her poem, the more it resounds within my soul. Are we our greatest enemy? And if so, how do we fight the enemy within? Self-development and self-help books, DVDs, websites and courses are aplenty in this day and age. So it is safe to assume that we are aware that the key to our wellbeing lies within ourselves, yet still we do not all reach our full potential. I have made several goals for myself in the 14 months that I have been living in South Korea; and while starting those goals has been easy, maintaining motivation and completing those journeys still eludes me. From writing a blog, to writing a book and getting my masters (with the major changing every month or so), I just cannot seem to reach the finish line. And as I examine myself and my thoughts, I realise, that my fear is that if I finish, it won’t be as good as I hoped. That it could be the best of my abilities or just mediocre; and I wonder what I will do when I’m done… In all religions and spiritual practices, one common preaching is that we should live for the present and not live in our past or future. And I can understand why. My fears about my success or impending redundancy are based on me predicting what the future holds; and for many people their reluctance to move forward is due to them residing in their past. And so perhaps the enemy within is our mind and its thoughts; and the way to defeat this enemy is to learn to live for today. Whether it be through prayer, meditation, exercise or to-do-lists; I believe that this enemy can be turned into a formidable ally with whom we can….
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Feint & Margin

Feint & Margin is a weekly, online, Pan-African publication featuring writings and thoughts from Ordinary Africans who have Extraordinary minds. We represent the True Voice of the African Citizen.

One thought on “The Enemy Within

  • February 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

    That wonderful force that keeps us putting off what we really love doing is called RESISTANCE.  And it is useful.  It’s the helper when we were all cave dwellers that warned that if you allow your hunger to drive you out the cave – you could be eaten!  So we have this battle between desire and resistance.  The secret of success is to keep the resitance happy by taking very, very small steps towards our dreams.  I have been working with an amazing book called “Live the Life you Love” by Barbara Sher.  She says that we are all so different that it is important to find out what works for you…..and gives some good ideas.   sylvia van rensburg


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