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 Warrior Work Week 14

 by Peter Hill

Don’t take anything personally.

 

I had a student last week ask me, “but what if they are making it personal?”  He is a strong Christian and so I used that paradigm and asked “did Christ take it personally when he was betrayed, whipped, crowned with thorns and crucified?” before he could respond I added, “and all the people that wanted him dead were making it personal; even his students left him high and dry”.   He said, “good point, but that his hard to do”.

The way of the warrior is undertaken by many but finished by few. There are many fallen warriors lying alone in VA hospitals and nursing homes waiting for death to take them and set them free from the prisons that their bodies have become.

When we take things personally we get mentally and emotionally tense and we push that tension down into our muscles and tendons and stiffness sets in. The Tao Te Ching says that at birth man is soft and supple and at death he is hard and stiff. Therefore the disciple of life is the soft and the yielding and the disciple of death is the hard and unbending. When we don’t take things personally, we remain soft and supple, non-judgmental and yet we can act with passion and power. When our focus is on building our knowledge, power, inner harmony and love and then serving those around us, then we don’t have the time or energy to waste on taking anything personally. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “no one can make you feel bad without your permission”.

This week reflect on where your focus is. Is your goal to really be a warrior like Christ or is christianity just a comfortable social construct? Is it to really follow the heart of his teachings, the teachings of Buddhism, Islam or any of the other major religions or humanistic philosophies? Or is your focus on yourself and what other people are doing or not doing to or for you? We create our world daily with our intent and goals, our perceptions and interpretations and then our behaviors which ripple out from the previous two. What world do you want to live in? The world of the warrior whose goal is to build an indomitable spirit or the world of the victim who takes everything personally? The warrior who is at peace even when everything falls apart or the victim who isn’t ever at peace because nothing is ever enough or never just right?

 

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