At War with Ourselves

“Circumstances are what deceive us — you must be discerning in them. We embrace evil before good. We desire the opposite of what we once desired. Our prayers are at war with our prayers, our plans with our plans.”


We say we want one thing — but then we take actions that are the polar opposite. We all do this to a certain extent. The Daily Stoic today has excellent examples, but my favorite is the woman who says all her boyfriends are terrible, yet continues to seek out terrible men. Oh, the countless hours I’ve spent advising that very woman, all for naught.

Sound familiar? It’s because we’re at war with ourselves.

We decide we want to start our own business, but we never get out of the planning and thinking stages (ahem). We’re sure that we want to start exercising more and taking better care of our bodies, but we don’t actually take the steps to make that happen. We want to read more, but we don’t pick up a book.

It’s because there are conflicting desires inside us. We don’t have a strong understanding of what we truly want. We think we know! But we don’t. In the meantime there is a war raging inside, and it’s tearing you apart.

What now? Well, you can continue winning and losing at the same time, if you like. Winning at what you don’t really want or need, and losing at what’s really important. You can keep right on doing the same thing as always, hoping for better results — if you’re into that type of insanity.

But in the end, that’s going to eat you up, because you can’t serve two masters.

You’re going to have to sit yourself down and ask the hard questions, and get to the root of what you really want. You’re going to have to do some hard work and get to know yourself — but in the end you’ll find a way to stop working against yourself, stop being at war with yourself. And you’ll be better for it.

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