The Art of War - My enemy, My best friend
Updated: Mar 11, 2019
by Ainee Cha
I was once told from a very young age that the human mind has super powers and that we can possibly bend a spoon with our mind if we learn to use it properly. Wouldn’t it be great to know that it’s true? I wish to have that ability. I would ask myself - “How would I describe my relationship with my mind?” Does my mind control me or the other way around?
I believe we all struggle in one way or another, or at least I have. I realized that I often struggle with the confrontation I invite upon myself. I often ask myself questions that pops up out of nowhere. Should I have done that or should I not? What if it’s wrong and what if it’s right? Why? Questions of uncertainties and full of animosity that makes you feel agitated and sometimes lost. Our mind is always clouded with all sorts of feelings. Sometimes we tell ourselves that I will be happy if I’m successful, if I make more money, if I have more power and skills, if I achieve a position or a status. And then what? If our mind is always filled up with what ifs, regrets from the past and always thinking about the future, then what else would it have room for the present?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve encountered numerous times head on with my mind to strive a win-win. After countless hours of bickering I’ve have come to realize that the feelings that I had when I encounter pain, loss, separation, sickness and all other emotions that goes back and forth behind my unconscious mind is suffering. Buddha once told us that suffering is a choice. How is it a choice when it seems so inevitable? I don’t know how, but I’m unlearning every time I struggle. I have come to understand, here-and-now that my mind is everything; my enemy and my best friend.
Perhaps many of us who struggle are not aware of the self-sabotage that stands in our way and that our unconscious mind is playing tricks on us. When we are faced with obstacles and circumstances which calls for our actions, more often we react instead of response collectively with conscious awareness. One of the common reason we react is because it hurts as if it has cut right through and threatened our belief system – the ‘ego-self’. Our ego-self has a natural ability to sense fear, and fear is a natural response towards potential danger; fear of losing, fear of survival, fear of separation, fear of rejection and even fear of success. We tend to over analyse everything we perceive with pre-consumed ideas or judgements – our belief system taught us.
Picture yourself as a computer and your mind is the hard drive which controls your every action and reaction. To get started, you will need to install software programs into the hard drive, so that the computer which is your body can run accordingly to the programs you installed. The software programs are your belief systems – good and bad that you were taught, experienced, and exposed to as you journey through life. They are stored in your drives and never going away. So, whenever you are faced with situations and circumstances, your ego directed self makes inflexible reactions according to what it is stored. It is said that our mind is capable of producing millions of simultaneous computations and that it can operate enormously on an unconscious level. This is especially true, when my ego-self sometimes tend to over-exaggerate what I see, hear or do. With regards to this ego-backed belief system, it’s the enemy to be subdued.
It’s not surprising to know that most of us go through life without knowing who we are, but we feel very assured we are the physical self – ‘ego-self’ with a name, a title or a role to play in this constantly changing society.
Why am I pouring my thoughts out like this? Am I in the state of debating with my mind again? No, I just want to be honest and transparent. I want my experience and the lessons I have unlearnt to be helpful, to tell you that it’s time to revisit your mind.
The constant distortion of our mind destroys our ability to see clearly, it tears us down and it obstructs our ability to love unconditionally. When we learn to recognize these distorted programming, we will be able to accept and acknowledge what we see, hear and do. We are then able to investigate our thoughts and behaviour in every action, reaction and the sensation we may feel. At this stage we are fully aware, we are now in a realization stage to a higher state of consciousness. Once we understand the actions behind our ego-backed belief system; it’s time to disassociate with it, to not identifying with our ego-self. This simply means that our sense of who we are is not fused with the emotions we perceived. In this very moment, we don’t react impulsively, we response with conscious awareness. We have just escaped the domination of our enemy; our mind is now our best friend.
My apologies if I hit a sore spot… the truth could sometimes be utterly blunt. I am sure we’ve all went through such confrontation of the constant drama in our life journey as a human, but we forgot that we are blessed with a super powered mind, a double-edged sword that we can utilize to our potential to achieve a higher self. Is suffering a choice now or it’s still inevitable? How is it not a choice when you are able to subdue your own enemy and make him your best friend?
There was a point in my life where it slapped me real hard… The things that I least expected hit me the hardest. I was feeling alone, empty and lost with full of heartbreaks. I was clouded with all sorts of negative thoughts, feelings of unworthiness and fear. I was physically exhausted, mentally drained and emotionally trapped. At times, I felt like an actress wearing a mask running on a burned-out engine that’s long due for an overhaul. I felt the suffering overwhelmed my existence. Am I simply just existing or living life? Am I here just to make ends meet? When is the right time? I had no clue, I don’t even know where to start or what to do.
I know I’m unlearning every time I struggle,
I know how pain sears,
I know what it feels to be in agony, and what it takes to transcend,
I know I have just learned that my enemy is an ignorant friend to be awaken,
I know it is the time that I feel the greater love for the good of my family, friends, community and the world…
In the end, it's all about you!