Our Own Worst Enemy: being the one that causes most of our own problems, heartaches, and difficulties
Man is his own worst enemy Cicero
We have met the enemy and he is us. Walt Kelly
Every man is his own greatest enemy, and as it were his own executioner. Sir Thomas Browne
Enemies do us ill, speak badly about us, and do what they can to bring us down, humble us, and make us miserable. Most of us know what it is like to have had an enemy. They have a way of getting our attention and being an ongoing thorn in our side. For many, our greatest enemy is not the enemy on the outside; our number one enemy is found on the inside. Our greatest enemy is us.
Most of us can be described as somewhat of a balancing act. We try to balance our outside world with our inside world. We have to process what is happening real time on the outside world with the totality of all our experiences that have defined us and made us who we are. We are loaded with conflicts, unresolved issues, doubts, uncertainties and fears. On top of all this, many of us have problems even liking ourselves. This comes about because we know the truth about ourselves. We know our weaknesses, the dark secrets, the bad thoughts and all the bad things we have done in our lives. We try to keep these things locked up inside us.
There is an element of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is us. There is our good side and there is our bad side. Mostly we try very hard to show our best side to the outside world. Sometimes the bad is able to sneak out. Others see our weaknesses and shortcomings, things we do not want others to know about us. Our enemy escapes its cage.
An enemy is one who is able to discern our weaknesses and uses them to their advantage against us. We have a tendency to fear our enemies. They can cause us to hide and to be submissive and even subjugated. Enemies can blackmail and threaten us. There are two approaches in dealing with enemies. We can cower and hide or we can confront them. The wise throughout the ages have taught that it is great wisdom to turn our enemies in our friends. It is very similar to the teaching that we should turn our weaknesses into our strengths.
We will always be challenged to deal with our inner self. Instead of being at odds with our self, one of the keys to success and happiness is to make the enemy within us into our friend and colleague.
Challenge: You do not get very far in life by avoiding those things that challenge and confront you. It is not any different with your inner enemy. As long as you ignore and avoid it, you are losing to it. Some of the greatest growth and personal development you will ever experience comes as a result of dealing with the inner conflicts, the things you hide inside and the skeletons in the closest. Determine to turn them from liabilities into assets.
Wisdom: Very often we are our own worst enemy as we foolishly build stumbling blocks on the path that leads to success and happiness. Louis Binstock
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
One of the steps in learning to become friends with the inner self is to learn to love and accept ourself despite all our warts and blemishes. Having unconditional love and forgiving ourself are all pillars to building a foundation of self esteem. God is well aware of all the things that are less than ideal about us and yet loves us as a parent loves a child. If God can love us in this way, we should do that same thing for ourselves.
Prayer: Help me to learn to have a right relationship with myself.