Well, I can tell you what undoes my house…. EVERYDAY — it’s my 3 year old son! Between painting the walls and toilet green and taking the confetti from my paper shredder and sprinkling it all over the house, it’s a test in patience and letting go everyday! Not to mention it’s an even bigger letting go process for my home-designer-of-a-husband!
I often relate people or circumstances to a martial arts match. Martial arts is a dance with your opponent. Your opponent is understood merely as an entity to strengthen you. In the face of that opponent, we get to see the areas where we still need to grow and strengthen. So, essentially, everyone and everything to one degree or another is a mirror for ourselves. It’s these challenges that bring us to our knees to deepen, stretch, heal and strengthen us.
(Nothing says it better than the Matrix movie!)
It may sound silly, but one of my toughest brown-belted opponents is clothes shopping… there I said it! Walking alone into a clothing store undoes me every time. Clothing fashion is a math equation that I’ve never been able to solve! I walk into a clothing store without a helper and internally I’m a hot mess! I’ve learned though that I can choose my battles with opponents and simply request that my aesthetically-oriented husband please be my personal shopper! What a relief!
Yet, there are other times though that we know that we must face people, places and things squarely in the eye in order to receive our best lessons in life. Whether these opponents be our boss at work, our mother-in-law, our kids, our perfectionism, our traumas, our fears. A teacher once said to me, “Lean into those places where you are most uncomfortable, as that is where we attain our greatest self-mastery.” As we lean into these uncomfortable places, what can we learn about ourselves? Everything and everyone are our teachers if we can only shift our perspective. We often wait for the courage to walk into such fires. What if we take a step and then notice that courage follows? What or who is your black-belted opponent and what would it mean for you to develop self-mastery with that opponent? What blessings can you imagine are available on the other side?