The Man in the Mirror
Who is the man in the mirror? What do you see when you look into the mirror? Are you happy with what and who you see? I’m not simply talking about how you look, but who and what you truly are as a person. Do you see a man or woman of character, integrity and honor, or do you see someone who has compromised where these essential traits are concerned? These are important questions to consider.
There is a Native American tale, which I have written about before, called the Tales of Two Wolves. Essentially it states that inside of each person is two wolves – one good and one bad. These two wolves are at war with each other for control over your mind and your actions. The Cherokee elder explains, in this story, that the wolf that you feed becomes strong, and eventually wins the battle and takes over. This battle is unseen to other people, but you know it is there, and you know which wolf is winning. In the end, it is up to you which wolf wins.
There is an eternal struggle raging in man’s breast
between the powers of darkness and light.
When it comes down to it, you are the only person who can truly determine what lies below the surface – who the person is staring back at you in the mirror. Oh sure, others may have an idea, depending on how you present yourself in public, but ultimately, only you know what truly resides in your inner most core, essentially which wolf is being fed and growing stronger. You can hide who you truly are where others are concerned. You can successfully pull the wool over other people’s eyes and live a life of deception in order to get what you want or to present a specific image to others. Con men do it every day, as do many ordinary people that you run into on the street.
Sincerity is openness of heart. It is found in very few,
and what is usually seen is subtle dissimulation
designed to draw the confidence of others.
The vast majority of people will display a certain image in public in order to better sell themselves in the eyes of other people. People are gullible and easy to manipulate, but it is much harder to fool yourself. When you look into those eyes staring back at you in the mirror, you know whether or not you are really who and what you seem to be to be. They may not know what’s going on inside you, but I can assure you, you will know without a doubt which wolf is winning the war.
When you look into the mirror, do you see a sincere person who is living up to the principles that you espouse, or do you see someone merely pretending to be a person of character and honor? Be honest! There is never any advantage to deceiving to yourself. The true warrior has to honestly evaluate himself daily to make sure that he is living according to the principles by which he has decided to live his life. This internal battle between good and evil is not a battle which you watch passively to see who wins; you are the deciding factor in who wins this battle.
To every man there opens a high way and a low way,
and every man decides the way his soul will go.
Making a decision to live your life in a specific manner is only the first step; that is the easy part. The hard part is making sure that you actually live according your principles and don’t compromise who you truly are. Every little compromise, where your principles are concerned, allows the evil wolf, residing inside of you, more power, and weakens to good wolf. Being able to compromise is a good thing, but not when it comes to your principles and core beliefs.
This battle is a major part of the warrior lifestyle. Living according the the character traits of the warrior lifestyle is not an easy thing to do, but it pays big dividends to those who consistently mold their life according to the principles of honor and character. Those who give attention to this internal battle, and who consistently feed the good wolf, and starve the evil wolf, will see more and more results, until the war is eventually won. While the forces of the evil wolf may never be completely annihilated, they will be subjugated to a point where they are no longer a powerful enemy.
Look deeply at the man in the mirror until you see into your soul, into the battle ground between the two wolves, and determine how the battle is going. Gaze into your heart and into your spirit, and honestly answer the question, “Who is the man in the mirror.” Then, if you find that you don’t like the answer, take steps to change what you see. Actively get involved in that internal battle, instead of simply standing by passively. In the end, who wins the battle is up to you. If you stand by like a neutral observer, the evil wolf will take control and eventually dominate your decisions and your actions. You have to stand on the side of right and be willing to step into the battle and fight the evil wolf, not sit on the sideline and hope the good wolf somehow wins.
Unless the seed of evil is destroyed it will grow up to destroy us.
Take some time to do some soul searching and determine which wolf you have been feeding. Determine which wolf appears to be the strongest at the present moment. This is not a battle you can afford to stay out of; no one can stay out of this battle and walk away unscathed. You will either be an active warrior in this conflict or a voluntary slave to the evil wolf. The choice is yours. What do you see when you look into the mirror? Think about it…
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
The Wisdom Warrior