The Internal Battle
Bohdi Sanders, Ph.D.
Many times, warriors have to fight some enormous internal battles. Many of us have both the skills, and the will, to destroy those who come against us, but we have to learn to control our urge to destroy our enemies, unless we have no other choice. We have to control this almost overwhelming desire to seek revenge against those who have wronged us, while at the same time controlling our thoughts and mind in order to not allow hatred to overcome us. This takes great discipline and a massive amount of self-control and self-discipline.
It is easy to advise others to not allow the actions of other people to control them and to never give in to hatred or anger. Sharing our knowledge and wisdom with others is the easy part; not allowing anger or hatred to overtake us, when we have been unjustly wronged, is much harder. It takes every ounce of self-control that you can muster to not destroy an enemy through revenge, when you have the ability, the opportunity, and the power to do so. It takes constant thought control not to allow yourself to give in to deep-seated, righteous hatred, when someone you trusted has betrayed you, lied about you, and tried to destroy your reputation and your life.
Many people in this world are jealous, petty, fake, and malicious. They will try to hurt you. They will lie about you and spread vicious rumors about you, in an attempt to hurt you or to bring you down in some vain attempt to make themselves feel better about who and what they really are. Their jealousy gets the best of them and turns into hatred; and their hatred turns into malice. They somehow feel that if they could just destroy you, their aimless, and empty life would somehow improve. They don’t understand that their jealousy and their hatred have them on the brink of the abyss, where they blindly jump into the void with the thought that it will somehow save their starving soul.
The true warrior chooses to see these people for what they are. When you see them in the entirety of their miserable life, you feel pity for them instead of hatred. When you understand the honest reality and truth of karma, you start to experience a feeling of sadness for those people who try to hurt you, who are so desperately unhappy with their own life that they choose to attack yours instead of investing their time to improve their own life.
I believe that this is what Jesus meant when he taught about turning the other cheek. He was not teaching that if someone strikes you, you should merely let them hit you again; he was trying to get across to us that we should not seek revenge, that we should refrain from retaliating against those who have wronged us.
I have had to remind myself of this over the last few months. People, who I thought were men of honor, have turned out to be just the opposite. They have attacked me, spread lies and malicious gossip about me, called me everything you can imagine, libeled me, and attacked my business, all in a jealous attempt to destroy my reputation, my following, and to hurt my family and me. They have accused me of things so absurd that at times it has made me laugh out loud and at times it has made me burn with hate. But I refuse to allow who they are to make me forget who I am. I refuse to allow their hate to become my hate. As Gandhi wrote in his Quit India Speech, “We must purge ourselves of hatred.”
Many times when I write my articles or commentaries, my readers comment that what I teach is easier said than done, and they are one hundred percent right. I have been so tempted to just take off the gloves and destroy those who have tried to destroy me. I have the power to do it, I have the knowledge and information to do it, I have the resources to do it, and I have the connections to do it, all of which makes it even harder not to take revenge on these people.
But I have made the decision, as an act of my will, not do destroy them, not to lower myself to their standards, not to forget who I am, because of what they are, to continue to live by my principles in spite of their actions. Therefore, I move on. I choose to turn the other cheek and not seek retaliation. I do what is mine to do and leave them to their miserable jealousy, hate, and anger. As Gandhi stated, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” If you hold tight to your principles, to your honor, and to your integrity, you will win.
Life is too short to allow the actions of others, no matter how depraved or malicious they may be, to rob us of our own happiness or peace of mind. We must control our mind, control our thoughts, only then will we be able to control our actions. We must be above the pettiness of our enemies, while at the same time defending ourselves from their attacks and adhering to our own high standards. This is the essence of the warrior lifestyle which I teach about in my books Modern Bushido and the Warrior Wisdom Series.
While it is a natural human tendency to allow emotions to cause us to forget this at times, we must hold firm to our own code and our own principles. We must continue to walk in love, even among those who wallow in hate. We must rise above those who would try to drag us down. We must be victorious over our desire for revenge until that desire can no longer enter our minds. We must triumph over our enemies, both externally and internally, but without compromising our own principles or who we truly are. This is the internal battle that every man and woman of honor must fight, and it is vital to our happiness and our honor that we win that battle. Bohdi Sanders, Ph.D.