Category Archives: Subpersonalities

You Are a World Champion

If you’ve been spending the last month watching 22 men chasing a little ball around a green pitch, then you’re not alone. I along with millions of others have also been captivated by the World Cup Tournament. Today the German team appears in the media as World Champions, holding the funny looking gold trophy above their heads. Throughout the tournament, players and their fans have been photographed crying, laughing, beaming, broken, angry, despondent, and joyful. What is this global emotion all about?

World Cup Champions 2014

World Cup Champions 2014

After the final match, my husband and I watched a flustered journalist attempt to interview the German team captain. The reporter could barely put two words together, he was so overwhelmed with emotion. All these feelings with nowhere to go. We look to our national teams for courage, determination, skill and stamina and we bemoan their defeat. The team carries so much more for us collectively as we wave our flags, paint our faces, and wrap ourselves in the designated colors. Now that it’s all over, what will we do?

We might think about our need for outer heroes and heroines (the latter are sorely lacking in football), and how they reflect our personal heroes inside us. All our football players are holding the higher qualities that we long for in ourselves. Perhaps we too are seeking courage and persistence in our own daily struggles along with joy and elation in our own personal triumphs.

Now is the time to try and integrate the feelings that bubbled up during the tournament and make them more our own. For example, I found myself consistently sad at the end of any game, identifying with the losers, wishing everyone could be a winner. What does that say about me? I often criticize myself for not being good enough, a failure, insignificant in this whirlwind called life. But the reality is, I too am a winner in my own way, through my own small everyday battles, sometimes creeping along inch-by-inch with the persistence, faith, and stamina of the best footballer. And when I am successful, I often shy away from the limelight, almost afraid of standing firmly in the winner’s circle.

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Willing and Waiting for Change

horse ridingAs I wrote in the last blog, strong will is not about how well you can dominate others. It is about how much power or energy you have to drive your own life forward. Imagine your strong will as a horse. Horses are huge, strong beasts with tremendous power. But if you don’t know how to ride a horse, or how to be in relationship with them, they will take advantage of your ignorance. They might gallop away with you hanging on for dear life, or they might just stand there and not take a single step, no matter how much you try to coax them.

If we think of our strong will as a horse, then we quickly see the great need to have skillful will. Without the skills necessary to ride a horse, we might never leave the meadow. Or worse! We might end up running around the meadow chasing the horse. Skillful will is, in fact, our ability to obtain what we want with the least amount of energy. We all know people who can ride horses almost magically, easing these huge, powerful animals right or left with just a miniscule pull of the reigns. This how we want to move through our lives, skillfully, with minimal effort, going in the direction we desire.

Strong Will Can Work Against You

Let’s look at one example of how the strong will can actually work against you and the skillful will is more effective. I knew a woman from Romania named Olga. She needed to support her son through university, so she left her own job as school headmistress and moved to London where she could earn more money working as a nanny and also improve her English. Suddenly, after 20 years of running a high school and two university degrees—one in mathematics and the other in engineering—she was taking care of three children, ironing, and cleaning house for someone else.

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