The Real Enemy

I was a kendo player for the most part in my childhood.

In Kendo, whether it is a practice or a game, you start the spiritual interaction with a bow, end it with another.

Bow is a way to greet in my country. By bowing, we show the top of our head to the others. Why - because it indicates that you are vulnerable to them and that you won’t harm them as people used to cut off the heads by their swords back in the day; rather, it could be taken that you even respect them by degrading yourself and bringing up the person’s status by that.

Why do they do that in Kendo? There are many possible answers to it that I can assume but what I like to believe is because you want to show your appreciation to your opponent.  No matter how badly he beats the shit out of you in a game, you’ll always end it with a bow. 

Why would you be thankful to the person for beating you up - because by losing, by getting totally owned, you will now be aware of where you stand. The person will point out the weakness in you. You will learn what you need to work on and you will also have to admit the fact that there are people that are stronger than you out there after all of your practice. If you win, it means that your practice is efficient and it is paying off.

Through your opponent, you learn everything you need to know for now, to realize what you had have been doing and how it is working out for you. In other words, your opponent reflects all you have done; what you are.

Now, as you might be able to tell, this is not only about Kendo. Your partner, your friends, your family, everyone around you, they all reflect what you are. One of the reasons why you should thank them.

If you’re angry at them, maybe there is something you don’t wanna admit because you are scared of denying you in some way by that, and you unconsciously notice so and be angry at yourself to have the weakness. If you think the person is smart, maybe somewhere on your mind, you are aware that the person is thinking in the same way as you do and it reminds yourself that you are learning well. If you are happy about the person’s life, maybe you see yourself in the person and you are happy about yourself, rather. The people around you expose you. As much as you appreciate the people themselves, you appreciate yourself that is reflected on them.

Every now and then, it’s good to remind yourself that all of your surroundings reflect what you are inside. It’d be a clever thing to do to learn from them and  appreciate them for that because we are often driven only by the visible things. What you are feeling is not always about what you are seeing. 

Today, for me, is one of those days.

I thought I was always aware of this, but sometimes, emotions can blind you.

Whatever anger or confusion that I’ve recently had on my mind is gone - because now I know the real enemy; inside of me, not the people around me.