That drive to survive, wanting to win, are you fighting a losing battle?
The fight to the top.
Life presents many obstacles. Overcoming each strengthens us, gives us a sense of achievement and confidence. Conquering each challenge develops character and makes us worthy. Fighting our way to the top feels good.
But what if you left the battlefield?
What if you stopped and asked ‘what am I fighting for?’
Suppose they gave a war and nobody came.
Expression used by hippies during the early seventies in protest against the Vietnam war.
Worn out from years of fighting to reach the top, improve life, have enough saved for tomorrow, boomers are again asking this question. ‘What am I fighting for?’.
I was one of those boomers, was this my ‘mid life crisis’?
The mid life crisis.
I had a mid life crisis and did what you do in a mid life crisis. I went back to my younger years, before I entered the battlefield, back to the peaceful hippie. I took a gap year, like the year between leaving school and entering college, when life was still fun, before the battle of adult responsibility begun.
Then, this ex hippie did what one does when the fight can’t be won.
Turn on, tune in and drop out.
In mindful contemplation, I began to understand that there was nothing to fight for.
Imagine all the people living for today, you may think that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
I resolved never to go back to a war, decided the War is Over. I’d stay in that place where they gave a war and nobody came and Give peace a chance. Imagine.
Why do humans fight for what they want?
Fight or flight is our biological response to acute stress, not only in humans but for all animals. In our caveman days, we were surrounded by predators, we had to fight for survival. We naturally perceive life as threatening, we have not left the jungle.
Why it is essential to try and give peace a chance.
We’re all well aware of the detrimental effects that living a life in heightened anxiety (stress) has on our bodies but believe we have no choice. We try everything to prevent stress, and gain control of our environment. Living like this often goes unnoticed in early adulthood but in mid life symptons arise as a consequence, it’s time to leave the battlefield.
Mindfulness will help to get back to that hippie and give peace a chance?
Mindfulness meditation is a great way to stop the fight and give peace a chance. It might take some time to recover but you can start by slowly introducing some of the following into life:
- Stop worrying about the future or ruminating over the past, instead stay with the present.
- Meditate for ten minutes each day, sit or lie down and bring your mind to your breath, feel it coming and going through your nostrils, when your mind wonders to the worries or to do’s, gently guide it back to your breath.
- Take a mindful walk through the park, feel the earth, rocks or grass under your feet. When your mind wonders bring it back to the present, the sights and sounds of nature, the sensations of the breeze, the sun on the side of your face.
- Become aware when participating in gossip or judgment when talking to others.
- Stop striving to improve yourself, you’ve already improved with age, like fine wine.
- Stop trying to improve others in your life so that you can help them win the war, instead accept and support them through life’s ups and downs.
- Decide to not read to know more, stop brain cells from deteriating or to be more employable, read for pleasure.
- Do not exercise to stay fit and young, but to enjoy the wind in your hair and trying to catch your breath.
- Do not eat to lose weight and look better, instead enjoy the flavour.
By practicing the above you will lose that drive to survive, but will go on living. You will flow more easily through life’s ups and downs. As others fight their wars around you, you’ll have empathy, but feel at peace.
Are you now ready to give up the fight and give peace a chance?