I cannot think of a better way to say it than the writers of the Pop-Rock band, Lit: Jeremy and Alan Popoff, Jay Blades and Kevin Shellenberger in the classic “My Own Worst Enemy.”
The opening lyric says it all:
It’s no surprise to me, I am my own worst enemy….
The greatest irony in life is that we are our own worst enemies. We are our own biggest problem. This is absolutely beyond my realm of comprehension. At the same time, we are pre-programmed to live self-centered lives with an emphasis on preservation. Who wants us to a live a great life more than we do? So if we are our own biggest fans, supporters, advocates, helpers why in the world would we do anything to prevent our own forward progress?
We try, but in the end we cannot save ourselves from ourselves. There will always be more pressure, turmoil, challenges than what we desire. We will face adversity in ways unimagined and try to carry loads that we were never called to carry. We will never be able to understand why life more often than not seems “unfair.” Trials are inevitable but the way in which we attempt to defend and preserve ourselves is where we find trouble.
The fact of the matter is that we are human beings, incapable of leading perfect lives. We may have impeccable intentions but our actions will eventually lead us in ways we would rather not travel. Life is not a solo journey. We are incapable of saving ourselves, so what makes us feel as if we live life on our own? Call it hope, or perhaps naivety? Call it faith, belief, community, fellowship.
We need one another to do this thing called life. We need regular intervention and interference in the form of road trips, dinner parties, sporting events, holiday get-togethers…We’ve all heard the age-old quote “No Man is an Island.” And guess what? It is ok to not be ok!
This battle we all fight is constant. We do our best to appear “together” and not let on that we are dying every day. Pride is the primary source of all pain, frustration, disappointment and regret. And where does pride reside….it gravitates to the area of greatest vulnerability and is always quick to judge. So, the next time you are feeling as if you are the primary source of your success, remind yourself of the precious people that surrounded you when you were most unlovable and detestable.