Recently I was watching reruns of The West Wing on NETFLIX. The President, played by Martin Sheen, ended the show with these words, “Then let the good fight begin.” He was talking about the battle ahead to confirm his choice for the Supreme Court justice. It was a powerful ending that heralded the possibility of a new beginning and it reminded me of the most important Good Fight each of us face – the quest to bring forth our true selves.
Most of us survive the challenges of youth by sacrificing important pieces of who we are. Years later we find ourselves fighting for what we lost; our dreams, our truth and our values. To feel accepted, we relinquished the gift of originality and the uniqueness of our being – and now we see that by doing so we have sentenced ourselves to living someone else’s life.
Differences often frighten people; it takes them out of their box and offers them something new. When fear rules, so do judgments, criticism and worry. Change is necessary to grow and if you don’t grow your life gets smaller, not plump and full of possibilities. It takes risk to be you; it takes disappointing those you love or those you hope will love you. To pursue your own ideals brings the fear abandonment and yet if you don’t you will abandon yourself. However, the truth is people are attracted to confidence; to those who own their originality, those who persevere for their dreams. Every great being or creator has fought “The Good Fight” under opposition. It’s a rite of passage to take the reigns of your life and decide for yourself what is right or wrong and where you are going.
Thus, “The Good Fight” is the battle to be you, to overcome the pressure to fulfill the desires of others over your own, whether it be your parents, society, a partner or your peers. Everyone will try and shape you into their image, they will validate what they like and criticize what they don’t. Of course you have to compromise, adjust, adapt, survive, but you must do so without disconnecting from your true nature. And even if you don’t voice your truth, you need to listen to it. Your mission is to walk your own path, to experience your own choices and to discover your own way.
If you’ve lost your way, just start listening to yourself. The voice within has always known exactly who you are, where you are going and what you want to be. Face your demons and put them on notice. Get rid of so called friends who only put you down; who never listen, but always have something to say. Open the door to those of like spirit, those who are also committed to fighting “The Good Fight” – a fight that makes you a winner just by entering the ring.