I have met the enemy and it is us. – Pogo
At my house, wild songbirds are treated exceptionally well with food, water, medical care, and housing to the point my wife thinks I need psychiatric evaluation. However, the testosterone laced teenage-in-bird-years male cardinal outside our camper at the lake was itching for a fight and I was ready to punch his lights out.
He had a white t-shirt on with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in a one sleeve and the other sleeve rolled up to expose a tattoo of a scantily clad woman named Betty. He strutted like an avian fight club veteran and kept attacking his reflection in the camper windows simultaneously hurting himself, driving the rest of us crazy and damaging the brand-new window tinting. This little red pugilist had my head turning red, too.
My wife and I finally won the battle by covering our windows with towels. Although our new camper looked like the Beverly Hillbillies on vacation, nonetheless we thwarted his unwarranted aggression. I now call him Putin.
As the battle between his birdbrain and my birdbrain raged on, I began to wonder about how many times I fight unnecessary battles that are all in my imagination.
Here are conclusions I made about fighting battles against myself:
- I’m often battling a past failure and assumptions I will fail again
- My battle is not grounded in reality; I’m making it up
- I produce negative energy that steals time and productivity
- I waste a lot of opportunity for creative thinking and imagination
- I unnecessarily engage innocent bystanders in a battle that has no merit or just cause for them
How to make sure I’m not fighting myself:
- Take counsel from trusted advisors- my wife is my best counselor; she will quickly tell me whether I’m fighting myself or a real battle worth fighting. My sons are pretty good at pointing out when I’m attacking windows, too.
- Ask myself if the basis of my battle because of past failures
- Ask myself if the basis of my battle are my own fears
I took away the little redheaded bandit’s illusion of reality so he’s sitting in the evergreen tree singing his little heart out like it’s Saturday night at the Karaoke Bar. He’ll have a headache in the morning.
But, for now, we’re both much happier.
(photo was purchased from istock because I couldn’t the little bugger to hold still – he wobbled like a drunken sailor)