A few days ago, I found the African proverb above on the Happy Black Woman website (the post “67 Inspiring Quotes by Black Women on Happiness, Perseverance, Fear and Success”) and it just immediately stuck out to me. It seemed like a lightbulb went off in my head. Do I have an enemy within?
Many of us have a little voice inside of us that we constantly have to silence. It tells us all the things we can’t do or all the reasons why we aren’t good enough. More often than not, we probably can call those nagging thoughts into question and continue about our business. But, sometimes those little, lying voices may win in casting a cloud over us.
I’ve been a bit down in the dumps off and on for some time now and the proverb above made it clear that I have to cast out my enemy within.
It’s true that sometimes we really do have haters, but we have to be careful that the hater in our heads is not making us believe that someone on the outside is a hater when they really aren’t. I’ve realized that it’s very possible that a lot of the rejection we feel from others could be the projection of our own internal enemy out into the world.
It can be tough being a stay-at-home mom. Yes, I don’t deny that it is a privilege, honor, blessing, and pretty much every good thing that you can think of. When I went back into the workforce when my daughter was about 7 or 8 months, I immediately dreamed about the day when I could get back home to see her go through all of her major milestones without missing a beat. That day came sooner than I could’ve imagined and I was thrilled. Yet, every stay-at-home mom knows the challenges—isolation from the adult world, the blow to your ego and maybe even your self-esteem when those checks stop coming in your name, and the misperception about what you do on a daily basis (and don’t forget the misperception about your financial situation) from the outside world. It definitely can throw your sense of value and confidence threw a loop. Living simply and valuing other things over fortune, fame, and independence (gasp!) is so contrary to what society tells us we should want that we tend to look at ourselves sideways when we don’t live according to society’s standard of success.
However, the proverb above made me realize that if I have an enemy within that thinks very little of myself and my place in the world, every glance and remark from others—no matter how unrelated to me personally—will be filtered through the beliefs of my enemy within. If I’m my own enemy, I have no chance in the world no matter what endeavors I pursue. We all have to be our own biggest fans. We have to cheer ourselves on when the going gets tough and know that we can make it even if we are the only fan that we have.
So to all my positively optimistic & powerful people (in process) cast out the enemy within and build yourself up daily. You may use affirmations, inspirational podcasts, scripture, or self-help books. Whatever you need to do to get that enemy within out of your mental space and spirit, do it as often as you need to. This is oh so necessary in order to keep it poppin’ 😉