The other night I watched a movie that had a profound impact on me. Warrior. The story of two brothers who end up fighting each other for MMA’s ultimate 5 million dollar prize. Going into the movie, I initially thought I was going to be watching a movie about MMA fighting, which it was, but as I soon found out this movie had something much deeper to offer.
I remember this summer and what I recognized I had always done since I was a child. Everyone has one of these, but what I would go to (an attitude) when I was threatened by a situation or by people, I would act specifically this way. “I can do it on my own, and leave me alone.” I am sitting in the movie theater watching Tommy (the angry Marine) on screen do the exact same thing, and it struck home deeply within. I have been there. I have been haunted by the past and acted out irrationally because of things I was holding onto. He was angry, upset, and said things he didn’t mean. I sat and watched in awe as I saw myself on the screen. The other brother, Brendan, was a simple school teacher who was stuck in a rough place in his life and was fighting for his family. As I watched his story, again, I was struck. He came from humble beginnings and had watched his dreams slip away from him over time. However, when it came to what he wanted in life, he fully committed himself to something that seemed impossible. Against all the odds, he achieved something that at one point in his life, was completely ungraspable. However, for me, the real moment of realization came when the two brothers face off at the end of the movie. They both have this dream to win the championship, and an intense situation of brother vs. brother comes to be. For me though, I was watching the internal battle between the side of me that was originally full of anger and the side that is full of passion and love. At the beginning, the school teacher gets his body absolutely pounded by his bigger and stronger brother, but eventually he realizes that “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa. While he is going through an internal struggle of whether to end the fight with his brother or not, his coach looks him in the eyes and says, “If you don’t win, you don’t have a home.” The school teacher realizes that his commitment to his family and what he set out to do at the beginning of movie was his word, and that he was going to honor his word. Eventually, Brendan puts the finishing moves on his brother and ends the fight in victory. So the good side wins right? No.
What I saw wasn’t that there was a good guy and a bad guy. Rather, as the two brothers walk out of the ring, they were embracing each other in love, something that they didn’t have before. But what really resonated for me was something that I learned over the weekend. In life, there is always a flip side to every emotion and feeling we have. With great happiness comes great sadness. However, instead of having to fight the sadness and try to get out of it, you just accept it as a valid emotion, and eventually it will pass. So as the brothers walked off, it was a pure vision of embracing both sides of yourself. I am committed to helping people live a life powerfully and one that is full of love. However, on the other side of that statement is the potential of someone who wants to be alone and who is angry. Instead of fighting that side though, I just embrace it as a valid point of view. Now, I am free to be who I want to be. Not haunted. Not stopped from creating something amazing. Just me.
Embrace every part of you. Embrace the good with the bad. Most importantly though, declare who you want to be in life, and then be that person. Even if you don’t know how to be that person you have declared yourself to be, in time, you will act accordingly. For me, I am a person who declared to help people live a life full of love and power. And how am I doing to do that? By having a soul of a lion.