A One-Man Battle Plan: What Will it Take to Truly Live?

It can get easy to think—especially during more difficult times—that our fight is a one-man battle. But truthfully, this very banal and short-sighted mentality always results with unnecessary pain in our personal lives.


What am I talking about, really? At its heart, I’m referring to the deleterious emotional atmosphere of our global society. Ever since Covid-19 occurred, and perhaps even before then, society has become reclusive and void. We live more out of fear than from courage or hope. And we can conjure a million excuses as to why this is a viable way to exist, but the excuses only validate the vacuity of the fact that that type of life isn’t really a life, it’s literally just bare-boned “existence.” It’s essentially the corporeal operation of the organs in our physical bodies, but the soul inside has leaked into apathy and carelessness. We’ve forgotten who we are, or we’ve begun trying to minimize who we are to avoid the experience of suffering what it feels like in an emotionally void world. It’s very disheartening. So, is that it?


Why live this way? This method is certainly not a solution. And it’s a terrible substitute. It’s not even a worthy consideration. To be blunt, it’s exactly what I wrote above: an excuse. The worst one to be thought of because it literally leads to insanity: we do the same thing each and every day, hoping in the deepest recesses of our minds and souls that life could be more than it is, but it never gets there. And so we wake up to doom and gloom, wanting heavenly rays, birds chirping and people making peace, but we’re getting headaches, lacking sleep, and desiring connection that we never find.

Our world won’t change unless it chooses to. It’s that simple. Once we make a choice, the only thing to follow is action. The choice our society has made, thus far, is fear. We live in fear. We hide away so we either aren’t smothered, bothered, or exposed to anything negative. Now, I’m not claiming or accusing every single living human being for doing this, because I know that not to be true. But there are many of us who do this. If our world is to change, we must make a choice to bend what has become “normal”; that is to say, emotional dissonance—unbalance in the way we experience others, our inner needs being met just like putting on clean clothes and taking showers with soap. Without all the needs being met, we are incomplete. We weren’t created in a way that merely existing can be experienced as fulfilling. It’s impossible. Our species isn’t capable of wanting less than it was created to experience in full.


To live out of fear is to live within the box of insanity, hoping insanity might one day have mercy on our lifestyle and give in. I’ve got really bad news: IT NEVER WILL. Living the same way breeds the same results. It’s been proven by anyone who’s ever done it. Another common theme that is also proven, however, is that changing ourselves changes how we experience life around us. When we change what is unnecessary or unhelpful in our lives, we make space and create potential for the thing(s) we need more. That is to say, we give God our stubbornness and turn over our desire to have things change whilst frowning, moping, and hiding from everything we’d prefer to be and do and say. We create new habits, perhaps meet new people, try new foods, examine new lifestyles, consider new mentalities, challenge ourselves in ways we hadn’t before—all to change the monotony of life, or the pain and suffering of what has become so dissatisfying and life-draining.


Sometimes, or in fact most times, change takes time. It doesn’t happen the next day. Like building muscle, one must exercise consistently, rest amply, and eat calculably in such a way that leads to the desired result over the course of weeks and months. One doesn’t just wake up with a six-pack of abs, or a mastery in a particular subject, or the ability to fly a plane. It takes time to get to those levels, skills, and goals. The same is true with an emotionally tuned out world living out of the fear of change or exposure.

Change is all around us. It’s inevitable. I was convinced at 13-years-old that change was going to be the literal death of my life. I thought I wouldn’t survive all the changes going on in my life at that time. It was excruciating, so I thought my reasoning made perfect sense. How could I survive hell in my life? But I did! I’m almost 36, so that tells the story for itself. I’ve experienced change upon change, repeatedly over 20-something more years after those changes originally convinced me I’d be dead. And I’m still here. And after all that, I can say that change no longer surprises me. I don’t like it at all. It’s extremely blind-siding at times. But I keep in mind that that’s life. We need to learn and grow, not stay in the same place tapping our fingers or staring at the walls. Life is too short. It really is.


People need people. I’m an introvert and I’m fully aware of my need for people. I can’t avoid them all the time. There is a time for everything, remember? (Ecclesiastes 3) There is a time for people, connecting with them and so on. There is also a time for reticence and reclusiveness and being alone (I’m not quoting the Bible here, this is me speaking from experience of my own). They’re both healthy for every person. But when we are around people, we must be able to engage. Not everyone is the same person who caused us our fears to begin with. There are only so many people who have actually hurt us like that; it’s just unfortunately easy to project the fear we originally learned from toxic people onto many, many others who have no connection to the toxic people whatsoever. We must learn to recognize the differences so we can live.

We must re-educate ourselves emotionally so we can both be better friends to ourselves behind closed doors as well as to others in public. We need God more than we need our rational and logical selves, because sometimes there’s things we just can’t fix, and we just need the peace and quiet, the love and mercy and grace of our Lord—to give us the understanding that in those difficult moments, we are still okay. We’re okay because we’re not in control—HE IS. We’re more than okay.


This isn’t a one-man battle. You aren’t on your own. People out there are suffering all over the place. If we could see all the suffering, I doubt a single one of us could emotionally bear it. It would cause us to implode. We can’t fathom how much pain and suffering is going on for hundreds of millions of people every single day. That should be enough motivation for us to try a little harder to show compassion and kindness to others. To say hello and share a friendly smile. To be willing to listen to someone who just needs to talk a bit. Just to exist isn’t enough. We’re humans; we’re biologically engineered to want and to be more than mere bodies and brains. We’re a soul too. If we could just live more from our souls and less from our brains. Our brains are convinced our world is done for. And… insofar as I can tell, that’s actually true. But, what’s more true and vastly more important is this: humanity is still here. Why can’t we try, one little bit at a time, to be better than yesterday? To be more than we have been in the past. To think and to feel; to forgive and love; to let go and move on—to truly be and not hold onto something burdening us purposelessly.

Let’s live. God is good. You’re not alone. The war isn’t over, and everyone needs help. With an abundance of suffering, we sure could use more love and kindness. Be the hug you need from someone, or the smile, or the conversation. Be it fully. Be it again tomorrow. I pray it is returned 100-fold. God bless you.


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