I have many friends who are on a warrior’s path. They train hard, choose what they eat, discipline their thoughts, and support each other through it all. Each and every one is magnificent, whether beginning the path or well-established on their journey. They are badass.

The warrior’s path celebrates badass. It celebrates commitment, strength, and consistent engagement. It goes from challenge to victory then embraces the next challenge. It builds strong bonds between those who face the challenges together and it builds inner strength.

But there’s a trap lying within. Ego can take even the best intention and twist it into a weapon. The same beautiful, strong committed people I’m honored to call my friends sometimes fall off their warrior practices. They pay a heavy penalty. Miss the diet for a day and the stories start: “you’re not a real warrior, there’s no point to keeping up the diet”, and the diet goes by the wayside the next day too. Struggle at a workout and ego will dredge up every memory of weakness it can to drag you off the path. Ego is a saboteur. Ego finds a crack in your practice and pours resistance through it.

Ego is often brittle. One failure and tiny cracks form. In the next moment, they widen. You can muscle up, power through, chant and shout and grunt and force your way through the resistance, but it’s whistling past ego’s graveyard. The demon in those shadows whispers “I’m not good enough”.

There’s a light in those shadows, a constant flame that says you are good enough. Love burns there, dispelling the shadows. Love calls you to the path, wanting nothing but the best for you – inner strength, power, beauty, and a security that nobody can take away. Love picks you up when you fall, names your struggles, and calls ego on its tricks.

When ego wants to drag you away, love can call you back.

Everybody struggles with ego. For many, it has been taking center stage their whole lives. For every mean word that has been said, every person who has tried to made you “less than”, ego has been there running the show (and ruining the tormentor’s life as much as the tormented.) But love has always been there, flaring up in unexpected moments. It brings you to every good choice you make for yourself. It leads warriors to their path. It can share the stage with ego and build magnificence.

Love takes every achievement and says “that was awesome!” It takes every failure and says “we can learn from this and do better tomorrow.” It never fails, if you will let it do its work. Love. Is. Relentless.

For some, love burns on center stage all by itself. Getting there isn’t an easy path, and Love’s Warriors, like Inanna, have often been to hell and back in their quest. Love often calls them to the same training as any warrior – strength and flexibility, nourished lives, deep discipline – but there is also a stillness and depth of compassion around them. Listen for it, the next time you meet a Warrior.

T. Thorn Coyle talks about five points of Autonomy: Commitment, Honor, Truth, Strength, and Compassion. Four things that Ego can twist and one that only Love can bring. Cultivating love can make you into a complete person; it can make you whole. It can give you a warrior’s heart.

Is it time to bring some gentleness and loving honesty to yourself? Regardless of your path, regardless of your history, if you will let love rise up to its full power inside you, it will change your life. Ego may celebrate strength, power and badassery, but Love will win every time.

Love is badass.

Posted by R. Clark, 18-Feb-13