Strength - The Only Way Out Is Through - The Warriors Will

Strength - The Only Way Out Is Through

Blog post written by Mark Clewley and edited by Tifa Strife.

Good morning, Warriors!

We are going to diverge a bit from the DBT theme from the last month or so and focus on my personal journey. I know I promised to do that, and I appreciate all the love on my social media platforms! I'd love to go more in-depth about how I came to be the warrior I am today.

We all bare the shit from our past trauma. I was no different.


If you are familiar with my art (I know many of you are), darkness is something I am very acquainted with. Like many, I do find beauty in the worldview only understood by others in the dark. I embrace that part of me. However, there is the part that is directly tied to my trauma, and that was a battle I had to face in order to heal. 


They say you don't have to be afraid of the dark, only what's in the dark...


When shit hit the fan, I was faced with many fears. The trauma had caused me to retreat. I didn't want to confront them. I didn't even want to see them. The darkness does this nifty thing where we can pretend that because we can't see the monster, it must not exist. Different people have different forms of denial, but that's one of the more cliche ones. I put up walls, which protected me but also kept me trapped from the outside world. 


The box I then lived in seemed cozy enough at first. I didn't have to fear the outside anymore. There is a lot to be said for the feeling of safety. (To be clear, recovering is an important, necessary step for healing. I am not referring to that when I use this metaphor.) Soon, however, I found myself pushing against the edges. I couldn't grow because the box was built for who I was when I crafted it. There was no space for improvement or even just becoming whole again.


This reminds me of a confinement experiment I read about. A batch of fleas had been captured and put together in a diminutive form of containment. After a period of continuously hitting the lid when the fleas flew up, they started to learn that they could not go any higher and would not run into the lid like they had before. When they were finally released, they stayed in the same area as though the container were still trapping them, afraid to try any higher.

Walls keep others out, but they also keep us from getting any "higher" in growth.


We no longer have vision of where our path leads, and we teach ourselves to only jump so high. I didn't want to be hurt again. Taking chances meant the possibility of getting hurt again, and I shared that fear with the fleas. I knew what troubles waited on the other side of my walls, and so I stayed put for a significant amount of time. 


You may have noticed that I often discuss the video game Dark Souls. It's known for its challenging nature, and gamers feel pride when they accomplish the necessary tasks to finish the game. After this initial discovery, I avoided the game at first. Eventually, I forced myself to sit down and conquer each challenge successfully.

I mention Dark Souls often because learning the discipline required for it helped me with discipline in my own life. I had to focus on understanding the mechanics and strategy to acquire skillsets for my character and myself as the person playing it. This made the character more vigorous and able to withstand increasingly difficult challenges ahead of him. 


As a result, this became one of my all-time favorite games. I still play it far more than any other title out there. When I struggle in my present life, I go back and play it to remind myself that no matter how intricate my troubles are, there is always a way to defeat them.

You can't fight an enemy you can't see. Knowing your enemy is the key to defeating your enemy.


I have learned how and what I need to face my troubles as I run into them. I live in my strength, which has opened my heart up once again. I have been hurt many times by others, but if I keep my heart closed, I will miss out on the good. Strength for my body is also a great thing that I have worked hard on. It's not just the muscles or what I can bench press, but the tenacity of what I can handle. This is what sets me up for triumph in my future.


Another animal story- cows will run away from a coming storm, trying to keep it at bay, only to eventually have to face it anyway. Buffalos, on the other hand, see the storm and run into it, knowing it will pass quickly once they've faced it.


As I grow as a warrior and become stronger, I am ready to face my fears and whatever may come to me in the future. I live embracing the future while staying in the present. Holding onto my past never did anything except keep me in fear of all the great things in life. If I stay present, be consistent in my training, and hold my heart, life can bring me wonders and make me a better warrior.


I started The Warrior's Will with the hope that I would find and help others who needed it. I want to help one another in our lives as party members and build community. Even the strongest warriors need help and guidance. We don't have to battle alone. Never be afraid to seek help. Never be afraid to ask. There is strength in numbers, and I am here with you. 


Let's do this.



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