The Battle Within

We cannot outthink our hearts.

As much as we may want life to make sense, to be rational, and to be fair and predictable, the reality is that our lives, the way that we view the world, the way we envision the future, and the way we remember our past, is all filtered through, shaped, and colored by our emotions to some degree or another.

Reason is a tool we use to justify or explain the way we experience and interact with the world, but our actual experience of our lives, of ourselves, and of our relationships is emotional.

Beyond reason, beyond explanation, rationalization, and justification, there is an emotional battle for control happening inside of us and between us at all times.

This battle for our hearts, our minds, and our relationships is being fought between the two most powerful forces in the world. These are love and fear.

The degree to which we allow one or the other of these to dictate our thoughts, our actions, and even our logic, is the degree to which we will experience a life of either joy or anguish, abundance or scarcity, and companionship or isolation.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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