In literature and film, there is an archetypal figure known as the Worthy Adversary. This character goads, provokes, invites and inspires the protagonist to become his best self. He raises the stakes by violating deeply held values within the still complacent Hero-to-Be. He pushes the as-yet indifferent Heroine into connecting with dormant passion and pokes the still sleeping Innocent Fool or Ingenue to awaken to his or her essential nature and live a more mature and powerful life.
Anyone who has ever played tennis knows that your game will never improve unless you play with an opponent who is at least as good as you, if not better. It is his “better” that invites your best forth. And, so, we owe a debt of gratitude to our collective Shadow just as we do the Wise Self into which we are called. And yet, as a culture, we still fear and deny the negative mind, rather than accepting it and giving it its due.
I’m not suggesting that that we should succumb to negativity when it shows up in fancy tennis togs with a really expensive racquet. Far from it. I wrote “Abundance Triggers” to help readers become so good at the happiness game that they become world class masters of state-shifting. But it’s not only about the winning. It’s about developing the mastery that allows you to win… most of the time. And when you don’t, sharpening your skills and raising your game even higher, so you come back and top yourself. That’s where the satisfaction is, and the joy too. Not because you “won,” but because you raised your consciousness to the level where you’re feeling joy and success is a natural outcome.
At long last, we have come to a point in the story arc of our collective character growth that we have begun to realize the value of positive focus. And while I celebrate that, I also caution against pretense. As long as we are human, we will have our moments of fear, doubt, and (what may appear to us to be) failure. And therein lies our strength. That’s the Worthy Adversary calling you to rise up and be your real self. After a lifetime of writing, spiritual coaching and making art, I began writing my first of 21 books and audiobooks six and a half years ago, when I was in treatment for cancer and still didn’t know who was going to win. But I knew this for sure: I was going to play, and even if I lost that particular game, I was going to play it to the best of my ability, as a fully engaged, energized, and awakened me.
So, go ahead and have your Jimmy Stewart moments, when the Worthy Adversary causes you to ask questions like, “How do I contribute to life? Is my life valuable? Is it whole? Where is my Joy?” Because by asking these questions and being open to the answers, like a tennis player facing the opponent, in ready stance and fully committed to the moment, we become better and more intuitive players. We know exactly where and how to move toward the meaning and the fun. And so, we do.