Am I a warrior at heart?
I remember my childhood very well. Granted, it was four years ago, but how can I forget the wars I fought in the woods, the exploring with my friends, the forts that we built, the weapons that were just mere sticks and the adventure that followed?
My childhood was spent in the admiration of heroes and warriors.
We’ve all looked up to those who fight a battle—the men in uniforms, the knights of the Middle Ages, the warriors of distant lands and the Jedi from a far, far away galaxy (hey, I’m a huge Star Wars nerd!). We’ve all at one point wanted to embody the warrior, and hopefully you still do. Hopefully you’ve felt like one at some point in life.
Unfortunately, we live in an age where real men are not required to embrace their unique maleness. Boys aren’t encouraged to go out and play in the woods, much less leave the home. And because of the lack of those boyish adventures and desires, young men are not being properly initiated into manhood. They’re really just becoming another one of the guys, never becoming a man, let alone becoming a great man.
Truth is, every great man holds within him the heart of a warrior, but first he has to awaken it. But our warrior hearts are covered up, forgotten, and neglected. Though, those desires of the heart sleep soundly within us all, we must shout out the cries of battle to reawaken the callings of our hearts.
A warrior resides inside of us all, and he wants out.
How can you reawaken those wild desires? What can you do to find, or perhaps rediscover, our warrior hearts? Here are 10 ways to reawaken your inner warrior:
1. Reconnect yourself with your natural habitat: Nature.
Men were created in the wilderness, out in the open areas drenched in plantation that requires you to take risks and live dangerously; and that’s where your heart feels at home. Going out into the roots of your creation will help strengthen the roots of your heart.
2. Find a cause worthy fighting for.
Warriors are known for their skills in swordsmanship and combat techniques. They learn these skills because they have a cause to fight for. I urge you, the holder of a warrior’s heart, to find a just cause worthy fighting for. Your cause can vary, but we all have family and loved ones to rage war for, so start with them.
3. Find a cause worthy defending.
Just as the warrior is a master in offensive combat, he must also be a master of the arts of defensive. The defense of a warrior is the protection of others, and that need to protect is a massive trait of his masculinity. The warrior protects those that are weaker than he is, never forgetting to take the hits for his family.
4. Surround yourself with fellow warriors.
The warrior does not go into battle alone. He is surrounded—shoulder to shoulder—with fellow warriors. This war of recovering your heart cannot be fought alone. Masculinity is bestowed by masculinity, and no warrior woke up ready to attack and defend without the guidance and companionship of his comrades.
5. Conquer your fears.
There’s no easy way to do this, and for good reason. Fears are sometimes healthy, and other times they’re completely irrational. Go out and do what makes you most scared. Conquer what holds you back. Just remember that a fear of jumping off a bridge is healthy, but fear of opinions is not. The warrior never would’ve conquered his foes if he was too afraid to storm the castle.
6. Embrace the callings of your heart.
It is no childish fantasy to want to live with adventure, to fight a great a battle, and to be the warrior. John Eldredge captured the callings of a man’s heart very well,
In the heart of every man is the desperate desire for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.
When you hear those calls, pursue them; you can’t reawaken your inner warrior if you don’t.
7. Train for battle.
No one runs along the front lines of attack, and defends his castle without any preparation for the battle ahead. He had to train for the fight. He trains mentally and physically. Mentally, by studying, reading, writing, and listening to other warriors’ tales of battle. Physically, by running, practicing swordsmanship, lifting heavy objects, and accomplishing hard tasks of endurance. If you’re not ready to fight, then your heart will keep sleeping.
8. Keep an open heart for love.
The shear feeling of love within a man’s heart can unlock parts of him that previously felt nonexistent. I know it. Had I never experienced it, I wouldn’t be here writing this today. Love has its way with us, and it reveals things we never knew we were capable of, like a drive to protect others. A warrior can be completely driven by love. It can be your cause to fight and defend. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to reawaken our warrior hearts—love is felt in the heart, after all.
9. Live with adventure.
The life of a man should be an adventure. It should be thrilling and risky. But it shouldn’t easy. Life should challenge you to grow and become better, not to remain where you’ve been for years. Do dangerous things. Live life with a pinch of spiciness. Live with no regrets—that’s what adventure is all about. A warrior’s life is constantly entertained with adventure, where his heart can explore it’s callings. If he lived in his recliner all day reading the newspaper, he’d never have rediscover his heart.
10. Call out to the Warrior above.
Our God is truly a warrior. Don’t believe me? Listen to this description of Him in the book of Isaiah (42:13), “The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war He stirs up His zeal; He cries out, He shouts aloud, and He shows Himself mighty before His enemies.” That is the God I trust, and He has raged war for His children countless times, and He’ll do the same for your heart; but only if you call out to the Him.
We—all men, young men, and boys—are all warriors at heart. Even the word man means warrior. We cannot live a fulfilled life without embracing our warrior hearts, and we truly cannot become a great man until we do.
In those woods, exploring and building forts with my friends, yielding those broken sticks and fighting our pretend wars, I truly was a warrior. Now, I embark on my own journey to truly become one.
My last piece of advice: follow your heart. A Warrior has created it, and a warrior lives in it. It desires and adventure, a battle to fight, and a beauty to rescue, and those three things are sure to reawaken your inner warrior—within us all.