I have come to realise that if we allow ourselves, it is easy to see yourself as a victim, to believe so much in your sense of rightness that we invite Trojan horses into our lives that destroy us.
I am sure you have heard the expression “sitting on your high horse”, but today I want to talk about being tricked by a Trojan horse of our own making. Of course the phrase, “sitting on your high horse”, refers to being conceited. The think is that sometimes we can get so blinded by our own sense of being in the right that we move from sitting on the horse, but create little Trojan horses built solely with pride that kills.
Sometimes we get tangled in our own cleverness that we become like the people of Troy, fooled into believing that we have taken for ourselves a meaningless victories that becomes our undoing.
So, as told in Virgil’s famous epic poem, Aeneid, the Greeks tried to enter the city of Troy for ten long years to no avail. Finally, they decided to try something bold, they built a large wooden horse large enough to hold some soldiers which the Trojans were unaware of and pretended to sail away in defeat. Now, after they left the people of Troy thought they had won the war and so dragged that wooden monstrosity of a peace offering meant for their gods into their city to celebrate. After all, they had outsmarted those pesky Greeks. Of course it was all a trick and in the end the Trojans were defeated in a surprise attack and the Greeks really won the war.
Whether or not we know it, many of us think too highly of our own quick brain and self-righteous indignations when we feel we have been misrepresented or disrespected by someone. This causes us to invite negative thoughts that can undermine relationships and stifle our growth. Allowing the Trojan horse in can mean that our defenses are weak and we can no longer see anything we do as wrong but everyone else becomes an enemy that must be defeated. It is easy, I have come to realise, to believe in your own sense of justice and fairplay, eventually everything becomes black and white. When this happens, it is almost impossible for us to see flaws in our strategies, argument and positions and invite a spirit of ill will into our interactions with people we feel have slighted us. We are unable or unwilling to see the danger of having this outlook and never quite understand why we seem stuck where we are.
If we build our own Trojan horse then we become easily deceived from within and we are blinded to our faults and our vision becomes filled my an image of ourselves and our place in the world that is of our own creation, having no basis in reality. The enemy is not outside the enemy is within. There are no Greeks trying to breach our defenses. What we need to be careful of is that we may forget that in the grand scheme of things we cannot get to the big picture without noting the finer details. We cannot be deceived into thinking that we have it right and everyone else is a mess. We all are messes from time to time. Therefore, it is more important to work on those weak areas that can easily be penetrated, than to prematurely celebrate a victory before we have began the real war. The real war in seeing ourselves as we truly are, flaws and all, bad decisions and misjudgement and all and not be deceived by the lies we tell ourselves and others.