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Aikido illuminates my fears and gives them substance. I'm able to face them and learn that instead of overcoming them I can use the energy they supply me with to enrich my experience. When I face my partner my demons are awake, whispering in their nasty little voices of times in my life when choices I made led me astray; riddling me with labyrinthine reasoning as to why failure is inevitable. And I see them for what they are; distractions, attempts to make me abandon mind/body coordination in favor of isolation where fear reigns as I am cut off from the universe.
There is no room for winning and losing in my Aikido. Both are illusions, as transitory as smoke riding the crest of a gale. The idea that defeating my partner will somehow make me stronger is shown to be a lie. For the victory will feed and grow my ego bringing me further from my goal rather than nearer.