If I retreat from my opponent's attack, he will bowl me over. If I attack him, he can counter. If I do nothing, I'm dead meat. So I must meet his attack neither by retreating, nor by attacking, nor by doing nothing.
If my aikido isn't effective martially, it's worthless. But if all I want is effective self-defense, aikido is a waste of time. I'd do better with a pistol and a concealed-carry permit.
Be patient. Aikido takes 20 years to master. Don't expect to learn it all at once.
Be impatient. If you don't get something out of every practice, you've wasted your time.
I can only learn aikido from my teacher. He knows; I don't. But he can teach me nothing. Until I find aikido in myself and figure out what it feels like, I learn nothing.
I cannot move my opponent. He is bigger than me and stronger than me. I cannot move myself. He is holding me. I move us both, together.