Warriors walk among us, often under the silent guise of the injured, weak, meek, wounded or something other than the strong, incredible being that they truly are. I have observed this strength in many of the men and women in my life and when writing this two in particular come to mind.
Strength comes in all different forms, some people wear their strength like a badge of honour shouting to the world "YOU CAN'T BREAK ME" while others simply exist in such harmony with their strength when asked they likely wouldn't know to what you are referring. Over the years I have watched you be attacked, have watched you struggle to love others and to love yourself, to give love and certainly to accept love. I have watched as you have endured hateful behaviour from others foreign and known, watched you struggle with the reality of losing someone you loved but never knew how to show up in that love. I have at times felt pity for you, not realizing that you weren't a victim in the situation like I thought, but someone choosing to stay and work through the bullshit in hopes of creating something far stronger in the end.
Often we assume to know others pain and suffering from the minimal exposure we have to the deep parts of their lives, we think the abused are too weak to leave when in reality often it is not weakness that keeps them but rather it is strength and a desire to not run from the bad but to work through the ugly. I have seen you be at war with yourself, struggling day after day to make it through because the hurt of the world weighs heavily on your petite shoulders.
I have watched in adoration as you give selflessly to others when you have barely been able to care for yourself, because you knew in your heart that you had the strength to carry on and those others needed what you had to give more than you needed to keep it. You have cried silently into your pillow at night, sobbing out the pain and suffering of the world and wake up in the morning ready to tackle whatever obstacle dare stand in your way. You have made something from nothing time and time again, never asking for handouts or even help because you knew within you lay the power to do it yourself.
Many times I have wondered, how do you keep it all together? How do you manage so many balls in the air and still have a smile in your heart and a twinkle in your eye, ready to drop everything the moment someone else is in need? Your strength amazes me and inspires me to look deeper within when I feel the need to cop out to the excuses of being too tired/broke/sad and other. I watch you from afar with great fascination and wonderment as I watch you transform from caterpillar to the most beautiful of butterfly's. The humbleness you live your life with could easily be mistaken for insecurity or weakness, when really it is the exact opposite. You stand so strong in your conviction of who you are and what you are capable of that you need not boast about your ability to walk through HELL and back, to get back up time and time again when life knocks you down, and to remain open and positive and gracious and giving regardless of the tribulations you endure.
To walk away when life is hard is actually the easy part, to endure the hardship because you know the value in the lesson and the potential for the incredible takes a strength that not many display. To say that I have learned a lot from watching you is an incredible understatement because not only have I learned, I have been challenged in my own life and integrity and strength to stand tall, to stand up and to stand through the storm when I wanted nothing more than to disappear under a rock until enough time had passed that the hurt became bearable. Your strength, your commitment to yourself and self betterment has been a beacon of hope on the bleakest of days.
Thank you for being raw, for being vulnerable and for allowing yourself to figure out life on your own terms as it serves as a great reminder to us all that there are no rules for living, only those we set for ourself. Society has a way of creating thoughts and emotions within us that often leave us feeling inadequate, incapable, weak and worse. We are conditioned to believe that there is one way to happiness, one path for all to follow to the promised land of beauty and abundance and because of your strength, I know that not to be true.
Thank you, to all of the strong men and women in the world who are showing up and sticking through. You are the reminder that is needed, when something is broken we need not throw it away when we can simply work at fixing the break.