I am a warrior woman. This does not mean that I am destined to fight wars forever. Or that I will die on a battle field. It means that I am designed from the fabrics of strength, resilience, and deep emotions. I am wise and vulnerable, and I walk with both wisdom and vulnerability as weapons and shields. I get to feel weak and broken, because it is part of how I stay connected to the power of being strong and healed.
If you follow this blog regularly, you probably noticed a change in my tone. The end of July through the first two weeks of August found me in a head space I haven’t experienced since my early twenties. It started out as a bit of a funk, and quickly descended into a much greater threat to my own safety. I almost lost myself, but thankfully, almost is not the same as absolute.
I didn’t break, but I definitely cracked. Have you had that experience? Have you been so consumed by your thoughts that you stopped distinguishing them from your reality? It’s the type of space that reminds you just how vulnerable our psyches can be, particularly when a series of disappointments line up in front of you, and point to you as the probable cause.
Seems to me that the head space of the rest of the world was (and is) is having an experience that mirrors the one I recently escaped. Many of us heard about Robin Williams’ apparent suicide, and it may have given us momentary pause. But the reality is that there are many other people, publicly unnamed and widely unknown, who take their own lives as well. Be it their living situation, their financial woes, or their mental unwellness, many of us leave this earth in a space of emotional volatility, and it often starts with confusing our thoughts with our reality.
With all this evidence of pain and hopelessness, how can we save each ourselves? How can we support each other through those broken spaces and into places of hope, resolve, and faith?
I don’t have a cure-all answer, but I do have my own knowings. I call them Old Knowings, and they, along with the abundance of love and kindness by which I am surrounded, are what I use to come back to myself when I stray. I don’t believe in a devil or a Satan that troubles our waters. I don’t believe in a God that puts us through struggles so that we may become “stronger.” I believe instead that we are all equipped to walk in alignment with our God-Self, but we are also human, and sometimes mistake another path for our own.
We miss signs, we lose footing, we put fear over faith and doubt over truth, and we grasp on to people and things that are not in alignment with what we know.
Other times, as was the case for me recently, we believe ourselves to be on the right path. We work hard, we make sacrifices, we pray and work, but we still don’t meet our own emotional needs. I don’t know why this happens. Perhaps these are the moments where the right path feels like the wrong path because it hurts so much. Kind of like starting a new exercise regiment and being so sore the next day that we swear we must have done something wrong. The soreness escalates throughout the day and graduates to bona fide pain. And the only way to quell the pain is to stretch, stay hydrated, and keep exercising.
Indeed, the very thing that caused the pain is the thing we must continue to do, so that our muscles, tendons, and minds can do what they do; remind us that we are more than an accumulation of painful moments.
We are stronger that instances of pain. We are purpose and possibility, personified. We are built to thrive when we unite, and look at ways to serve ourselves and our own desires, in tandem with the needs of our community. But not at the expense of ourselves.
If we want to live well and be happy, I believe we must use our power to remind other people that they are not alone. We must do more than create hashtags and peaceful protests in opposition to the things that break us.
We must make effort to tell our stories, especially the ones about failure and brokenness, because in doing so, we show others that they are some of us that survive, and some who thrive. We show others, and ourselves, evidence of the other side of pain.
Here’s one of my favorite videos about the Warrior mindset. It’s from one of my favorite artists, Chronixx.
If you don’t see a video below, CLICK HERE to watch the video.