Being a warrior is not something anointed or bestowed upon you. The images of warriors we see in Hollywood films create an idea of a hero that’s unattainable for mere mortals. They’re represented as having obscene amounts of strength, heroic confidence, charisma and staggering amounts of masculinity. Like they were chosen by a higher power.
I’ve contemplated ‘warriorism’ for years and wondered about my own power and resilience.
Within days of the pandemic taking hold in Canada, I fell apart (as many did). I was terrified of being unable to pay the bills for my business, keep a roof over my head or feed myself and my daughter. I was in full panic, not because of the virus but because I wouldn’t be able to survive without income. I felt alone and scared. One of my friends had their own struggles and decided to end our relationship. I was left shocked and devastated. It was the perfect emotional storm.
I fell into deep darkness. This was a traumatizing event that it took me until recently to recover from. As my energy was dedicated to keeping the business afloat and my daughter healthy, I lingered in my pain and heartache, feeling undeserving of friendship. I was scared to be hurt by anyone and I sheltered myself in my life. I was trying not to feel the devastation I was experiencing, yet I felt like I couldn’t escape from myself.
Today, I’ve healed, recovered my sense of stability in my body and feel deserving of friendship again. But I lived in a warzone of complicated emotions, deep wounds and an unraveled sense of worthiness. It has taken me nearly two years to recover. It felt like eternity, but now on the other side of it I feel like it took a relatively quick amount of time to recover.
This experience, like many others in my life, taught me how to be a warrior. Not to attack others, or make someone or myself wrong. Our capacity to be a warrior depends solely on our process of coming back to center. Through our whole lives we get pulled out of feeling emotionally centered, it’s the invitation to come back to wholeness and do the work you need to do to feel better.
I’m sure you’ve had your own battles, whether it’s choosing to leave an unhealthy relationship or asking for a divorce with someone you still respect but the love is gone. Maybe you’ve walked away from opportunities that looked good on paper but didn’t feel good in your heart, or you’ve found yourself working full-time while being a solo parent and trying to keep the world together for your kids. Or perhaps you’re taking care of your parents as they age and knowing you’ll eventually (or have already) support them through death. There are so many battles — starting a business that fails; having your heart broken; losing a child; having a friendship fall apart; not getting the promotion; debilitating injury or an accident that changes your life.
As we age, all these experiences can stack up, an accumulation of setbacks, traumas, sadness and heartaches.
A warrior is born in your battlefields of pain and disappointments. You develop resilience, learn to ask for help, heal slowly and salvage your joy as you learn to find happiness in the simple moments.
Through hardship you learn the skill of feeling sunshine in your storm. You develop resilience and use your pain as a place to build compassion for others. Your struggles make you stronger. As a warrior you learn to make peace with others instead of battling to be right. You’ve learned to forgive yourself and stand in your own knowing and you are less influenced by others.
Warriors are everyday people; you can’t tell who they are as they often keep hidden. They receive no awards or recognition for what they’ve been through. Your strength is shown in how you’re able to pick yourself up and take time to heal from your wounds. You develop an ease in character because you know the best laid plans will be crushed, and you’re OK with that. You know that you have what you need to navigate adversity.
A warrior is born from life, from the wisdom of a life rich in the experience of heartaches. Self doubt isn’t erased but you can listen to it and still convince yourself to move forward, even when you’re feeling scared.
You’re a warrior because of your humanness. Your superpowers are the ability to self-heal, compassion, emotional flexibility and a humble honesty. You don’t pretend to have your life sorted out, you allow for unplanned space and your desire to control is relaxed.
Let’s forgo the idea of warriors being someone outside of us. Each of us can develop these skills and it starts by taking the difficult and turning it into growth. Learning that pain will eventually pass, you’ve discovered you have the strength to pick yourself up. True heroism lies In the unseen, in how you heal and support others with your mercy. It’s how you’ve learned to be united with others instead of trying to stand against those who are struggling.
You’re amazing, and maybe you haven’t been told lately, but I wish you could see how other people see you. It’s truly beautiful.