When you think of the term “warrior”, what pops into your mind? Soldiers going into battle? Protesters fighting for an important social cause? Women who take on the role of motherhood? Those examples are what I always associated with being a warrior…until recently.
For the past ten years, I have suffered from depression and anxiety. I would be consumed with sadness, anger, and shame all at once. Every ounce of confidence I ever had evaporated. Life did not matter anymore because all I did was live in pain. Still, life went on… I had to be an adult and get an education, find a decent job so that I can manage my responsibilities. That is what life boiled down to: managing. The sadness, anger, shame, and overall pain was still there, I did not know how to shake it, but I had to keep going… and I did. But of course, when you hold toxic thoughts and feelings inside for so long, life eventually explodes. For me, life exploded too many times to count, leading to hospital stays, outpatient treatments, consistent therapy, medicine…
But sometimes it takes just one amazing, eye-opening, earth-shattering experience to make the shift from “managing” to “progressing”. My experience came in a form of a book: “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton. Because that is when I realized that just like soldiers at war and mothers, I AM A WARRIOR:
“You are not supposed to be happy all the time. Life hurts and it’s hard. Not because you’re doing it wrong, but because it hurts for everybody. Don’t avoid the pain. You need it. It’s meant for you. Be still with it, let it come, let it go, let it leave you with the fuel you’ll burn to get your work done on this earth”. Page 203
With that one passage, everything clicked. It was normal to feel pain, it was normal to be effected by the World. The trick was to actually face the pain, accept it, and let it be my motivation. So I did it: I thought about all of the hurt, insecurities, and anger that’s been weighing me down. I cried. I decided to move on… to no longer be stuck sitting in the toxic waste I’ve accumulated for ten years. And I smiled. Because I am a warrior… I showed bravery and strength as I took on the thoughts and feelings that held me prisoner for so long. Although I am still fighting, I am not giving up. Warriors never give up!
To keep my Warrior Status in tact, I do a few things that sustains my bravery and strength against my toxic enemies:
- Read scripture
- Positive self talk
- Eliminate any source of negativity (yes, friends included!)
What do you to to maintain your Warrior Status?