We are our own worse enemy, critic, punisher and more. We think we should have been able to do something that we didn’t quite get there on. A win that should have been ours but wasn’t. Those moments of definition and impact that sometimes also come with with long tendrils of influence for years to come. The participation trophy doesn’t equate a win in life. It is is up to us to find our own way through it with a great deal of grit and even greater amount of grace.
I feel like I have been a fighter all my life. Out of necessity more than choice. Why would anyone choose the hard fight if they didn’t have to? Choice however doesn’t have anything to say about it because most of the time it is just what our circumstances bring us like a pet bringing dead animals to the back door. Circumstances often lead us to the field but some of us find ourselves there long term battle after battle. Sometimes I think we stay there too because it is all we know after a while. It becomes our zone, where we make strides and bear the marks of accomplishment. We seem to have to struggle, fight and defend every scrap we get in life and then work even harder for a little more. It certainly makes you strong and that can be a good thing at times but it can also be its own kind of burden to carry too.
I can cry later.
This is what I would tell myself in those moments when feelings would sneak up on me in the middle of a life situation I had to face. When you are a warrior fighter like that, having grace with yourself sounds like fluffy nonsense. There is no room for feely things when we are facing a battle that will impact our livelihood, survival and opportunities in life. Not having others or something solid to rely on, be there for you, or being burned by once counting on them will do that to you. Harden you against the idea there are options about not being a warrior. Save the tears for when we get through this latest mess and figure out how to overcome it. Then we can cry tears of victory rather than pain too.
I would often cry later too. Hard tears from the pain, frustration, struggle and loneliness of it. Then grit would come back and I would push the feelings aside again. You can’t let anyone see you sweat or cry because that’s when they take advantage of you the most. You have to be brave in life. You have to do this because no one else would do it for me. Words I recall telling myself at times in my life when it seemed harder than others to know how to make it in the world. It was as much grace as I would give myself because any thing more could distract me from moving ahead and figuring this out.
I can blame the abuse in my childhood, hardships starting out life so young on my own but I won’t. Those things are all circumstances where I learned, trained and became who I am today. The strong, confident woman with her own battle cry. My grit is strong and I’m no longer scared of most things in life as a result of the experiences I had. We can let those circumstances define us or we can use them to build us in a new way. I chose to go a new way and while it did mean a lot of battles in my life to figure it all out I created a life for myself that could allow more grace and things that made me feel good. A safe place where I could put down my armor of grit and let feelings out.
In moving towards living naturally, I found healing from the past and a better balance between grit and grace with myself. I cannot say I always do it well but I feel I understand it at least. Life at times got easier than others. I found a way to build my own safety net in life financially and with people I trust. That took a long time but it became one of my goals after so many battles and living in fear of not having any help when I could have used it. At the time I didn’t call it grace but it was in fact what it ended up being. I prefer to call it home because it is where I could let grace flow instead of holding it back all the time.
Finding that in our lives means we have walked through Hell oftentimes. I didn’t recognize I even had found it for the longest time. That grit I had developed to make sure I could always take care of myself didn’t allow for the possibility there were others who would be reliable. It was an area I had to open and allow to grow. It wasn’t something I easily let happen either. While it was easy enough to imagine a life where that was part of me and love was all around I truly thought it was the stuff of television and novels rather than real life. The truth is it is even better in real life. Grace that flows so freely between those you love and you is powerful and feels so much strong than grit alone.
It was there I finally realized that having both grit and grace meant sharing power I had with others. Doing that was the secret to super power in life where things did become easier, better and even dare I say it happier. There is no doubt I still tend to lean towards the grit side of things when life gets hard. I doubt that will ever change but then again I never thought I’d have this kind of grace my life either. Where I can still tell myself I will cry later but when I do it is met with love and support to comfort and soothe while I have someone by my side to help figure out what happens next.
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