Warriors have scars.
The statement is easy to dismiss because it makes sense.
Warriors fight. Warriors do battle…warriors war, so of course they would have scars.
So why the question in the first place?
Perhaps, it’s a call to my Warriors that have gone into hiding. Ashamed to bear their scars of battle.
Maybe, it’s a summons to my Warriors that have lost their footing and are struggling to get back on level ground.
Or maybe it’s an answer to my Warriors in the field of battle, anxiously and desperately trying to hold the line until the cavalry comes?
I suppose the responses to this writing will determine which is most accurate because the truth is it’s all three.
Contrary to popular belief, being a Warrior isn’t as glamorous as people want to make it.
These scars come at a cost, many of them more costly than we can readily identify.
The constant struggling against…
The continual pressing towards…
The toiling…tirelessly for the sake of something beyond ourselves.
Being a Warrior is no easy task. It’s tough, and comes with plenty of burdens.
Being principled in an unprincipled world.
Trying to be human in a world that continues to become more and more inhumane.
Combating “Just suck it up” with compassion and understanding.
Trying to teach faith to people who have more than enough reasons to not have any…
It’s hard and it’s hard because being a Warrior doesn’t mean you are devoid of emotions. In fact, that is what makes Warriors so special…so strong.
Warriors feel. Warriors suffer. Warriors fall, they fail and in those moments the beauty and power of the Warrior show…because no matter what happens, the True Warrior will always get back up, until their dying breath.
They find a way…
They find a way to provide…
They find a way to be strong….
They find a way to love….
They make a way out of no way…and that is the only way.
They lead boldly, strengths, weaknesses, and flaws in tow.
This is what makes them great…this is what makes US great.
I have failed more than I have succeeded.
I know what being deceived feels like.
Betrayal has my number on speed dial.
I have been weak and hopeless.
I can remember my moments of defenselessness.
Depression comes to visit me every holiday season.
Being self-conscious is my favorite past time.
Maniacal Anxiety is my government name and I eat trust issues for breakfast everyday at 5:00 AM.
I danced with the devil (several times) and rejected God’s offer for help so much, I will go down in Heaven’s Hall of Fame as a 10x Champion of the Prodigal Son title.
And with all of that and then some, after all the time I spent in my life, faking and pretending to be better than I am or something that I am not, you want to know the two things that have gotten me more respect and love than anything else?
- Being authentically me.
- Make the choice everyday, to be different than my experiences in life.
There was a time when I was vindictive, un-trusting and would raise all kinds of hell in people’s lives around me and I thought that was the only way to navigate this world. Then something happened to me…I won’t say what, but in two separate moments I came by two pieces of information that changed my life.
Pain shared is pain lessened.
It is easy to barricade ourselves inside the walls we build to protect ourselves from the dangers of life. But one time as I was about to slip into my normal dysfunctional routine of coping with stress, I was able to share an exchange with an individual that was able to put language to my pain. And there is so much power in knowing someone who had a shared experience that it felt like 10,000 pounds lifted from my shoulders. It was an amazing experience that would’ve never happened had I not opened the door of vulnerability.
The other piece of info isn’t so much a bullet point as much as it is a way of thinking.
I feel we spend so much time trying to find and enjoy the comforts of life it warps our thinking. If you are unaware you will find yourself living by things that “sound good” despite the reality we actually live in.
The idea that we are all living on this Earth together is a half-thought and a comfortable half truth we hide behind in the busyness of our lives. The reality is that we are actually all dying together, every single day. Everyday we are losing time. Everyday spent is another day we cannot get back. Time is our most precious commodity and it cannot be replenished.
We can make more money. We can buy new clothes. We can get more food.
We cannot get more time, no matter who we are or what we do…
So how are you spending your time?
When I shifted my thinking from us “living together” to us “dying together”, I changed.
I stopped hiding. I stopped pretending.
My perspective on the time I have left with the people in my life changed.
I started to look at every dinner I have with my wife different.
I started focus on every interaction with my daughters more intently.
This is what makes me cherish every relationship I have as a coach and do everything I can to pour into the people in my charge.
This is the plumbline that I center myself on as a leader.
This is what makes me appreciate my scars and share them with you, so you can do the same in your life.
Here’s to the imperfect people, the Warriors, that continue to press towards being their best no matter how messy that journey may get.