I have asked the question before 'are you willing?'
But even if you are willing, you need something more. You need to understand that it is a fight, and the fight isn't always fair, but you can and will win, if you don't give up, and you believe in why you are fighting. Will you be relentless?
We talk about freedom being a lifestyle choice but also something we have to chase every day. It is there for the taking, but we must take it. We must be proactive and actually grab hold of our freedom because life so easily distracts us from it.
We can never expect complete exemption from hard times. We can't be naive enough to think that the suffering we see other people go through could never touch us. So what is the answer? How do we find peace in the face of really shitty times?
Get relentless! STOP MAKING EXCUSES! How many excuses do you make a day? Give yourself a challenge to write all the things down that you say or think that stop you from doing something a little harder than normal, or achieving something a little outside of your comfort zone. You may be incredibly surprised at how often you doubt yourself or have excuses as to why you can't do something. I was talking to someone the other day about my new exercise venture and they said 'I couldn't do that, I tried and I could barely make it through.' And I wanted to grab their hands and look deeply into their eyes and say 'oh but you can do it, you just have to keep trying!'
Anything that is worth while will always be hard work. So why do we make excuses? Perhaps because we are afraid to fail? Or perhaps we are riddled with doubt? Maybe we were never told we could achieve anything we put our mind to? Whatever the reason, we shouldn't let it stop us for another second. In fact if you are afraid to fail then you should never try because failure IS INEVITABLE and crucial to learning the lessons necessary to move forward. Why don't we all just agree that the first few times we try something new or out of our comfort zone will be hard work, and we will indeed fail over and over again. But there will be a moment where the journey of failure shows its significance and we succeed! Let's just agree to allow each other the space and grace to fail so we all find that significance in the hard work.
I had battled with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts for many years. And it is an awkward thing to talk about with people who haven't experienced such things. A lot of the time you get met with discontent for your struggle, disdain even or misunderstanding. People think you should just 'get over it' or that your struggle isn't real. Often when I sense this in others I start to doubt my place in life, or my significance. I start feeling as though I am just a nuisance and what I have to offer isn't really worth much. Why? Because my struggles have made me who I am, and to be misunderstood for them, dismisses who I am at my very core. And the interesting thing is, recently I have faced 'real', tangible, easy to measure trauma, and it wasn't any harder than the darkness I faced that wasn't so tangible or measurable to others. In fact I am so grateful I had gone through that darkness beforehand because it made me a hell of a lot stronger in the midst of the more recent trauma.
But the most important lesson I have learnt in all of this is to not for a second let what other poeple think, the doubt you cultivate yourself or any other excuse ever stop you from knowing who you are and moving forward on your journey.
Fighting relentlessly for my freedom has recently taken me into a season of protecting who I am and where I am going in the face of misunderstanding. Sounds easy but the misunderstanding is actually more confronting and heart breaking than I thought. It comes hand-in-hand with a loneliness that tries to enforce my failings, my insignificance. But it is all a fight - the reality of the struggle and the lie it presents are the things I fight against to hold onto, chase and proclaim my freedom. But it doesn't stop there.
Never before has the fight been more important than in the face of both subtle and obvious distractions that try to snatch at my daughter's inheritance of freedom. All that I have fought for will not be defamed or unknown for her. I will make sure that my relentless fight is for not just me, but my daughter, my son and my husband. It has been so confronting when I see things happen that start influencing my daughter, threatening her innocence, her sense of wonder and discovery, her nature and who she is. This fake, consumer-focused, marketing-obsessed, money hungry culture we live in will be relentless too. This is why I want to be relentless!
I think Emi (my daughter) will be a mighty fighter too. She has taught me so many valuable lessons. Just the other day I asked her 'what do you want to be when you grow up?' And she replies 'I just want to be Emi.' So I said to her 'and don't you ever stop saying that - that is exactly who you should be.'
I don't want to be apathetic, make excuses or neglect the things that try to rob me or my family of our freedom no matter how small they seem. I want to be in the fight, boxing gloves on, the roar of my lioness ready to shake things up and bring truth and light in the face of darkness. Will you join me?