Now, more than ever, the world needs as many warriors as we can find; warriors who fight with intentional action aimed to bring about change. I have struggled for several days to focus in on one of the seemingly endless things I have recently found myself fighting for, both personally and politically, for this post.
“The more personal you make something, the more universal it becomes” – Brian Molko
I am lucky to be surrounded by incredible people who fight with their whole heart and soul for the things they believe in. Who work to use their own freedom to fight for those who have been afforded less privilege and provide a voice for those who struggle to be heard in these turbulent times. And they inspire me to keep fighting every day; regardless of how small my impact may seem at times. However, in all honesty, my heart has felt tired and exhausted for the last week. Not out of passion; but out of energy. With no strength left for any battle.
Activism, especially when fear and fury are constant companions, requires courage. It requires that we make brave choices with every action we take. That we stay awake and choose to move through the pain rather than deny it or run from it. And this vulnerability is exhausting if we don’t remember to breathe and also stay awake to our own needs in the midst of the larger fight.
“Brave is not something you should wait to feel. Brave is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.”
-Glennon Doyle Melton, Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed
I have realized I forgot this integral part of fighting: REST. Because we are running a marathon, not a sprint. This is not only about outrage; it’s about stamina and long term survival. There will always be enough love, but a requirement for spreading the light is having both the energy for action and the light to share. Because being all-in requires strength. Which means self care; it means finding the people, space and moments that feed your fire so that you can pass it on. Because a warrior without strength cannot contribute to the battle. We must learn to trust our fellow fighters to continue while we rest; and we must be prepared to carry on with the fight while giving others space to rest and reminding them to feed their own fire. Because fighting together always carries more strength than fighting alone.
“We can’t be brave in the big world without at least one small safe space to work through our fears and falls.” – Brené Brown, Rising Strong
So, this is the reminder for myself, and for anyone else learning how to be warrior: No matter what you fight for, don’t forget to rest. Don’t forget to hold space for your own fire and passion. We need you for the entire race – not just at the start line.