I’m tired. Everyone says “you’re so strong”… “no one messes with you”… “hear me roar” …
Being a warrior is exhausting, especially when it’s not who you really are. Being a warrior makes you tough and lonely sometimes, because you’re defending something, all the time. You can’t let people in, you’re in protection mode, self defence.
“I will never be weak” whispered the child. “No one will ever treat me that way again” whispered the teenager. “No one will ever get that close to me, ever ever again” whispered the young adult. “I will never be made a fool of again” whispered the late 20’s woman. “I’m lonely and exhausted” whispered the 30 something year old.
I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of defending my heart from hurt. I’m tired of pretending I’m something I’m not. I’ve noticed something funny lately. It’s more socially acceptable to be an asshole than it is to be nice. Being nice is seen as a weakness – easy prey. I knew this, of course. Because I had always been easy prey – that’s what happens when you have a giving heart and nature. You are naive because you wouldn’t think of treating someone that way, so you wouldn’t expect it… and you’re surprised every time someone jilts you, stiffs you, takes advantage of you… until you get jaded. The world teaches people with a soft heart harsh lessons… and there’s only so much disappointment, heart break and being taken advantage of, walked on (you might like my article, a Door Mat, No More), used, abused, tossed away until you harden your heart.
For some it takes a long long time. For others the lessons begin so young that by the time you’re a teenager you have a cage around your heart. And swords in your hands. You’re ready to go to battle all. the. damn. time. You expect people to reject you, so you beat them to the punch and reject them first. You expect them to use you, so you pull away and don’t get too close. You expect them to not understand you so you don’t show them the real you.
You function, day by day. You get up, show up, and keep fighting the good fight. You’re not out to hurt anyone. You are protecting yourself from more hurt. You’ve already had more than your fair share. It’s not personal… well, wait, yes it is. It’s very personal. It takes time, a lot of time to trust other people, if you ever do… at that level. There’s so very few people you can show your soul to who “get it”, who get you and accept you and love you as you are. Most people want to change you, offer you advice, tell you how to do things, tell you what’s wrong with you, what you should do… no one ever seems to ask “are you ok?”. I suppose because they’re fighting their own battle, behind their own shield, pretending to be normal and fitting in and all that fun stuff… everyone forcing fake smiles, talking about the stock market, exchanging niceties and pretending to give a fuck about each other, but mostly concerned about who knows what… who has seen through the facade and knows we have no bloody idea what we’re doing and we’re lucky we got out of bed today.
At events and parties and public places, we nod and say yes in all the right places but a part of us isn’t there, it’s outside of ourselves, scanning the room, always on alert, watching for danger, swords at the ready… you can’t be too light with your heart, you know. Should someone “slip in” it could be disastrous… not sure you could survive one more heart break.
But it’s exhausting. It’s lonely. And it’s frankly, sad. We’re designed as human beings to love and be passionate. We’re designed to be in relationships, fully, madly even. A good romance is only as good as how crazy it makes you, am I right? I think back over my relationship with my husband and smile slyly as I think about the times we fought like savages and made up like the movies… the swords down, the cage door to the heart open. But how quickly we bear arms, again… remembering, we can’t leave ourselves too vulnerable, can we?
But war isn’t fun, especially when it’s waged on yourself and there is no winner, there is no one opponent – everyone is equally dangerous and held at arms – friends, family, partners… except animals… they’re always safe. And that’s not how we’re meant to live. And we miss the real connection and deep love we crave from other people. We are unsatisfied… and we wonder why we shop, smoke, drink, have mindless sex, do drugs, addicted to TV, phones, etc…? No need to wonder, we are missing a huge part of ourselves and we’re trying to numb it. It works for a while… for some people, forever.
But every now and then some of us see that the weight of the swords is too heavy, the cost too high, the loneliness to much to bear, the hurt from withdrawing much worse than the perception of hurt from being vulnerable.
I don’t want to be a fucking warrior anymore. I don’t want to hold back anymore. I don’t care if people think I’m stupid or naive or ridiculous for loving and caring and being generous and having an open heart. I don’t care if people get it or not. I am tired of pretending I don’t care, to be strong… no one is strong all the time, no one should have to be strong all the time… we are meant to help other, to support each other and I’ll be the first to admit that I never got that. I pretended for so long that I didn’t even realize there was another way to do things. I had shut down slowly… over time, bit by bit. Shoving it all under the rug and always moving forward, never let anyone see the slightest of weakness. I had made a deal, remember… so long ago that I would never be weak again… but eventually the rug became full… there was no room underneath it and everything started to spill out…demanding to be dealt with. The universe decided I wasn’t going to be one who got to live out my days pretending to be “fine” but secretly miserable and binge eating and binge watching Netflix to avoid the missing pieces of my life.
I don’t want to be a fucking warrior anymore. I lay down my swords, knowing that I’m strong enough to make the right decisions for me. I lay down my swords, knowing that I have amazing intuition about who, what, where and when is good for me and that I’ll make the decision. I lay down my swords, knowing that the friends that I surround myself with now have my back, always and I have theirs. I lay down my swords, knowing that my husband is always here for me. I lay down my swords knowing my family loves me. I lay down my swords, knowing that we all make mistakes, we hurt ourselves, we hurt others, sometimes intentionally but most times not intentionally. I lay down my swords, knowing that pain is part of being human. I lay down my swords, knowing that being vulnerable is scary, it’s also the most real; there is no pretending, no fakeness, no bullshit. I lay down my swords knowing that some won’t ever understand, but those who do, are my tribe. I lay down my swords, knowing that I can influence and help more people with an open heart than I ever could with a closed one. I lay down my swords and unlock the cage around my heart.
I lay down my swords and surrender.
I am not a warrior. I have fought long enough. Now it’s time to love.
PS… if you’re in my tribe, come hang out with me in my group Wild Souled Women. We’d love to have you part of the tribe of women who support each other, lift each other up and who get “the journey”.