“Everyone is fighting a battle,” is a common saying. Some are fighting so stay alive in more ways than one. Fighting in a war, or fighting a battle in one’s own mind. But battles are being fought. The battle to leave an abusive spouse, the battle to get a school to respect your child’s IEP, the battle of chronic pain and chronic illness, and the battle against depression and anxiety, just to name a few! There are battles fought for other’s rights. The battle for same sex marriage. The battle for a transgender woman to urinate in a woman’s bathroom. The battle for equality. There are those fighting battles of war for us. Battles against terrorists and human trafficking. Battles. There are those battling stigmas, fighting for wheelchair ramps and inclusion. Battles. Battles. Everywhere. If there were no battle, there would be complaceny. And there is. Complacency, indifference, and denial are around every corner. Battles are difficult. They require character, integrity, strength, and honor. They require the ability to fight. To fight is an action. Choosing to fight a battle takes bravery. Many are brave and don’t even recognize their bravery.
If you are a victim of sexual abuse you are a warrior. You are brave. You are a fighter, and you are a survivor. Being a survivor means battles have been put upon you that you didn’t want or ask for. Somedays it feels like “they” are winning. The criminal, the PTSD, the anxiety, the flashbacks, the isolation, seems to win. They won’t win. And when you are too tired to battle them, it is okay to just let yourself rest. “Pick your battles” is a pretty common saying. It is famous for its absolute accuracy in the importance of you having a choice what to fight. You get to choose. Sometimes the battle chooses us and we have to drop all of the other battles and fight the one that is staring us in the face. Otherwise, we can choose our battles and we can choose when it is time to rest.
I have met many complacent people in my lifetime. Those who have never faced a battle because they chose to turn a blind eye. They are pathetic. To be indifferent in a world full of injustice I find unconscionable. You can choose peace and still fight a battle. Even love must sometimes be fought for. I have fought to love myself. I have fought to love my body. I have fought for love and for peace on every level. But I have fought. I have fought the demons that haunt me from my past, the nightmares, the flashbacks, the memories. I could have chosen to be indifferent, then I would not be on a path of healing. Sometimes healing requires fight. Sometimes healing requires acceptance. But all healing and all differences made in this world require action. Love is an action. Fight is an action. They cannot be just the written word anymore than I can pray while standing in the middle of a train track that God will save me from the train. God requires me to step off the track.
Battles are hard. They are exhausting. They are overwhelming.I would much rather be a fighter than a person who lays next to a childmolester every night knowingly and does nothing. I would rather fight against secrecy and shame than live in a family that relishes in both. But they wouldn’t be called battles if they weren’t just that. Sometimes we MUST fight.
And sometimes the battlers need to rest. We need to put the sword down and rest.If you are a fighter, if you have chosen NOT to be complacent in life, then you deserve to rest. Resting does not mean you have stopped being brave. Your very existence in the battle has labeled you brave forever. But it is okay to stop and just breathe. Let yourself be. Let yourself breathe in the power of your determination and as you exhale, feel the calm that being a true warrior can bring.
Personally, I do not believe that, “Everyone is fighting a battle.” If that were so then a little girl would not have killed herself after she was raped because she felt all alone. Those who should have been fighting a battle for her, did not. Those who SHOULD be fighting battles are not, leaving those who are forced to fight battles, to do so all alone. Some people even create battles where there doesn’t even need to be one just to say they have a battle. Just because they want to be a warrior. I know these people well. They have surrounded me most of their lives. The “pretend” battlers. The attention seekers.
It is true that most people fighting the hardest battles are the ones most silent. The silent war that goes on inside them is all consuming. The battle often feels very defeating. They can slip through the cracks and be lost in an instant if we don’t recognize the signs of the silent battler. Do you know the signs of a silent battler? ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN ABUSED> PERIOD. They are fighting one of the hardest battles. Don’t let them go through it alone.