Wisps of Strength

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Some days I don’t feel like being a warrior.

Those are the days that even the thought that I am the stuff of stars (exclamation mark), a child of the universe no less (double exclamation marks), fail to cut through the smog of existence. On the contrary, everything seems absurdly far-fetched. And the mere thought of an exclamation mark exhausts me.

And I get a little alarmed at this dark, murky creature that is me and wished I was brimming with robust strength and vim. For I remember a time when I was strong. Invincible. Solid as a mountain. Unwavering as a rock. Bright as a rainbow. A force to be reckoned with.

But, along the way, along the years and life’s unexpected twists and turns, it sometimes seems as if the unlimited storage of strength which I once possessed in massive bucketsful had but all been used up. And I feel a pang of remorse. For the loss of a very dear and wonderful thing.

And yet.

Yet, when I compare the bright, abundant strength of my younger self and mourn its loss, a new revelation dawned on me. These budding wisps of strength that I have in my possession today are no less worthy. They carry a value I have yet to fully appreciate and comprehend.

For the strength I felt in my youthful earnestness, like great tumbling waterfalls – was the strength of a child. It was a glorious, magnificent strength. The undisputable inheritance and hallmark of every human being. It was beautiful and triumphant and yet – it was also weak.

It was the proud, unbroken strength of the untried. A strength borne from a safe life.

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I was reminded of this as I sat in quiet reflection one evening. As I recalled with a pinch of regret, the cup of strength that brimmeth over which once was mine.

And just as I was feeling a tad maudlin at the scraps of strength that seem to be in my possession lately, I could not but stop to remember just how much bravery and guts and spunk had been put into making it so far.

That what I have now, from a lifetime of big and small moments, having tasted both sweetness and bitterness – these, these wisps of strength that now inhabit me, are banners. They are testament to having lived. And died. Of being lost. And found. Of being in slumber. And being awakened.

These are the wisps of strength that had withstood the battering rams of life. This is strength that have matured and come into season. And far from being scornful of the strength that now inhabit me, I am grateful. And I am humbled.

For nobody knows your battles as well as you do. Nobody knows the hidden trials of your heart. Nobody knows how that bucket of strength got depleted. Nobody knows the sacred work of transformation that is taking place within the essence of your soul.

To all you warriors out there who are feeling tired and a little battle-weary. Sometimes, strength is not measured by great big bucketsful. Nor by grand acts of valour. But by the tiny wisps of strength of a kind word. A warm smile. A heart stripped of envy. A life lived in quiet integrity.

Now that is strength unalloyed.