I love to write and it’s a huge release for me, but sometimes I sit and stare at the screen and nothing comes. While sitting at work I realized I was thinking too far in to it. I already knew what to write about. It’s been on my mind for weeks. Let’s just say… this wasn’t a fight I should’ve fought.
fight – /fīt/
- take part in a violent struggle involving the exchange of physical blows or the use of weapons.
- a violent confrontation or struggle.
- a battle or war.
Everything happening in my country right now has hit me in so many ways. I’ve experienced anger, confusion, sadness. Yet I’ve also felt pride and happiness. Unless you’re living in a hole right now; there’s no way you haven’t been impacted by something that is going on. Each person handles their emotions differently. My feelings tend to play out in the music I listen to. For me, music is therapeutic. Sometimes the right song can say exactly what I need to hear. It may help me understand a situation I’m going through. A song can help me cope when I’m struggling and it can help me process emotions. Music also has the ability to bring back memories. Some that make me smile and others bring tears.
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” ~ Billy Joel
For example, when I hear Rod Stewart I recall waking up on Saturday mornings; my mom cleaning house and blasting “Maggie May.” When I hear old gospel songs it takes me to that red back hymnal on the back of the pew while my grandfather stood at the pulpit and preached. Turn on Dave Matthews or TLC and I’m back in high school. When I’m searching for strength I can turn on “Total Praise” and I instantly go back to a sharp dressed choir director leading one of the best choirs I’ve ever heard; not knowing that I was about to go through one of the darkest times in my life thus far. The list of songs and memories could go on, but there’s one song, an anthem if you will, that could probably sum up so many phases in my life including those still to come.
Rachel Platten said of her inspiration: “‘Fight Song’ was inspired by a lot of experiences that were hurting me and that were making me feel like maybe I didn’t have a chance in this industry. I wrote it because I needed to remind myself that I believed in myself. No matter what, I still was gonna make music, even if it was on a small scale. Even if it was just for me.” She also said: “I really challenged myself in writing the past couple of years to be vulnerable in my lyrics. I didn’t want to skate past what was hurting. It didn’t scare me to be vulnerable because I think that’s when you get something great”
When I hear the lyrics I immediately feel empowered. All the challenges in my life become squishable (yes squishable) and I’m ready to take back my life. I’m ready to cause an explosion with my one match.
There are so many “fights” in our lives. We fight addiction, abuse, diseases, racism, hunger, violence, etc. But there’s also the small fights. The fight that happens daily when you get home and your kids haven’t done their chores. The job you go to that you dread or the bills that are due that you can’t pay. Every one of these situations whether they seem big or small are a battle. There isn’t one person that you meet during the day that isn’t fighting something. That waitress that you didn’t leave a tip; she wasn’t very attentive because she was dreading her last hour of work before going home to an abusive husband. The elderly man you got frustrated with on the grocery aisle because he wouldn’t get out of your way; he just lost his wife to cancer and this is the first time he’s ever had to plan meals alone.
If you know me then you may know some of the battles I’ve already fought. I’ve been through things that have been so terrifying. I would never have imagined making it out on the other side (and with a little bit of sanity left.) I think of some of my friends or family reading this and I wonder: “How did she survive losing her mother to cancer?” “How did losing her son at such a young age not make her a bitter hateful woman?” “That child watched her father abuse her mother and waste his life away on drugs; yet she still has a loving heart.” “My precious friend who has lost her husband and her father and she’s watching her mother fade; how does she manage to give me encouraging words?”
All of those people as well as myself have fought. We put our armor on and we went to battle. Yes, we may have had to rest in between the fights, but a very respected man I know recently said “that’s ok.” There’s times our bodies can only take so much. God planned our lives with rest in mind and we can’t be ready for battle if we aren’t rested. So I’m passing his advice along to you “Take a break and eat a Snickers.”
What are you fighting right now?
Maybe you’re going through a divorce.
Possibly an addiction that has taken control of you?
The Dr. just told you that you’re going to need to start treatment immediately for the cancer he just found in your body.
It’s only Tuesday and your bank account has $26.00 in it until Friday and you have to feed your kids.
Your daughter refuses to listen to anything you say and you feel like y’all are drifting apart.
During the past month, I have witnessed these senseless crimes all around the world. I have seen multiple friends lose family members. Another friend was told her father has throat cancer. Someone my husband knows started radiation for lung cancer. I’ve seen children struggle because of something their father chose to do. I’ve watched a family try and find a home for their father’s end of life care. All these people are fighting. They’re fighting to make the right decision. Fighting to be strong. Fighting not to cry. Fighting not to be bitter.
I’ve met very few strong people with easy pasts. We are all shaped by our pasts. Each struggle we face makes us who we are. Without them, we would not learn exactly how strong we are capable of being.
In your quiet moments, what do you think about? How far you’ve come, or how far you have to go? Your strengths, or your weaknesses? The best that might happen, or the worst that might happen.
Whenever you start doubting yourself how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.
You will never truly understand the struggles of another person. Remember to realize how hard your own struggles are for you, the other guy feels the same way about his life. We are all trying to make our way in this world so make it easy on everyone and don’t judge.
You will have those days where you feel like giving up. Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing to do. You need to understand that life isn’t what you’re given, it’s what you create, what you conquer, and what you aim to achieve.