I’ve met people in my life who have been through a version of what I call "the shit." Events, experiences and mindsets that bring you down, rock your soul and take things from you - sometimes permanently.
These folks - and you are absolutely one of them - aren’t just survivors. They are so much more.
Against all their life’s handed reasons to let body and soul go to waste, to give in to the constant numbing and escapism, they decide they don’t want to anymore. They want to feel and live and experience and grow. No longer numb and escape.
So they pick up their heads and fists and they fight. They fight back. Not as an
uncontrolled brawler, and not without honor, but they fight with a kind and powerful soul and a driven smile.
They fight, without anger in their heart, but with a ferocity that can only come from love. True love. For life and the living and for living life. An honest gravity’s pull of consistent love for themselves and the people in their orbits.
They fight consistently and persistently - emotionally, mentally, and sometimes physically - developing and strengthening a mindset of consistency and enlightenment. A mindset of pushing back against the darkness that is trying to swallow us.
Knowing full well that we, in the end, will lose as we close our eyes the last time for that eternal sleep, and yet we lose as beautifully as the sun sets. That just makes us fight even harder.
So these fighters, they smile a smile that you can feel. They smile and fight, fight and smile. Fighting daily, morning through night — to win a losing war.
We fight, knowing and showing that the darkness itself is going to have to fight to the death to even earn its desire to win.
A shot from my first week at UCLA
And with that graceful and love-filled, lifetime fight - fists up and hearts open, smile spreading as sweat drips - our internal lion’s roar rips through the notion that we are to ever be sullen sheep stuck to a lost shepherd...
Before we are done we can smile one last time. Knowing in our hearts - and through the eyes of those we fought with - that though we finally lost a losing fight, the darkness never won.
And I'll leave knowing that the flame I carried lit the paths for oh so many more.
Somebody sent this to me and I forgot to note who it was. I think I was in shock.
Although this makes me think of so many people I know that are fighting the good fight, I am paying it forward and dedicating this to my mentor and friend Betsy Spier. You have built a life around helping others and loving us fighters.