Real life; the real world and the reality of chaos and crisis can be awfully daunting, exhausting and emotionally trying for anyone who finds themselves caught up in conflict or conditions beyond their control. It becomes an inner struggle, a sort of mind-over-matter force to pull ourselves together, and hope that each new day will be different; that even the smallest change, will make it a good day – a better than before day.
When feeling trapped in a world intent on conflict, bitterness, hatred, chaos, intimidation and the instilling of fear, it is so easy to crawl into a safe corner and disappear into our surroundings. It’s easy to check out and give up. It’s easy to fade away into the background as we become smaller and smaller each day. It’s easy to give up. What other choice is there than to crawl into a safe place?
I have one such safe place. One I created where I can type out a thousand words of a make-believe world where love, faith and hope dominates. I can do that, because that’s what I do when the world becomes too noisy. That’s my safe place and that is where I leave this world for a few hours, and escape into the next. A better one. A safer one. A happier one. One that I can tailor-make and design for myself and for the characters I have dreamed up and live with for a while. A world that knows nothing of hatred, conflict or chaos.
That’s what writing my stories do for me. That’s where my characters take me, and that is where I live when I check out of this world. And while I am there, in their world and while I live with them, for a while, life is perfect. Life is beautiful. Life is kinder. Life is better. A world where the people I love are safe and happy. The people I don’t know, are thriving and the people whose names haunt me, are flourishing.
Imagine … the world loves each other. Imagine, there is no war; no fighting and no-one to fear. Imagine, we all pay our dues diligently, and we all contribute fairly.
But, when I am yanked back into my real world and I sit quietly for a while, I realize that even through all this fragility and turmoil around us, there is still much to be grateful for. There is much to cling to; there is hope. There is always hope. In the strangest of places, there is hope. It shows up out of nowhere, and just in the nick of time. Always.
You and I, we woke up this morning. We got dressed, and we showed up for a new day. We aren’t alone as we warrior through for the next person that feels trapped, scared and broken. We have hope. We have dreams. We mourn those we have lost, and we learn from those who sacrificed even more than just their lives. We get dressed, and we show up for them. For those that are still here and are fighting for a world of peace, we show up on time and each day.
With just a little bit of hope, fear is defeated. Conquered. Hope is what drives the warrior in all of us, for us and for others. Hope is the fight, the perseverance, the strength and the willingness to get up each day and start again.
Because, that’s what we do … we fight. We conquer. We lose. We grow weary, we re-group, we get up and we begin again. We warrior our way through anything because giving up is not what God trains us for. We love, we aid the wounded and we pass on hope, because … that’s what we do. We shield the weak, we defend the weaker and we hold tightly onto the weakest, because that’s what we do.
Why do we do all that? Because, we have hope. Because, we promise it to someone else. Because, we love, we honor, and we value all that God surrounds us with. The fight between good and evil is not limited to another world, another dimension or even the afterlife. It is here, in this world. It lives amongst us; it dwells between us. It shows up each day, just as we do. It seeks to destroy us. It desires to cripple us. It never leaves us alone, but we show up for it. We don’t understand surrendering and we do not fall to our knees or bow before the enemy and accept defeat. We soldier on each day, because that is what is asked of us.
We have hope, because perhaps, on the other side of the world, someone is quietly working behind the scenes to make life better for someone else. Strangers know. Strangers see. Strangers hear. Perhaps, somewhere out there, someone else is fighting just as hard as we are, for us. To give us hope, so that we can hold on while we wait for renewed strength. Perhaps, somewhere, someone else and in the strangest of places, won’t let us fight alone.
An impossible dream? Maybe not.
Gratitude. Because, for one more day there is a promise out there somewhere that our lives matter. That all lives are important. That we are a part of something bigger. Better. That society needs us too, and that we are deserving of love. Love. That our footprints will be burnt into the soil of this world, just like many others before us, alongside us and ahead of us. That there is a place for us; and for the wonderful things in this world we can contribute to.
So, for one more day, YOU fight, YOU love, and YOU remain the very best version of yourself, because someone somewhere knows what THEY are fighting for.
You cannot promise the world an orange, and hand-over a lemon instead. Don’t promise value, show it. Don’t promise loyalty, give it. Don’t swear to honesty, be it.
We have only one obligation to ourselves and to the world – to live in a way that shows we are worth it.