I’ve been a Fighter almost all of my life. At the age of 4 I began to fight against the repercussions of sexual abuse. Not long after, I began to fight against the verbal abuse that ensued. I was told, “You are ugly, you are mean. No one likes you. You were such an ugly baby”. (I should note that none of this came from my parents, but a couple entrusted with my care). I had to fight to survive, not physically but mentally and emotionally. My childhood was fucked up. There’s no polite, politically correct, or lady like way to say it with class. It is what it is and I accept it. I accept the fact that I had the misfortune to be around some sick, hurt people. And I accept that not one adult around me noticed. Not one sign, not one gut feeling, not one ounce of intuition lead anyone to investigate. But do I really accept it…at this point in my life none of that matters anymore. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. But the truth is, at 31 years of age it’s always mattered. Despite all I’ve been through, all I’ve accomplished, and all I’ve survived, my past keeps coming back. I can’t quite accept it. There are times when I still feel like that scared, vulnerable, innocent four year old girl. And I get angry. Or I get so depressed that I don’t want to get out of bed and I literally struggle to muster up the wherewithal to get my daughter to school and myself to work. But I keep fighting, keep swinging, still angry at what I lost, what I never had. A normal childhood and not one person who even cared enough to notice that my childhood wasn’t normal. I’ve been swinging all my life, sucker punching fear, anger, bitterness, resentment, hate, murderous and suicidal thoughts. It’s gotten me this far but I’m tired. I’m so tired of fighting. My arms are tired. I’m out of breath. I just can’t. Not anymore. I only have two options. The first is to give up and quit, which has never been an option or I would have done that years ago. The only other option I have is to stop being a Fighter and become a Warrior ! This is not about pity, sympathy, a pat on the back or someone else encouraging me. This is about overcoming, thriving, and allowing the fire of life to burn up everything except that yearning deep within that keeps telling me you are more than what you have ever been through or will go through. This is about transforming from the Angry Fighter to the Resolved Warrior.
By definition a Fighter is simply one who fights. But a Warrior is a person engaged or experienced in warfare; a person engaged in some struggle or conflict. A Fighter has no strategy to employ or any tactics to implement. Fighters are survivors, just trying to live from one day to the next and going from one battle to the next. But a Warrior doesn’t fight just to fight. A Warrior is not merely trying to survive, but to thrive and overcome. There’s nothing I can do to change my past. The hand I was dealt is the hand I’m holding and I’m going to do whatever I can to win. The Fighter is bitter, angry, jealous, resentful and then they fight. Fight against the inner turmoil and fight with people. The Warrior is bitter, angry, jealous and resentful but recognizes that these are emotions that will kill the soul and so the Warrior employs tools and strategies to overcome these negative emotions.
One of the most poignant and useful strategies of the Warrior is Affirmations. To affirm is to maintain as true. My past abuses affirmed that I was worthless, unloved, ugly, unwanted, misunderstood, ultimately that I was nothing. As a Warrior, I recognize that my past is in warfare with my future. And it’s not so much an all out, fight to the death experience. But it is a struggle. When a struggle is going on, one side will simply stop, quit, and let go when it becomes easier to let go than it is to hold on. My job is not to fight my past but to make it so difficult that it simply gives up and allows the future to rise up.
How do you struggle with the past and overcome? By affirming the exact opposite of what the past is saying. I can still hear the negative things that were said to me. “You are ugly, look at her reading another book, no one likes you because you never smile and are mean”. I make it a daily habit to affirm myself by reminding my spirt of who I really am. These are some of my affirmations I use to counter my past. I write these out and I read them to myself. I speak life to myself. So much crap has been embedded into my subconscious and I need to drown it out so the anger and bitterness simply gives up and love and freedom can reign supreme in my life:
I am worthy of love. I am a valuable woman. I am in control of my emotions. I do not let anger, jealously or hate into my space. My energy is positive. My thoughts are positive. I am in control of my life. I love myself. I adore myself. I am beautiful. I am smart. I am full of love. My heart is full of love. I do not operate from a space of fear or lack. Gods love overflows.
I even make promises and vows to myself and I write them down:
I vow to love you, completely with my whole heart, my soul, and my mind.
I vow to guard your heart from past memories, hurts, and pains.
I vow to support and push you to accomplish your deepest dreams.
I vow to never put you down, to never say negative things about your looks, your body, your intelligence or your past.
I vow to remind you how important you are, how beautiful you are, how special and amazing you are when you forget
I vow to never compare you with anyone else and remind you that you are who you are and you don’t need to be anyone but you!
I vow to forgive you if you make mistakes and bad decisions. I vow to overcome your bad choices with good ones.
I vow to never let you be anything other than what you want to be. I vow to push you, to encourage you and to believe in you.
Fighters operate out of fear and they struggle to survive. They are often hardened by the unfairness of life and are full of resentment and bitterness. But the Warrior is full of self-love and acceptance and will actively engage in the struggle against the past, drowning it, suffocating it, and ultimately forcing the past to relent to the power of affirmations. A Warrior affirms and as a result overcomes again and again and again. Write down your affirmations. Read them over and over. Say them out loud. Life and death is in the power of the tounge. It will be whatever you say. What are you saying to yourself? Who are you allowing to speak into your life? Your past? As Warriors, we have the power to defeat the past and it begins with a mindset. Affirmations will give you the mindset you need to stop fighting and start overcoming. In the title I referred to the consummate overcomer. Consummate means showing a high degree of skill and flair; complete or perfect. So not only are we overcomers, but as Warriors we overcome with a high degree of flair and skill. We are complete and perfect overcomers. We are not to be pitied or felt sorry for. We are to be revered as a true testament of the God given power that resides within.