Friday, February 26, 2010

Hard Lessons

I was in an old fashioned, bare-knuckled street fight yesterday. Using words instead of fists doesn't make it any less bloody and painful. I felt outnumbered, ambushed and unprepared, but managed to land a few blows of my own. When I'm backed into a corner, I fight back. I don't like to be pushed around. Never have and likely never will. It's not easy to stand up for yourself when under attack, but the older I get, the more I realize how important it is to do so. I value myself in ways I didn't before, and therefore stand up behind the power of my convictions when I feel there is something worth fighting for. In this case, I wasn't ready for the brawl, but maybe that was better, because my words came from the heart and were not rehearsed in any way.

I'm grateful for my friends, who provided healing balm to tend to my wounds. The support of those you love is worth its weight in gold. It lifts us up when we have been kicked, and helps us navigate our way when we are afraid to continue. To say I'm grateful for my friends is the understatement of the year. People who come alongside and support us when we are at our lowest points are the ones who add the most joy to our lives. We must tell our friends, on a regular basis, how much we love and appreciate them. It's easy to overlook their importance in the good times, but when the chips are down, and you need help, you understand in a whole new light how critical your friendships are to your quality of life. Thank you to those who listened, cared and helped me yesterday. Your contributions were beyond meaningful to me.

This week taught me a lot of hard lessons. I can't predict what's coming. I can't control every aspect of my life. I make mistakes. I need help. No person is an island. We all need each other; we are all connected to each other. Sometimes that's positive and many times it's negative, but it's always a fact. What we do affects others. Our attitudes, our words, our actions all have a daily impact on the people around us. We must walk lightly, with great care and consideration for others. Respect is the oil that keeps relationships smooth. When it's missing, everything seems to sour and people can't get along. These lessons are important for us to learn, but so hard at the time we are learning them. The road I must walk right now is rocky, thorny and unpleasant, but these dark roads lead to change. It's a huge relief to know I'm not alone. To be supported is to be cared for and loved, and it makes a world of difference when you are licking your wounds.