The Lion’s Roar


I saw this piece posted today, and it was like a bolt of lightning illuminating the answers to the how and why questions I’ve been asking myself the past six months.

I realize now that there came a time when I let my hands fall helplessly to my sides in a silent gesture of defeat. I see clearly now that the moment I did so was the death of my hope.

I welcomed the numbness that slowly filtered through my heart and dimmed my belief in the joy to be found in life, as well as the pain of it. I was so tired of hurting.

I became a coward. 

I had been, before that moment, one who would not comply when I disagreed with a directive. I was lion-hearted, and it roared through the silence of my deliberate actions, choice of words and the look in my eyes.

I knew how to get what I wanted. I made things happen. I got the jobs I chose for the advancements that would follow. I held the ones I decided to love for the time we were given. I faced losses and disappointments that took me to my knees and accepted  the consequences of wrong choices without a single excuse. I was brave, foolish and proud.

Until love chose me, and I let it break me.

At that moment, I let go and accepted what I believed to be true. I loved too intensely, demanded too much in return, my personality was too strong as was the fire of my imagination. I was too much to be tolerated.

I pushed the mute button and settled for the “sanity” I saw in the world around me. That choice, that path, that life that everyone else had-seemed so appealing to me as I sat there quietly…

Letting my heart bleed out.

I’m no light weight. I tried. I gave every effort, tried every suggestion, tolerated every insult I brought upon myself. This spanned decades. It felt like an eternity.

I felt myself dying.

I would wake up each morning with a sense of sorrow, whispering the question “why?”. Why was I still breathing? What was I here for? What was the point?

It frightened me that those thoughts didn’t frighten me.

Something, some survival instinct I suppose, flickered enough that I began to ask myself hard questions. When I did, I began to wish and want. As if lit by a match, a tiny feeling of hope sparked to a slow smoking spiral upwards.

I wasn’t dead yet, so I wasn’t done.

I began to dream, then plan. In an act of sheer bravery (or foolishness) I took a step, and then another. On my third unsteady stagger forward hope flared in me so brightly that I could see every possibility.

Every action I’ve taken since then is more gasoline feeding the flames of a hope that will burn you to ashes if you try to extinguish it.

Lack of action feeds hopelessness. Action creates it, feeds it, dances in the light of it.

If everything I dream of is not to be found in this lifetime… well then I will have lived a wonderfully adventurous life seeking it all …won’t I?

There have to be others out there stomped by life yet still determined to stand up with pieces torn and damaged, loving large anyway. I believe there are those who face being loved with equal parts joy and terror who still have the courage to open their arms wide and welcome what would overwhelm most.  The spiritual samurais who won’t shrink back, the ones who have the superpower of huge emotional capacity, the junk yard dogs of loyalty.

I can feel you out there. I can hear the beating of your hearts. I will find you.

You are not alone.

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