Courage and Commitment for the Quiet Fight

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“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.” ~ James A. Baldwin


“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” ~ e. e. cummings


I came across both of these quotes in the same week, making a note of each of them as they spoke to me so deeply. Later, I realized that both of them contain the word “battle”.


Battle is a word that has always conjured up feelings of weariness for me. It makes me think of wars and struggle. Of the close proximity of victory and defeat. It’s a word that suggests reserves of energy will be required. That we’ll have to show up and fight until we are spent. 


But I’m coming to understand more about the ways in which we love and honor ourselves, and how, quite often, our self-expression is strengthened through consistency rather than volume. 


What if we don’t have to pack on our armor and storm into the arena? What if we can quietly claim our own corner and show up for ourselves in a way that doesn’t necessarily look like the warrior image we’ve been taught to use as a template. 


What if the battle is less about conflict and more about standing strong in our own truth? 


This is not about diluting our passion or rage. It’s recognizing that there are a multitude of ways to live and love, and just as many ways to fight for who we are and what we believe in. 


The quiet fight still requires our courage and commitment. It still requires energy and a willingness to do the work. But it IS a growing up rather than a burning out. It’s a greater understanding that some of our most valuable and victorious battles look like moments of learning and growth that take place away from the public gaze and glare, and that some things can just be known by the body and held in the heart.