But, The Devil Already Knew That
Having had some traumatic experiences in early childhood, I’ve always understood my path was different or, nonconventional, if you will. I never ran out of "unworthy" and "outsider" feelings and I spent a lot of time tripping through my adolescent and young adult life. I've fallen into an unhealthy marriage, a devastating miscarriage, divorce, addiction, and even a suicidal sinkhole. I was living in a constant state of shame, secretly hoping for someone to “save” me, and always playing the comparison game. Naturally, all these things combined caused nothing short of a train wreck in my mind. More times than I can count, I felt as though some invisible evil was holding my shoestrings with vicious laughter at my feeble attempts to gain some good ground.
During (another) one of my many moving days, I came upon my long-lost childhood journal. Let me just say, little me was something fierce. Ambition, passion and a humble strength only found spirit-deep, exploded from every page. I flipped through it all in wonder and amazement. Where did This girl go?? I laughed (literally, out loud) when I realized that I had just been checked by my 10-year-old self. I decided right then I was going to find her again, and when I did, I would never let her go.
I spent the next two years dedicating every single day to learning, growing and becoming a better, stronger, smarter, more enlightened and considerate human. I’ve had to dig way (way) down into my muddy little soul and uproot some seriously stubborn and prideful roots. I’ve battled demons I didn’t even know I had. Sure, this might sound like an easy thing to do, or for the critic, even a tad melodramatic. My friends, let me assure you, it is neither. Asking yourself the hard questions, checking your own ego, and looking (really looking) in the mirror on the reg – well, it sucks. And, it sucked for a long time. Just when I would settle into an obstacle-free, flowing pace, whack! I’d land f.l.a.t on my face. Quite literally at times I might add! Most days I wanted to quit – "ok, this is good, I'm better than I was" or "maybe I’ll just always be this way." Those self-defeating thoughts were always met head-on with a "nice try, not today." And while these inner convictions aggravated me (almost) as much as my lack of gracefulness, I knew I had to go all in and stop making excuses. It was my turn to get serious. There was no denying it and no way to ignore it. I knew, and the devil knew. So, I guess it was no surprise when I reached down and yanked my shoestrings back.
Once on my own two feet again, I made a list of “stuff” I was whining about, wishing for and praying over, and then began crossing it off, one by one. Something of a callous process I admit - deciding who or what was real and relevant to my goals, dreams, and the person I wanted to be, but it proved to be my catalyst for growth. I simply had to let go of all people, places and things that I was allowing to hold me back. Easier said than done. It took practice, patience and a sheer determination to get through the other side. When I stopped questioning myself and shut out all the negative noise, my focus shifted, followed quickly by my heart.
And that, dear friends, is the sweet spot where grit is made. It’s in those small pivots in focus, ego-checks, impossible decisions, the endless waves of mental (and emotional) exhaustion, pushing through the pain, the one-more-reps and fight-or-flight moments of your life. No doubt a brutal process and I absolutely hated it, at first. In time, I found myself in love with the challenges given by each new day. The entire process made me stronger, healthier, happier and grateful for the awareness and opportunity to strive toward something so great as truly accepting, understanding, loving, and conquering myself.
It was in that sweet spot when I (finally) realized how valuable I am to God and the importance of His purpose for my life. Although I may not yet fully understand what that purpose is, I am acutely aware of why the devil fights so hard to keep me down. Life has shown me there is undeniably something formidable and fierce in this soul of mine. I now know I am here to fight the good fight and help others find their own inner light.
And, I believe wholeheartedly that YOU ARE TOO.
For anyone fighting through that gritty sweet spot - Do not quit. Yes, it sucks. Welcome it with open arms and you’ll learn to love it. Know that it’s okay to bend a little. Take it one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time. Also know, you simply cannot break if you don’t give up. I say all of this because I’ve done it and am still doing it every single day. The key to finding my own strength was embracing the suck and doing the hard things with an open mind and a wild heart.
Surrendering to the Ultimate Purpose and understanding that we are ALL here, at this moment, in this time and on this beautiful planet to fight for the good and protect the innocent and the weak, lit a fire in me that forged my soul unbreakable.
If you choose to show up and fight and do the work every single day, there is no doubt you too will become unbreakable.
And, I’m guessing, the devil already knows that about you. So, go ahead - reach down and snatch back your shoestrings too.