9.4
September 30, 2017

Dear Warrior, Breathe.

Sometimes, it feels like the walls are caving in—

Like you have nowhere to go,
Nothing you can do.
You’re tired from trying to hold all the crumbling pieces of your life together.
And you want to give up—throw the towel in.
You’re closer than you’ve ever been to waving your white flag and calling it quits, but you’re not even quite sure you know what “calling it quits” actually means.

Or, maybe you do know.

Maybe you want to buy a one-way ticket to a far-off destination and leave everything and everyone behind.
Maybe you want to crawl into your bed, pull the covers over your head, and sleep the days away in the familiar comfort of the darkness.

But, you don’t do any of that…

No.

Instead, you fight—hoping that someday, somehow, the tides will turn in your favor.

But each and every day you wake up with hope for something better, it is is crushed to pieces by the tides that keep spinning you ‘round and ‘round in an inescapable whirlwind of chaos.

You’re hanging on by a thread.
You start to feel like a failure,
Like a fraud,
Like you will never amount to anything, no matter how hard you try—because every direction you travel in seems to be blocked by one thing or another: trashed finances, mounting debt, constant health complications, low self-esteem, your crazy-busy-hectic lifestyle that doesn’t allow you any time to catch your breath, let alone try anything new.

Walls upon endless, intimidating walls stand in your view.

Sometimes, you feel like you might be losing your grip on reality, and you start to question everything…

What is life? Do I really even matter?
What is the point of it all?
Will I always be like this?
Will it ever get better?

Pause.

I want you to try something with me now, love.

Breathe.

No really—right now, close your eyes and take a deep, slow breath…

In…2…3…4…

Out…2…3…4…

Perfect.

This is where you start.

Your breath—listen to it. Feel it.
When you begin to feel like you’re spiraling out of control—pause.
Pause to take that slow, deep, nourishing breath.

It brings life to your body,
Your mind,
And to your soul—the soul that cries out to be heard, acknowledged, appreciated, and cared for.

To be loved.

Yes, you need your own affection. Because if we want to live authentically, we need to show ourselves love—it is a necessary ingredient in the cake of life.

Don’t get me wrong though, love, I never said it was easy.
Being vulnerable—tearing open your chest to expose your heart bare—is not easy.
Delving deep into the dark recesses of your mind—to explore that which you have locked away from even yourself, in fear of appearing weak or broken—is not easy.

No, it takes a warrior to embark upon such quests.
But that is what you are—a warrior.
A goddamn warrior.

So take your wildly pulsing heart, hold it gently in your hands, and let whispers of love and tenderness drip down from your lips.

Because being a warrior doesn’t mean you have no flaws or weaknesses. It doesn’t mean you will always know exactly what direction to travel in. It doesn’t mean you will never encounter any troubles.

It means that even though you may not know which path to take, even though you might be trapped by a barrage of huge waves, even though the winds of unpredictable change might sweep you off your feet—you will try your best to stay true to yourself.

To live authentically.

So, love, let those crumbling pieces fall.
Let those tides wash over you.
Let the winds whirl around you.
And breathe—breathe it all in.

This is life.
And it is terrifyingly, heart-wrenchingly, exquisitely beautiful.

Just like you.

~

Relephant:

A Map for When you’re Feeling Broken.

Fall in Love with Life—Storms, Smiles, Tears & All.

~

Author: Maria Houck
Image: Flickr/Jem Yoshioka
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis

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Maria Houck