“To be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
~ e. e. cummings
When we look around at the larger problems in the world, it might seem superficial to say that individuality is the hardest battle we can fight.
But the decision to take up a cause, to fight for what’s right, to struggle against adversity begins with the battle within. If we want to change an external problem, we need to root it out in ourselves, first. If we would battle against racism, or any type of bigotry, we need to address our own bias. If we want to see greater peace in the world around us, we need to start by finding peace inside ourselves. If we believe that love is worth fighting for, we need to begin by extending love and compassion towards ourselves.
Think of a boxer, going round after round against his opponent.
He didn’t get up that morning with everything he needed to win the fight. It was the weeks, months—maybe years—of training that prepared him. It was choosing to go for a run on a day when he’d rather relax. It was choosing meals that fueled his workouts instead of junk. It was all the small daily choices put together that won the fight.
And that’s what we do.
When we’re faced with something difficult in life, it is all the daily choices we made before that add up to give us what we need to fight. It’s choosing to be calm when we’re stuck in crazy traffic. It’s choosing to give others the benefit of the doubt when they screw up. It’s choosing to see the good in things others might complain about. It’s choosing compassion—towards ourselves and everyone else. It’s choosing—like e.e. cummings said—to be our authentic selves, in a world that would tell us that’s not okay. It is the sum of all these small, daily choices that prepares us for the bigger fights in life. Those fights don’t change us into someone else; they reveal more clearly who we already are.
This July, may you find that fire inside you that burns away everything that obscures your fierce heart and fight daily to remain your truest self.
Kate Bartolotta, editor-in-chief
July 2, 2015
This month, in collaboration with our sister sites, a beauty full mind and Some Talk of You and Me, we are exploring this theme of courage, and the bravery it takes in big and small ways to be our truest selves. Send us your stories and follow ours at #fiercehearttalk.