Spiritual Toughness

October 9, 1993

in Personal Growth,Poems-Stories

I am strong.
To look at me,
you might laugh
at such a bold statement.
But my strength is not
of my arms, legs, and chest.
My strength is within.

Those that seek to harm me
do not use fists and clubs.
They use words,
of fear,
of judgment.
They’ll even try to use
their “love.”

No castle high
nor armor strong
can protect me from words.
When I fight back
I find myself
bloodied and beaten.
In a war of words,
we all get killed.

So I have chosen
a new way to protect my Self—
by not protecting me at all.
What use are words
fired in anger
if they cannot cause me pain?
What weapons of words
can hurt me
if they never reach their mark?

Within my heart
I know my truth.
In this knowing
I find my strength.

If I do not erect defenses,
there are no defenses to penetrate.
Defenses can crumble.
Defenses can burn.
Defenses can be destroyed.
But I am eternal.

I know that when I feel
emotional pain,
one of my defenses
has been breached.

So I seek to tear them down,
to leave myself raw and open.
In this undefended state,
I find myself amidst fighting
yet unperturbed by it.
I have found true toughness.

To be tough
is to remain at peace
amidst the storms
that rage around us.
To be tough
is to stay the course.

The truth I live by
is my truth,
given to me by God
to live a healed and joyful life.

Yet there are many
who find my truth
built on love
threatens their nightmare
built on fear.

To them I only say,
“I love you,”
and know they’ll find their way someday.

To argue or debate,
to defend and counterattack,
only serves to make
my truth a lie.

So when another
calls me to battle,
to defend my truth
against their mighty fears,
I exercise my spiritual muscles,
and let their challenge pass by.

In that act
I demonstrate
the toughness of my spirit.
I stay firmly on my path,
guided by my heart,
grounded in love,
and at peace.

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