Everything had ended. Each time my glove met the sand filled bag, I remembered everything had ended. I could hear the accusations all over again in my mind.
“You didn’t fight hard enough.”
“You fought, but it ended. You gave up and walked away from it all.”
My mind shut off with each fist to bag, getting lost in the weight of each punch. Drowning out the lying accusations. Stepping on the mat became a form of therapy, fighting against something emotionally came out in fighting a punching bag physically. I wasn’t alone. Surrounded by a dozen others, fighting the same thing. There was a sense of community among the bags, friends fighting beside me, strangers fighting around me.
We were all fighting for different reasons, but we all were fighting for something.
I wondered what they envisioned with each punch impacting the weighted bag. I wondered if they heard similar voices echoing in their minds like the ringing of a bell sounding the end of a round. Were they releasing anger, frustration, picturing the face of a betrayer or heartbreaker? Was it solely for the workout or was there a deeper reason bringing them to step up to the bag and fight each time?
It was a mix of both for me. Being accused of laying your gloves down, giving up, when you had fought your hardest fight feels insulting and disheartening. What we sometimes don’t realize is we are all fighting for something. Striving for a relationship to keep breathing, struggling to pursue a dream, resisting a ghost from our pasts. Wrestling to prove to someone we are worth it or to prove to ourselves we are worth it.
Battling against the messages the world is telling us -we are not enough, we don’t have what it takes, we’re not worth goodness or happiness. Or are we allowing those messages to wash over us like a cold winter’s breeze?
I’m beginning to wonder if there is such a thing as putting your gloves down. When I walked away from the relationship, I didn’t stop fighting. I just began fighting for something else. I stopped fighting for it to work out in the end, no matter what, and I began fighting for what was best for me and for him. I began fighting for my heart because, in every sense of who I was, I was becoming squelched underneath his fight. In trying to fight for the relationship, I realized we were fighting for very different things. We can’t win the fight when we are fighting in different rings. He wanted to win and I wanted the abuse to stop, to trust him, to breathe a deep breath in without fear.
We all want to be chosen. And sometimes we fight for that harder than we fight for our hearts. We’ll fight to be chosen by staying with the one who puts you down verbally, emotionally and even physically. Claiming it is all in the name of fighting for love.
Love doesn’t require you to prove your fight. Love fights with you, not against you.
Love keeps no record of its own right and it keeps no record of your wrong. If it has to, love fights by stepping back, in order to allow yourself and the other person to grow and heal. If that means allowing the relationship to end or take another form, love loves enough to fight for healing.
When we stop fighting to be worth it, to be seen or to be loved, we realize love has been fighting for us the whole time.
You were fought for with a price tag you’ll never see because Jesus ripped it up for you and me. If you believe in Jesus, He’s already won the battle and the war. He fought for our hearts and won when he deemed us valuable enough to die for us.
The best fight we can enter into is the fight for our hearts. For our self-respect, self-dignity, self-worth.
But we can’t fight for our hearts if we don’t know what is in our hearts. We can’t fight our best fight until we realize who we are. We are worth fighting for, we are made with a beauty that cannot be extinguished and we have the strength to fight until the end.
Things fall apart. We fall apart. The end doesn’t equate weakness. Failure. Or worthlessness.
It means something far greater. It means something broke in order for light to shine through. It means our fight is for something bigger and something had to give in order for the good to come through. It means we are stronger than we think because we allowed the thing to end that needed to end. We are strong enough to let go. We’re not giving in or giving up.
Letting go of the lies we’ve been telling ourselves.
Letting go of the fears that dictate our choices.
Letting go is a worthy fight to fight, allowing the colors of fall to paint the canvas of our soul with hope and freedom.
We are worth fighting for. In every moment of every day. In the moments we cry the saltiest of tears, when we give into our ugliest of fears, and even when we feel less than lovable.
We are worth fighting for, but we must believe it too. We must fight to believe for the sake of hope, faith and love. And even though we all know the greatest of these is love, you my darling, are even greater than these.
I stepped up to the bag. Met my knuckles to the bag towering over me with a force coming from deep within my core, I realized I was fighting for my value, worth and sacred soul. I risked it all in fighting for a relationship that ended, some may even deem as a failure. But it was my greatest fight and my greatest reward to come out of it, to let go. To be myself after being fought against. I fought with strength I never knew I had and in return, my breaths are deeper, steps stronger. My heart smiles again, my life hopes again.
You are worth fighting for but don’t forget to fight for your heart and to walk away from something that is suffocating the beauty that’s within you.
You are not giving up. Giving up is when you forgo the delicacies of your heart and the intricacies that make you exactly who you are.
You’re actually fighting the hardest battle there is to fight and that’s the battle for your heart. And you’re never fighting alone.