The first poem I ever memorized “Warrior” changed my life forever. When I wrote it I had no idea the type of impact it would have on me or my life. You can view the original video HERE. I wrote this poem after months of crying on my face to God wondering why he chose me to experience extreme loss, abandonment and abuse at such a young age (you can read more about my story in previous blog posts on MsLeahJames.com). I knew there had to be a greater purpose to all of this. He wouldn’t let me suffer without the echoes of my pain making an impact on the world. Overcoming things that would have killed others isn’t always… great. Yea sure, it all makes for a great story but it actually feels more like a burden at times rather than a victory. When you’ve looked death right in the face and walk away alive, you can NEVER be the same again no matter how hard you try. You can’t “un-feel” the things that changed the way your heart beats. You just can’t UN- become a warrior. You can’t lose the battles you won and most importantly you can’t lose the scars you have obtained from the battles you have walked out of victoriously.
The poem has become a sort of blueprint for my life and has helped me get through some dark places. It states “Warriors are made alone. They don’t train with anyone else.” This is one of my favorite lines out of the whole poem. Not because it sounds good but because this has been the reality of my life. In hindsight when I look at the times in my life when I was alone and thought I couldn’t survive, I did. Those moments created unshakable character within me and taught me that I have all that I need placed within me from my creator to succeed. The times I was alone taught me my self-worth, my beauty and my strength. I have learned how to stand on my own by actually doing it. There is beauty in community but transformation happens in solitude, I truly believe that.
I have found myself often rushing to speed up the “alone” process. I feel like I am a batch of amazing cookies, and I kept trying to give out the cookies too soon. Pause. Well… you know what I mean. If you serve uncooked cookies you could kill someone. And I’m not saying that you can kill someone if you don’t wait until the process is over. BUT I am saying that too often we rush our process of developing, growing and healing and we end up bringing people into the chaos of our becoming process. Then in return we get hurt because someone now has put their hands all up in the pot and it almost spoils the place we are at in life and vice versa.
"There is beauty in community but transformation happens in solitude"
Being a Christian woman in today’s society, I have been taught that my identity is attached to my relationship status, who my friends are and what church I go to. It is even attached to what clothes I wear, what food I eat or what music I listen to. I have learned in the little time I have been alive that NONE of those things impact or equal identity. I am who I am when I am ALONE. When it is just me face to face with the things I struggle with daily, the things I’ve been through and the baggage I may carry. THAT is who I am. I am amazingly courageous and strong. There isn’t anything I am not willing to face. There a lot of things I avoid facing but in due time it will get done.
This all seems so easily said, but this has taken me YEARS to understand and embrace fully. There are parts of your soul and being that will only be healed when you are still and alone. Don’t be afraid of solitude, for that is where you find God. That is where he can reveal to you things about yourself you never knew. You will find a never ending source of strength and the ability to endure. You were created to succeed all on your own. When we realize this, then we can be effective together in community. By finding yourself you then can help others and be open to receiving authentic love and help from others. Warriors are made alone. Take that time, don’t rush. Bake your cookies and enjoy them when the time is right.