Invisible Battles


Jesse Owens’ words strike a chord of truth. What battles are you fighting within yourself? Maybe you struggle with making ends meet, as Jesse Owens did later in life. (For a brief biography on Jesse Owens, watch here.) Maybe you find you are not living up to your potential. Maybe you feel threatened by someone. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin. Maybe you are dealing with loss that others have forgotten.

As you consider the invisible battles you fight, please be aware that others around you are fighting their own invisible battles.

Everyone struggles. Struggling is part of life, and–as we work through our struggles, we become stronger.

Still, the struggles are hard. They can seem never-ending.

I heard recently of a middle school student who chose to take his own life due to the weight of his invisible battles. I was saddened by his decision to take his precious, young life from this world.

This morning, I heard of a dear friend’s passing following a three-year battle with cancer. She was an angel to many–always concerned with strengthening and uplifting others. Personally, she supported me with a listening ear and a loving heart through my busy and exhaustive years of child-bearing. I mourn for the loss of the beauty she brought into the world and am grateful for the joy that I feel because she was part of my life. She seemed to be sensitive to those who were fighting invisible battles themselves, lending a helping hand even when she wasn’t well herself.

Working through our own invisible battles–whatever they may be–allows us to grow from our struggles. Let us remember to have hope, to carry on, and to count our blessings. Though we may struggle, we can find the supporting hand of others to help us. We can reach out to help, which lightens our own loads that we carry. We can be honest with ourselves and others regarding the way we feel.

As we face and work to win our invisible battles, we will be strengthened with a victory more precious than gold medals, more powerful than fame, more valuable than anything monetary.

We will feel whole.

The Act of Becoming

One cannot easily measure all types of progress, especially relating to personality and growth. Society seeks to do this by placing titles on achievements, which somehow are weighed in the eyes of the world to be meaningful…or not…as if achievement alone was necessary to profess that individuals were who they were born to be.

My last several weeks have been spent in moments of deep contemplation. I halted what I had been working on and felt completely stuck–for no reason I could adequately conclude. I had no desire to cook, to clean, to write, to post, to live, to love. I’m sure I was a fairly miserable person to share company with during those days.

Finally, during a conversation with someone dear to me, the feelings began to surface. I was uncovering yet another layer of an issue I had buried long ago (one I thought was no longer affecting me). Alas, the issue reared and together we fought as I cried and fought and cried again. I took it to bed with me, only to wake hours later to the stillness of 3 a.m. and a sadness larger than the darkness looming in a moonless sky.

Still, I endured and processed, dug deeper, and am finally feeling a renewed sense of what “whole” means.

I won’t be hooded with a doctorate for what I went through for this awareness. I didn’t earn a Grammy last weekend. And, I certainly am not eligible for a Super Bowl ring next, either.

But, I am a better person. I am becoming a better mother and wife. I am learning how to lean on others and support others, even in the midst of strife and internal turmoil. And, I am practicing positivity without perfection.

Though these processes cannot be measured with an IQ test or formulated as a bulleted point on a resume, they are part of my life. And, I am becoming better than I was because of them. Accolades will never justly measure the magnitude of the human spirit.