"our hearts are filled with need and greed as much as with love and grace; and we wrestle with our hearts all the time. The wrestling is who we are. How we wrestle is who we are. What we want to be is never what we are. Not yet. Maybe that’s why we have these relentless engines in our chests, driving us forward toward what we might be. If we could grow new hearts out of old ones, what might we be then? What might we be if we rise and evolve, if we come further down from the brooding trees and out onto the smiling plain, if we unclench the fist and drop the dagger, if we emerge blinking from the fort and the stockade and the prison, if we smash away the steel from around our hearts, if we peel the scales from our eyes, if we do what we say we will do, if we act as if our words really matter, if our words become muscled mercy, if we grow a fifth chamber in our hearts and a seventh and a ninth, and become as if new creatures arisen from our shucked skins, the creatures we are so patently and brilliantly and utterly and wholly and holy capable of becoming…What then?"
I love this little passage from Brian Doyle's blog. He is talking about the wrestling we have with ourselves, intentions, and actions. Although this post inspired my post, I will be focusing on a different aspect of our "wrestle" in life.
Today I wore my sister's shirt that says "Strong in the battle til the game is over"
Back in high school I had a lot of friends who wrestled. Now i'm not going to start talking about wrestling like I am an expert, because I am far from it; but, i'd like to use it as my analogy. Sometimes i'd go to matches and someone would get thrown down, hard. When I say hard, I mean I'd wait for him not to get up, get pinned, and then watch the ambulance rush in. I think those moments of intensity when you lose your breath, are what (at least for me) make wrestling fun to watch. Why?
Although it seems completely impossible for him to stand back up, suddenly his arms are pushing and he is up and fighting again. By some miracle his body was able to recuperate before the opponent even has a chance to pin them on the floor.
My last blog post I talked a lot about how the Savior steps in and keeps us going, and I mean of course he does. Completely. Perfectly.
But life isn't only about holding together; life is about standing back up when you're knocked down.
I'm talking to every girl who has ever looked in the mirror and told herself there is no way anyone could ever love her; every boy who has looked at another boy and didn't feel he could really "measure up" to a necessary standard to win anyone's approval; every person who has believed someone that said they you weren't smart or capable enough of performing a task; every person that has felt replaced; every person that feels like they just fill in empty space; every person who can't seem to ever succeed or completely accomplish every goal they ever set and told themselves it's better to just quit trying.
I'm talking to you because you are wrong.
The will to keep fighting is something that is programmed in every single one of us. We all have a motivating drive to keep pushing. You made it this far when a million of the adversary's dark servants working on you constantly to quit. You are a fighter. You are a wrestler.
When I used to cheer, I got a major mental block with tumbling from a bad tumbling accident. I wish I could tell you that after prayer, blessings, and fasting that it magically went away and I could tumble again but that's not what happened. I never was able to tumble again. I was never able to get the skills I used to have. I frustrated many teammates and coaches at my ability to progress and then suddenly lose it all in a single practice. To many, I seemed to be a hopeless case that should just quit.
I discovered who I was through this 8 year trial. I learned that no matter what, I would never stop trying, even if I never fully recovered. Life is not about being able to always stand up and never fall, life is about learning to stand up when we fall and never lose the fight inside of us. (this will be a different post with more detail).
Going back to my wrestling analogy, my analogy is somewhat unrealistic because our opponent can't and won't win. We aren't choosing to let Satan win, because he will and has already lost everything. We are choosing to let Satan keep us down after we've been thrown down on that mat with his lies about how there is absolutely NO WAY we can get back up, but how would he know? He doesn't know what it's like to have a body, he doesn't understand us in any way shape or form. The good news is that we have a savior as our coach. A savior who knows exactly how to stand up and beat the adversary because he already has. The wrestle is to choose to get pinned by Satan's words of our inadequacy with no understanding of how we really feel, or to get back up with the help from the savior who knows exactly how we feel and has already beat the adversary?
So how we wrestle really is who we are because we become a fighter or we become a manipulated machine by the adversary. We become a dreamer who loves themselves or a quitter who can't face themselves. We become who we are meant to be, great and glorious beings, or we become a person who always had the potential to be great but held themselves back.
So become a miracle that the crowd watches in awe as you push off the ground and square yourself up to keep wrestling.
We become how we wrestle; We become how we fight; We become how we endure.