Confessions of a Warrior Woman

Being a warrior woman is exhausting. And it's lonely. And it's largely my fault that it is.

I'm the strong one, the calm one, the one to call in a crisis - either to back you up or help lift you out. I'll fight for you if you're too tired. I'll be your strength, encouragement, the kick in the pants, and your rock to lean on. And it's usually my joy to do it too. I'm calm when you're breaking apart. I'm strong when you need to be weak. I'm the fighter, the healer, the mover. And it's true that the more and I can be and help another, the happier I am.

Until suddenly I'm the one needing that hand, that shoulder, that nudge. I spend so much time hiding by helping others. Part of it is that I do really want to hep, but part of it is to hide my weakness. It's easier to help others than to ask for help. It's easier to distract from my wounds by bandaging yours. This is my version of trying to tend to your speck while I'm staggering around with a log in my eye.

I've driven off many people by not knowing how to accept their care, their love, their concern. I'll ask for prayer from a distance, but it's hard for me to speak up when I'm weak. So instead, I give half answers. I'm afraid to let others see my battered heart. I'm afraid to take off the armor to let my wounds be tended. My armor is what keeps me together. I'm aware of how fragile I am, how one wrong word will shatter me, how a well placed blow will bring me to my knees. And in my pride. in my fear in my insecurity, I don't want another to see me that way -- especially not someone I truly want to respect me.

So, I let few people see my tears. I keep people away from the raw parts of me. I continue to be for others, but I don't let others be for me. And I continue to weaken myself. I wear myself out. I build walls to supplement my armor, and I drive others away -- because I don't want them to feel sorry, obligated, worried. Because I feel like I should be able to do it all myself. I do it for everyone else, so why not for myself?

On some level, I think I'm afraid that my vulnerability will make people think less of me, will expose darkness and fears I don't want those around me to see or know.

I want to be respected. I want to be treasured. And how could my messy self be worth that?

But in my heart, I yearn for someone to do just that. And, oh, I struggle to let people see the smallest crack. But I want someone to chip away at my armor and find the girl inside, to find the weak points in my wall and use them to tear down the wall or scale it's sides, to expose the huddled, battered, bruised, and lonely girl masquerading as someone who has it all together and just hold her and love her.

I yearn for someone who will remind me that this little girl is just as precious and just as valid as the warrior princess who helps everyone else but never lets anyone close. I want someone to see me when they look at me. Not to see my wounds. Not to see my armor. But to see me. A wild mess of emotions that sometimes spiral into a thunderstorm of fury, laughter, sorrow and chaotic joy. A dance of wind and water, sometimes reckless and full of tears, and not just strong, firm, supportive earth.

I want to be able to let that girl trust, hope, dream and love freely again. To realize that the hectic, crazy, ridiculous floods of emotions I feel are not a weakness, but are in fact a strength. That perhaps the chaos inside is fuel, not just destruction. To be reminded that a thunderstorm is powerful only because it is released from barriers -- and that includes those meant to protect.

Being a warrior woman is beautiful, yes. But exhausting.

I want to not be alone, to not have to be strong and put together all the time. I want to lean against someone else for a bit, to let someone else be the anchor. I want to be able to rest and to trust that those I love are safe with someone who loves them and me. To be allowed to dance in the rain and not just cover others from the droplets.

I want to be allowed to just be a woman. A woman cherished not in spite of her flaws, not for her strength, but because of her beauty.

"And Eowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: 'Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Eowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won a renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrow less, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Eowyn, do you not love me?' 

"Then the heart of Eowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly, her winter passed, and the sun shone upon her. 

"'I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower or the Sun,' she said; 'and behold! The Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take oy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.' And again, she looked up at Faramir. 'No longer do I desire to be a queen,' she said.  

"Then Faramir laughed merrily. 'That is well,' he said; 'for I am not a king. Yet I will wed with the White Lady of Rohan, if it be her will. And if she will, let us cross the River and in happier days, let us well in fair Ithilien and there make a garden. All things will grow with joy there, if the White Lady comes.'"


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