Memorial Day has passed, bringing another end to the vacations and celebrations and we’ve gone back to our own battles and battlefields. But are we better for the battles? Did we truly celebrate our freedom, or just the day off from the office, school or other rigorous responsibilities; that is, if we even were given the day off? I know there are many of us who still worked despite it being a holiday. And of course, our country’s heroes in the armed forces continued to give their all without a vacation, or recreation. For this we will always honor and be grateful for them, and so will they for us. Their mettle is more valuable than any medal they could ever receive. We should always remember to be grateful for life and those who continue to fight for and defend it against anyone or thing that threatens it.
When was the last time you really thought about and remembered what matters the most in your life? Maybe you feel like the wars of life have taken away everything precious and valuable in your life? Wars can do that and the world is full of battlefields of broken hearts and fallen soldiers. Unfortunately, abuse, addictions and anger are no respecters of persons. Nevertheless, whatever battles you face today, even those you have been fighting a long time, you must keep fighting! I know it’s not easy, not even close. But all battles must come to an end and to those left standing, or even to those barely breathing, go the victor’s crown. Sometimes not giving up is the true victory and you are worth not giving up on! No matter who said you weren’t worth it, or pushed you down, or made you feel ugly, worthless, or unimportant; deep in your heart you know a different story. You know that there is much more to you than meets the blind and brash eyes of those who can no longer see your worth and beauty because they can no longer see their own.
It’s time to remember who YOU are and who YOU can be. Stop scowling at your scars and start staring again at the stars. I’m not talking about wishful thinking, or to forget that your past ever happened, but rather to realize that you are not your past. Life isn’t about where you’ve been as much as it is about where you’re going. Yes, you may have learned some lessons the hard way, but living a happy and fulfilling life is not about perfection, but the direction in which you’re now headed. When you learn to remember that you are still in control of your own destiny despite the delays, shipwrecks, detours and wrong shores, you will see that what lies between you and the rest of your life is not your past, but your present.
As you remember those people and parts that mean the most to you, including yourself, you will learn to make better choices, listen to more virtuous voices and have the courage to set sail one more time, to set foot on the battlefield one more time and raise your banner of new beginnings one more time. You may even be a hero to someone else struggling and fighting the same battles you have learned and earned the victory over. Now, no matter what battles lay before you, never forget who you are. Don’t let your memorial be simply another testimonial etched only as an epitaph on your headstone. Make your courage more than a stale statement; let it be a passionate promise in your life, now and always. There is a hero inside of you, right now. It’s time to let it out and get back into the battle and may they be your finest hours!