To fight aloud, is very brave –
But gallanter, I know
Who charge within the bosom
The Calvalry of Wo –
Who win, and nations do not see –
Who fall – and none observe –
Whose dying eyes, no Country
Regards with patriot love –
We trust, in plumed procession~Emily Dickinson
For such, the Angels go –
Rank after Rank, with even feet –
And Uniforms of snow.
Maybe your disability is invisible.
Maybe your wound is not flesh.
Maybe there is no reason anyone can see or that you can explain why getting out of bed is a Herculean effort.
Maybe you are fighting in silence because you don’t have the words. Maybe you are fighting in silence because you are afraid that to speak out would bring down something worse. Maybe you are making all the noise you can but no one hears you.
Maybe you are stuck–in a place, a job, a relationship, a mindset, an illness. Maybe you cannot see a way out. Maybe no one sees you. Maybe they refuse to see you.
Maybe you have been taught to be silent. Maybe you have been threatened to be silent. Maybe you have to be silent to protect yourself, someone you love. Maybe every time you speak out, you are told to be quiet, that you’re too loud, that you don’t have it that bad, that you don’t have anything to complain about, that you’re being too sensitive, that you’re a snowflake, that no one cares.
You are here.
Maybe you don’t think you’re strong, but you are.
Definitely you are still here.
Definitely you have survived up to this point. Maybe you have come through the darkest part of the forest, the places where nameless monsters dwell. Maybe you are almost out. Maybe you are still in the middle, so lost that you cannot say where you are or even where or when you entered. But you exist, and this matters.
Definitely you are brave. Because being brave is not the absence of fear. It is being choked by fear–filled up to the brim by fear so it is seeping from your pores and snatching your breath–and still going, still seeking the way out of the dark woods.
Definitely you are worth your place in this world. Definitely you are irreplaceable. Definitely you matter.