That quote, translated as “I am still learning”, is attributed to Michelangelo on his 87th birthday and could not be a more fitting phrase for my week, and my guess is for yours as well. It seems to me that we are all here learning multiple lessons, many times over. Just when we think we’ve mastered one particular hurdle, it presents itself directly in our path once again, only to cause us to stumble and fall.

My knees got skinned up this week as I too tripped over my own obstacles. It was a very familiar theme that I battled, that being fighting a losing battle. The title of my blog is by no means an exaggeration, I am relentless. I have held strong in the face of many assaults, but the hardest war ever waged has been within myself and has been about knowing when to disengage.

A relative’s verbal onslaught returned me to that place in my mind where I charged the gauntlet that had been thrown down, with the tenacity of a bulldog. I become hell bent on engaging their irrational behaviors, hoping only to convince them of their outlandish and utterly ridiculous display. That quickly I am returned to the days of my childhood where I stood toe to toe with the insanity of my parents. Then it was truly about my survival. Today, time and space allow me to see the futility in trying to convince them of anything.

I had to walk away, from the bloodshed and from them. It’s one of the hardest things I had to do because I am not a quitter and my heart had hopes of bringing them into a place of healing with me. The toughest lesson for me to learn, by far, is that a smart soldier knows when to turn and leave, not admitting defeat but instead displaying acceptance. In that acceptance the rage of a warrior is replaced with the grief of saying goodbye, cutting one of the last tenuous strings that kept us connected. It was ultimately a loving act not just for myself, but for them as well as I refused to continue to remain in conflict; playing a game that had only losers.

And so, I faltered for a few days on lessons not yet fully integrated, but the good news is that I was embattled for days, and no longer years. I have learned, and clearly, am still learning. I played out old energies within my mind but ultimately returned to my heart and permitted the tears to add another layer of healing to a time and place that is long gone. Today’s family member had taken me there, but it was me that found my way out. I had come full circle, my dogged personality returning me to a moment of healing and truth, not a place of entanglement.

It is true, each and every one of us shall fall but the lesson is always, “What is the lesson?” With that spirit in mind we will remain victorious wherever life may lead us.

Be well and happy.