The Thriving Tiger

Somewhere along the way the lion stopped roaring. I began to experience fears long held but not well understood. And new fears. I stopped doing things that had brought me joy and liberation. I haven’t been for a night swim on my own since before the water got too cold. It’s harder to get myself to go running. I’ve stopped walking as frequently in my own company.

That lion was the inner me. The gnarly and determined survivor. When I couldn’t breath. When I lost too many loved ones. When I was busy doing for everyone but me. Maybe he got tired. Maybe his job was done. It feels strange without him.

Maybe as I’ve held a mirror up to myself, looking to recognise my authenticity, seeking to understand and finally to accept what has happened and what hasn’t, he couldn’t see himself there.

He has slipped away quietly. And that soft retreat has sent some ripples through me. And yet those ripples accord their own reflections and cast new light.

I am seeking light, in myself and in the beauty of the world.

And the light shines on a new wisdom about the sources of strength. Strength that comes from loving, from leaning, from learning. That endures hurt and joy, yearning and acceptance, hope and recognition. A different kind of strength designed not for surviving but for thriving.

Tiger. The words keep coming to me. “C’mon tiger”. And a slow rumbling that is a waiting roar builds within.

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