Ding, ding, ding! Onto another round of the continuous fight ahead. A year over and a new one ahead, my birthday has got me thinking of the vast possibilities that lie ahead yet again for me to experience. Every round of life, chapter or phase, if you will, has with it its ups and downs and wins and losses. I ran into my younger brother watching a boxing match and I thought to myself, hmm, life is really like a boxing match. If you think about it, every experience we go through is like a fight we have with our environment, with our situations, with all those around us, with our spirituality and more importantly with ourselves. Each round of fighting, to me, is like a battle we take on to learn something new, to achieve something we desire, and sometimes to let go of what no longer serves us.

It is not so much the fighting with another individual that tweaked my thinking, but instead the fight it takes within ourselves to place ourselves at the ring; the ring of life. Life has to be taken to be lived, I think it has to be approached head on with the full force of our truest selves. And in the taking we have to find the courage to face it as authentically as we can. Now, that is the one challenge that I’m sure we all have to face as we go through life. Being authentic takes a level of self-confidence and grounded determination about our values, principles and set standards of our own belief systems. I believe that authenticity is a constant battle if we choose to want to live to our fullest potential.

Last year with the birth of my second son, the pandemic, the closing of my place, our country’s unrest and my uncle’s passing, I have experienced every kind of emotions possible to me in the book. Every emotion was a different fighting round. As I reflect back on my past year, I am actually pretty proud of the fact that I chose to find myself at the ring each time. I gloved up for every experience ready to dodge the punches and to throw some of my own. It was always easier to just not deal with it and retrieve into myself like a snail in hiding within its shell, but life can’t be ignored – it has to be faced.

And so, I did just that. I faced each phase as best as I could. My son was born and I picked myself up out of bed each time he called for me even through the excruciating backpain. Backpain that sometimes brought me to my knees uncapable of walking, backpain that required more minutes to ever so slowly roll out of bed, backpain that carried with it electrifying nerve pinching that felt as though my organs were literarily failing. But I walked through it, each time, I somehow found the strength to clench myself through the pain. The pandemic took its own course and toll on me, as it did for everyone globally. I had to deal with my place closing, just when I had got close enough to making it finally run smoothly and profitably. I saw as everything I had for the past three years organized and strategically placed, come undone. Every item that had to come to my house during the move, every furniture a reminder of what once was.

And as if that wasn’t enough a punishment from the universe to us all, our country went into war. A war that took thousands of lives, and I, foolishly and in the comfort of my own home, kept thinking these kinds of tragedies sadly happen to others. Saddened by the loss of so many lives ad the hoffiic stories that would be passed around. I was then blindsided by my own uncle’s life being one of those lost lives. That was by far, and still is, the hardest fight I have had and continue to have. A fight to accept the unfortunate set of events that can occur in any one of our lives. A fight to grief. A fight to handle the anger it created. An even harder fight let go, so he may rest in peace.

So yes, life has been like a boxing match at each turn. And I have gloved up each time when I got to the ring. Ready to take some painful punches, always trying to doge as much as I can and throw in some punches and kicks of my own. Now though, when reflecting on my past year, with the so many incidences that occurred that could have very much brought me down, I chose instead to focus on the fact that I did, at each state of occasion, show up to deal with it. I could have easily decided to wallow in my own sorrow and self-pity, but each time I thought of all I should be instead grateful for.

And so my readers, I just want to say that, none of us are born perfect nor should we strive for perfection, instead we should understand that our flaws make us the beautiful souls we are, our demons make us the strong beings we are the harder we fight against them. And as much as our wins and successes bring us immense joy, we must find inner-acceptance in all our losses to live in a balanced synergy with the universe we are all part of. Life’s battles are many, but at the end of the day, the battle is always your own. Choose to fight, not just for survival, but for self-preservation. And please, please remember you should always be careful of how you approach a fellow human being – you know nothing of a person’s battles. Glove up – it’s just life.