When I see or hear the word warrior there are many images that come to mind. I think about the great Mongolian warrior, Ghengis Kahn. He was one of history's great leaders and he conquered most of Eurasia during the thirteenth century. The Macedonian, Alexander the Great, is thought to be the greatest warrior the world has ever known. He was a master of tactics, strategy, statecraft, and logistics . Napoleon forged the finest army of a generation with his application of war principles, which resulted in a rennaissance in military doctrine, are still in practice today. Frederick the Great, Julius Caesar, Gustavus Adolphus and George S. Patton are others that are well known to the world.
But there are modern day warriors that are not well-known and they wage a private war, many times in isolation. Just like the ancient warriors these warriors apply tactics, strategy, statecraft and logistics. These warriors are not readily identified, because they do not wear armour or carry swords and they have no army following close behind. These warriors are armed with the Internet and look to each other for comraderie and to share strategy and tactics. What characterizes these warriors that are so invisible to the world?
The warriors I speak of are an elite group of "wounded" warriors and their ranks span our mother earth. The intrinsic enemy they fight is poorly understood and it seeks to destroy the body, the mind, the spirit and quality of life. Its vicious attack is relentless. Its persistence creates an urgency in the warrior it invades, but urgency only robs the warrior of precious energy resources. The extrinsic enemy wears street clothes or lab coats; they are the warrior's family, friends, acquaintances and healthcare professionals. This enemy is lethal, because it seeks to defeat the warrior's emotional resources and is frequently dehumanizing. At a time when these warriors need emotional and physical support the most, they must mobilize a fierceness from within they have never witnessed before, and they must become their own advocate. The remarkable characteristic these warriors possess is the ability to call up a determined and intense spirit that is simultaneously caring, kind, sensitive and supportive of others. These "wounded" warriors have the ability to fight a fierce battle and yet demonstrate a compassion and understanding for others beyond themselves. This unique capacity for compassionate caring for others while struggling with pain, illness and low energy reserves are the characteristics of people with fibromyalgia. These "wounded" warriors have experienced the challenges of this illness, which sharpens the senses and defines priorities that create a new life perspective. Their spirit is an array of powerful emotions and an undefeatable resolve, which feeds their soul and provides the strength to face their challenges each new day. They demonstrate a quiet strength and a resonant patience that lays the foundation for the warrior to be enabled to face this fierce adversary day after day. These warriors have defined the world on their own terms, which produces a cadence compatible with their capabilities and renews their personal control. These characteristics define the warrior's spirit; a spirit that deserves admiration and respect.
Have you seen the face of this remarkable "wounded" warrior? I'm sure you have. When you look into the mirror you will realize that face belongs to you. Did you ever think for one minute that you would belong to such an elite international warrior group? I'm sure that you didn't and you are probably thinking this is a dubious honor. We don't often get to choose the honors bestowed upon us. We need fine warriors to fight this fight and that have the capability to meet this challenge every day. The good company we keep will certainly lead to triumphs and the answers we seek. I am proud and honored to be in this battle with you and all the warriors that have been called to fight this fight. I thank you for the love, caring and support that you give so freely despite your personal challenges every day. You are a premier warrior. Blessings to you each and every day!