You don't have to be tough.
Heavy chest, feels like 9am was a push. Cycle through the usual rotary of inspirational quotes or verses and come up empty.
Empty like the hands we're turning over. Palms facing sky, soft altars offering up one-word prayers.
And empty hands is a great way to begin. Because we can't be tough forever. We can't ride adrenaline and caffeine until we crash through our doors at 6pm.
You don't have to be tough. But if you want to be strong.
You need to let someone open those white knuckles, love, so you can receive.
Receive your name. It's been too long since you've just listened to it. You have worth.
Receive your hope. It's been too long since you've been built up. You have a name. You have worth. Your life has meaning.
Receive your identity. It's been too long since you've drawn your strength from anything other than effort. You have a name. You have worth. Your life has meaning.
And you're strong because of who you are, not what you do. Not what others see. But who you are.
Your identity is your strength. You don't have to put up the fists. You don't have to grind your teeth. You don't have to hold the heavy world.
You have to hear your name.
And be strong, again.