In my childhood, I spun around in my room with dizzying speed attempting to turn into Wonder Woman. Or, at the very least, Drusilla, her younger sister. My attempts were fruitless, but I didn’t give up right away. So you can imagine my excitement when the time came to be reunited with none other than Diana, the princess of the Amazons herself, also known as Wonder Woman.
While I hope you’ve seen it by now, I won’t totally spoil the movie for you — I hope. I’ve seen it twice and the messages keep jumping out. Here’s one:
Even if you know how to fight, you can lose your greatest battle if you don’t know who you are.
The idea that (minor spoiler forthcoming) a key part of her lineage remained an intentional secret for much of her life infuriated me. The reason no one told her? Fear. While one family member wanted to tell her and train her to fight, another believed that learning to fight would draw the fight in her direction.
While this plot point frustrated me, I imagine many of us live this way. How many times have you told a story with a twist to “protect the innocent” – usually you? We don’t always want to have to explain, so we hide. But truth empowers our resolve and fuels our strength to endure the fights that are a part of our journey and growth. Hiding parts of who we are, or attempting to shield ourselves (or our children) from truth can backfire and leave us more vulnerable. Diana needed those keys to her identity to assess her potential and access her strength when the battle emerged.
If key components of your identity could help you stand firm in the midst of adversity, wouldn’t you want to know? I would.
There’s another side to this truth coin. Truth and accurate storytelling affords folks listening the opportunity to be encouraged by the grit and audacity that brought you through. How do I know this? Because in the middle of the movie I whispered, ‘No one had better mess with me on the way to the car.’ I pictured myself alongside her, able to run through a wall of troops because she did.
Is someone benefiting from the privilege of hearing your story of victory? Doesn’t matter how ugly the battle; we love a reason to party. Even more, we love the idea that your triumph influences our potential to conquer the trials we face.
There’s a catch, though. The journey you travel guided by your story must be rooted in truth; not facts that shine a light on you, but a shadow on everyone else. Nor should it be told from speech soaked in shame. We must get real with ourselves and employ balance in responsibility and vulnerability if we’re going to be helpful in the long run. Once the layers are pulled back, we may find we were made for battle!
Are you ready to come to terms with your truth so you can help others by sharing what grew out of your dirt? Your battles may seem insignificant to you, but to another, you’re a warrior! Feel free to share a word of encouragement to other warriors in the comments.