Lately, I’ve been remembering a woman I met in Paris, which honestly seems like a lifetime ago. I was nursing a hurt heart, not sure what I wanted to do next in life and instead of being proactive I was throwing myself a little pity party, staring out at the street in front of me from a small table at a cafe. I do that sometimes, get angry and sad at situations. They last a few weeks and I snap out of it, choosing instead to do something about it rather than wallow but that day was not one of those times.

An older woman sat down at my table, interrupting my brooding and asked something in French. When I looked at her questionably she repeated in English “why do you have such a frown on your face? One so young should never have that look, tell me your life and I will tell you a secret”. I honestly stared at her for a few minutes, unsure why a complete stranger was asking me for my life story in exchange for a secret. Was this something French women did? Who was this lady? However, after a few minutes of silence, I started speaking.

I won’t write down everything I told her, as much of that is highly private. I will, however, share the secret she told me. The first part was about love, of course. She said it was simple, that we made it far too difficult. Knowing you are capable of love, actual love, not the love from stories and movies, that is enough. What you give, you will receive, though not always from the place you would expect. She also said that once one love has gone, do not hold to it fiercely. That when you think of the past, let it sit with you for a moment and then send it on its way and look forward. Harboring the hurt and pain will only ever prolong the past.

The second part was about anger. She told me to don’t judge yourself too harshly for having anger. There is power in injustice and anger, and while it should not be used with malicious intent, it can be used to guide you. Understand why you are angry, the root of that is usually the answer to your problem.

The last was there are things in life worth fighting for, and there are things that you’ll try to fight against that aren’t really worth the struggle. Quiet yourself from time to time and make sure you know which that moment is.

Deciding that something is not worth the struggle, or that the struggle has gone on long enough is not weakness. It’s strength in knowing yourself, knowing your life and realizing that growth, higher vision and the heart to fight for that are important to the fabric of your being. When the situation no longer warrants any of that, and instead is creating a struggle not worth the fight, then you let go and look forward.

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