Not Alone (Together In Suffering)

Knowing that one other person feels the way we do is often enough to initiate our healing.

We all struggle with something.

Whether it is personal, professional, or relational, none of us is exempt from difficulty, from trouble, or from conflict.

We all have fears, frustrations, and insecurities.

We all have our own demons in some shape or form.

Some of us cover them up so well that even we forget that they are there, lurking beneath the surface, waiting to be summoned by a moment of weakness.

Some of us wear them on our sleeve, a raw nerve and open wound for the world to see and feel.

Some of us hide them from others and struggle in silence, a self divided between the facade that is presented outwardly and the truth we live with inside of ourselves.

But, we all have our struggles, our scars, and our trauma.

We all feel alone sometimes.

We all feel lost sometimes.

We all feel overwhelmed sometimes.

None of us is exempt from weakness, pain, or sadness.

It is important to know this.

It is important to know that others feel the way we do.

It is important to know that we are not alone, that, while the exact details of our suffering may be unique to us, the feeling we are experiencing is something that we all share in some small or large way.

It is important to know that healing is possible as long as we keep showing up.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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