I've been feeling a little down tonight, a little fragile.
Then a few minutes ago I started thinking about Sensei.
I miss him so much. He was so important to me.
But I'm also thinking about him because he was so good at what he did, who he was. He had this way to make you believe in yourself when you didn't a moment before. He had this way to make you face your mistakes and deal with them without feeling weak or like a failure.
I wish, every day, I could be more like him.
But the only way for that to happen is for me to be true to myself, be true to what I was taught, and to practise.
I'm having a moment of weakness tonight. Feeling like I can't cope, like I will never be who or what I want. Feeling like a failure.
Then I remember.
I remember his smile as he said, "you're ready when I say you're ready".
I remember quietly, sadly saying I cannot do something, and he simply replies, "yes you can". I remember how I believed him, and how, with that belief behind me, I always succeeded.
I remember his pride in me.
I remember the tattoo on my back, my everyday reminder of who I am and where I come from and the man who helped me get here from there.
I remember the final words of dojo kun, words that have always, always stayed with me. Words I would repeat after Sensei twice a day, with every ounce of my being behind them. Words that have shaped every moment of my life.
Never give up.
And then, I feel strong again. Fragile still, yes. Sad still, yes. But strong.