Dear Fierce Woman,

This world has given you more than you can handle, and you handle it. 

You have cried yourself to sleep; spent, not knowing how you would ever manage, yet you managed. You have faced fears and crises that have threatened to overwhelm, and even when they did overwhelm, you rallied. 

Dear fierce woman, your own strength is a mystery to you, sometimes, even when it’s been absent for far too long, it surges and you soar when you least expect it.

Whether your battles are with your past, your health, or for you family or yourself, you battle with all your might. 

You have days, weeks, months when you live at the end of your rope. When people ask you how you do it, you don’t even know.

Dear fierce woman, you sometimes wonder if it even matters, what you do every day that nobody notices. You wonder why you try so hard, and if all your work and effort even makes a difference. You wonder if you’re even visible. Sometimes it feels like everything you do each day just slips into oblivion. Gone, with nothing to show.

But, dear woman, what you’re doing matters. Those battles you fight each day, they’re important. 

You are fierce. You are worthy. 

And on those days when you don’t have the strength to keep going, it’s okay to stop and breathe. And on those days that you feel invisible, it’s okay to scream into the storm and rail against it. And on those days when your rope hasn’t been long enough for many, many moons, it’s okay to let it go.

Dear fierce woman, you are so lovely, so valuable, so real. The battles that have been fought at great cost, have uncovered a true, authentic, beautiful you. And those of us who have our own battles, we recognize you, we notice you. We see the war paint you wear, the armor you don, and we know that you are in our tribe. We lift you up, and we hold onto you as our own, dear fierce woman, you are never alone. 

Alethea Mshar

Alethea Mshar is a mother of four children; an adult child who passed away of a drug overdose, one typical daughter and two sons who have Down syndrome, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder and complex medical needs. She has written "What Can I Do To Help", a guide to stepping into the gap when someone you know has a child diagnosed with cancer, which is available on Amazon, and is publishing a memoir titled, "Hope Deferred". She can be found on Twitter as leemshar, and blogs for The Mighty HuffPost as Alethea Mshar, as well as her own blog, Ben's Writing Running Mom on She is also on Facebook as Alethea Mshar, The Writing, Running Mom.