TYW - Strength

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People give me amazing compliments that I really appreciate. The one I hear the most is about my so called strength. I do not claim to know why some people are considered strong and others weak. What is considered strong? Do strong men and women cry? Do they face things head on or do they push thru it trying to avoid it? Is pushing your limit strength? Is putting what is right ahead of your own capability strength? I don't know. What I do know is that at times I envy those who are referred to as weak. I do not understand why people say that they envy my strength or that they wish they were as strong as me. How do they know they are not as strong or stronger. It is flattering to know that I have somehow inspired someone but, honestly, I do not wish for them to match my 'strength'. I do not want them to go thru the things that I have gone thru in order to earn that title.

I met a woman once who told me that she would never pray for patience because in order to build patience she would have to encounter many situations that require more patience. In her mind, she would face continuous tests. For a long time, I didn't understand that. Maybe its because I have always been patient. It wasn't until I thought of it in relation to strength that it began to make perfect sense to me. Once in a while, I envy the weak. It seems that I encounter more and more situations that require emotional strength. The weak are often sheltered from things. They don't seem to be given more than they can chew. Some times, I really feel like things are thrown in my direction just to see if I am able to chew it. So, I usually close my eyes, breath, and hold on until my knuckles are white before I react. This is the way that I take the time to figure out how I am going to react and what costs will be required of me for different reactions. I try to force control long enough to make a choice. It is hard and it takes a lot of energy and time. My envy often comes from my own exhaustion.

I found that emotional strength is not like physical strength at all. In physical strength, you can work to a new strength level. You alter and develop new muscle memory and you are able to take on more easier. The perfect example is muscle fatigue. If you do a number of push ups until you physically can't anymore and allow your muscles to rest, the next time you try it is usually easier to hit that number before becoming fatigued. You may even be able to squeeze in one or two more. Emotional strength is not like this. I can get thru a big deal now and fall apart when a small situation comes around. Having the strength to get thru the loss of a loved one did not make going thru life's nuisances any easier. It doesn't ensure success in handling things that are of less importance or impact in comparison.

So why fight? Why be strong? At this point, I honestly do not think that I can help it. My life lessons requiring strength started when I was still in single digits. It is a habit that I have learned to appreciate. At times it is 'a gift and a curse' (Spidey).
Like many other things in life, the price is high but the reward is also high. I fight. I have been bruised and bloody before. Then I heal. I can go forward with very little residue because I faced it head on. It feels like I can be lower than most people but I don't stay down as long and when I am able to come up, I reach new heights and have less weigh on my shoulders. I have ups and down but I don't see the depths again. That is something I appreciate. It is incredibly hard to face things head on. I feel like it empties me sometimes. I can understand why some people don't get back up. There still may come a day when I am to tired to be 'strong'.


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I really don't think I am strong. I think I am pretty balanced. I have been very good and 'as bad as I want to be' (catwoman). I have been completely whole and in broken pieces. I have been strong and weak.

Ultimately I am a happy, satisfied struggler who fights. Everyone is a struggler after all. We just get to pick what words we put around it.

If I was ever able to be incredibly strong or incredibly weak for you or in front of you, that had less to do with me and more to do with you. You have a special bond. You were worth the struggle... (Mae, K, Julie, Rm, etc) The list is short and I am blessed to have it...

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Comments 8 comments

Desert bunny 4 years ago

Thank you so much for this hub. I have been wondering about the same thing. A lot of people have told me that I am so strong and in my mind I cannot get around this word as I do not feel this strength they are speaking about. Then I realised that they cannot see the emotions inside the body. The shaking and the heartbrake. The bewilderment in the mind and the emotional shock, the longing. They just see the mask we put on to protect ourselves. At my husband's funeral I had quite a few people asking me if I was on medication. I was actully still in such total shock and disbelief that all seemed so unreal. It seemed as if it was happening to someone else - as if I was not in my body. A friend phoned two weeks later and asked if I have moved on already as I am such a strong person. She was crossed off the friend list because I feel that a real friend would know that I really needed a bit of compassion. I went back to work a week after the funeral because I just had to keep my mind going. Ofcourse my boss thought that this was just so brave and strong - which in fact it was not - I just had to get away from the house and memories. So I think what is happening is we all feel the terrible grief but maybe just have more will power to try and keep things as normal as possible in this situation. Maybe we can call it emotional strength. I do not know. Then also we realise that we have to look out for ourselves now as there is no more hubby that loves us and takes care of us. We just have to get up and do it ourselves for our own sake as well as for our children/family etc. I cannot expect my children to bear my grief as well. They also grieve the loss of their father and have to move on in their own lives without worrying about if I am coping. I am just putting in some thoughts here and do not know if it is making any sence. A year has passed since my hubby died and it still feels like yesterday. Healing is a very slow process - one step at a time. And them sometimes a few back. Emotional strength looks to me like a glass of water filling up and then it only needs that one drop more to overflow. That being the small thing that happens after all the big things one could handle and then break down with one small problem.


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Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

Strength is mind over matter.. I think and I kinda agree with what that woman told you ( one would have to encounter many situations that require more patience. ) Everything builds with each experience.. they must see alot of experience in your eyes.. and in that shows strength.. I sense strength from you. but also caring and empathy.. anyways its so good to see you again on here missed you girl... Frank


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Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

A year is not that long, especially when compared to the time you had together. I know people can't really understand what you are going thru and honestly I do not want them too. Only those of us who have walked this path can really understand. Take your time...


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Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

I love reading your comments. Thank you Frank. I missed you too. I am almost back. I am planning to be back in Oct. I always stop in and look for you and your amazing work. I so appreciate your compliments. They always go straight to the core.


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Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

well keep in touch :)


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Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

of coarse I will. I intend to keep you if you will be kept. You are an amazing friend.


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monicaortegamon 4 years ago from Ontario, california

Moms-Secret This was an awesome article and I can relate quite a bit...I struggled all my life but behind every struggle is fight that requires fighting for, for myself that in return I can fight for others...Monica


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Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thanks for the comment Monica. It takes a while to make peace with our own double edged swords but I appreciate having the weapon...

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