Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Source of Strength

Through the course of writing this blog (it's almost 1 year old!), there is a comment that keeps coming up, time and again. It's not one that I mind, but it's one that confuses me.

I write to inspire. I write to encourage and I write to share my story. I written about testifying in court against my mother and how I'd like to approach my own death. I've written about what it's like to skydive, what it's like to have a stroke and what it's like to have PTSD.

The comment / compliment that keeps coming up, throughout my sharing stories with you is about how strong I am.

To this compliment, I normally reply, "At the end of the day, we're a lot stronger than we think we are," and this is true, but it's not the end of the statement.

Yes, I've had a lot happen to me in my short 32 years. Yes, I've had many adventures and weathered many storms, but I don't think I'm necessarily "stronger" than anyone else. When it comes down to it, there are two options of dealing with what this world can throw at you. You can either weather it and let your story continue, or you can let it break you.

Gandhi has a nice quote about this:

Most of the time, I've chosen to weather things, seek help and try to move beyond them. I choose to not surrender. Most of the time, even through depression and Lupus, I convince myself that my story isn't going to end with the latest setback. I remind myself that my story isn't all written, yet, and that there are many shining and brilliant days awaiting me.

Maybe that, in itself, is strength - refusing to "go quietly into that good night."

But, again, I don't see myself as a "strong person." I merely see myself as a person who decided to not let the bottoming-out define me. We all have failures. We all have tragedies and mistakes and oopsies in our past, but we don't have to let them define who we are, forever.

Yes, I'm depressed and have anxiety. Yes, I grew up in an abusive home and I have health problems. But those things are merely facts about me and things that happened. They are not "me."

In the movie, Dark City, a race of aliens is searching for the existence of the human soul by swapping people's memories between different bodies. At the end of the movie, the aliens state that the soul is more than just the sum of our memories. Our past influences who we are, today and in the future, but we are more at our core than just the sum of our memories.

From what I can see, all "strength" is, really, is the ability to pick yourself up when you've stumbled along the way. And if I or any of my readers have done this, then maybe we're all strong people. We all have falling down moments, but in the world of Oriah Mountain Dreamer in her poem, The Invitation,"

"It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children."

That, I think, is real strength.

So, my lovelies, do you think that you are a strong person? Why or why not? Are you willing to own your strength? Tell me about it.

Until next time,

Love to All My Relations,


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