I have been in a weak phase of my life, for at least five to seven years now. I have managed a great deal of strength during certain times: pregnancy/childbirth (he was 9 pounds, okay?), separating, jobs, disrespect, misogyny, etc. However, there is a large part of me that looks back and misses the woman I used to be – that sassy person that could get anyone to smile through compassion or my quick wit. The person who took no shit and stood my ground. What happened to me? I turned into a shell and I allowed my weakness to take over, believed that was all I was.
A recent conversation with a good friend lead me to a concept that I did not expect. He mentioned that part of my feeling so weak was because I was either looking for someone stronger than me, or I conceded to someone else’s “strength.” But, he continued, “you cannot find anyone stronger than you. You are the strongest person I know.” He knew about the struggles I had in my youth, some of the past hurts I have experienced, and he watched me fight tooth and nail in my adulthood for my goals. He saw me fall down and bleed. But, he also saw me get up, repeatedly, stronger each and every time. He saw me make decisions for someone else, out of love and respect, and saw the outcomes. And … he saw me get up and refuse to succumb to bitterness and wall myself off.
[It is very enlightening to hear someone else’s viewpoint of you – I suggest everyone ask a close loved one, a supporter and a fellow warrior, to honestly tell you what they see in you. It boggled my mind. I have felt each and every thing that happened and I felt every time I regained my strength to move forward.]
The conclusion I have come to is that I am strong because I have recognized my weaknesses and, ultimately, have not let them take me under. I fell numerous times, don’t get me wrong. I stayed down and licked my wounds and cried. It is a struggle, as many of you may know by now reading my other posts. I fall into a hole of despair so easily one would think I give up and jump down. But instead of keeping me in the hole and refusing to play, it has taught me how to reach out with compassion.
We are all strong and we are all weak. Every single one of us has done something in our lives that causes us to second guess and shame ourselves. Sometimes we need the pain to help us move forward. Sometimes, it is overwhelming and we end up in a shame cycle. But I am here to tell you that admitting you have weaknesses, striving to overcome them, and realizing your full potential as a human being – not as the CEO, not as the teacher of the year, not as the best and most hospitable Suzy Homemaker – as a human being, will allow you to really understand the strength you have inside. You will feel a sense of relief when you accept that you are not a horrible person, you are not a complete failure, and that you are living one day after the other and doing the best you can.
Another friend always says, “Life is tough; you don’t get out alive.” How right he is! Life is horrendous sometimes and absolutely glorious others. Even when you are in your shame and in your weakness, you still belong. In all of my shame and feelings of inadequacy, I refuse to give up on people. I play “the long game” (I’m stealing from a lot of my peeps this evening). Sometimes, I need to remember to not give up on myself. I can play the long game with me too … I’m not where I want to be, but I am where I am supposed to be.
What I always try to remember is this: People will not change unless it’s too uncomfortable to stay the same. Even if that someone is you. Trust in you … have the strength.
~I have started posting some of my quotes on Instagram with my photography. Follow at @thedoctorrobyn. As a warning, I also love Funko Pops and Doctor Who. 🙂