Have you ever thought you couldn’t get through something, it just felt too heavy, and when the time came you were surprised by how strong you were?
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”Christopher Reeve
In January, we got a lot of ice rain and snow where I live. I walk my dog in the bush by my house and I can’t believe how much the trees can take during these storms. In some cases, the tree limbs were so heavy with ice and snow that they were laying on the ground. Not broken, just taking on the heavy load. They can do this because nature is always prepared for a storm, which makes them adaptable. So the trees are designed to flex and bend and when the storm passes and everything starts to thaw, the weight is lifted, and those trees will be right back up, strong and tall again.
This made me think about how adaptable, flexible and strong we are as humans.
My grandmother just went through one of the worst storms of her life. She lost my grandpa, her husband and partner for over 60 years. When she knew he wasn’t going to make it, she said, “This is going to kill me. I won’t be able to survive this.” What she was feeling was that the heaviness of the pain was going to be too much for her to bare.” A couple months after he passed, she said to my mother, “I am so proud of myself. I am so much stronger than I ever thought I was.”
The pain is heavy for her, but she is choosing to adapt to a new life, knowing that no matter what she is going through, she won’t break.
We ALL go through personal life storms and think the heaviness of it all will break us, but we don’t break. We may be held down by the heaviness for a little while, but we get back up and become stronger than we were before – standing tall. What we went through taught us something about ourselves, strengthened us and proved that we could not be broken.
You are not broken, and you never need to be fixed, but that doesn’t mean you need to go through it alone. You may need support, tools, guidance and love to help you weather the storm, but it will pass and when it does, you will lift yourself up, stand tall and remember that you are so much stronger than you ever thought you were.
Let’s take the conversation even deeper and do a little inner work. Grab a pen and your journal, or just a piece of paper. Take a few deep breaths and really connect with your heart, resting your hand on your heart if you want to, before answering these questions:
What, if anything, is causing a heaviness in your life right now where you feel you might just break? It might a relationship, loss, work stress, a project, some debt or perhaps an illness.
What is one thing you can do today to just lighten the load even just a little bit?
If you need to, who can you reach out to for support, guidance, and love?
You are so much stronger than you believe. How do I know this? Because you (we) are all stronger than we think we are. Life will come with challenges, losses, sadness, goals and dreams that seem to be taking forever to come, and obstacles that seem too big to overcome. But life also comes with the contrast to all of that: wins, successes, love, goals achieved, and solutions to all our problems. And because the contrast always exists, I know that in our weakest moments we will also find our strength.
“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.”Bob Marley
You are so resilient, flexible, and adaptable. Do you remember the last challenge you had to overcome? At the beginning could you have imagined that you would ever get to the other side? And when you did, were you surprised by your strength and resiliency?
When you have those heavy moments, focus on remembering that strength, remembering your resiliency, and recognize that you have everything you need to get through any season you are in.
If you are going through a loss, you may want to turn to my grandmothers practice. She is focusing on how much stronger the feeling of love is to her sadness. She said when she feels the sadness, she allows herself to cry, but then shifts her attention to her love for her husband, the love he had for her, the love of her family and feels a sense of peace come over her. Love is stronger than anything. She is still in her grief and feeling all that she needs to feel, but she is also feeling love, which gives her strength.
If you are unsure how to overcome an obstacle, you might want to shift your focus away from the obstacle and turn inward, asking, “what solutions do I already have that can help me overcome this? Who can I call on for support or advice? What have I done before that can assist me now?” Recognize where you are on the emotional scale and remember that you have the power, the strength within you, to move towards feeling the way that you want to feel, even while simultaneously feeling the contrast.
You are stronger than your fear.
You are stronger than your pain, even though it might not feel like it today.
You are so much stronger than you think – than you believe.
I know this because I see it every day with my clients, in stories that I hear from other women and men, and in myself. I promise, it is within you as well.
“We UNLEASH our inner contagiously positive not by pushing away our weaknesses, but by knowing our strengths.”