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Strength



Courage has nothing to do with our determination to be great. It has to do with what we decide in that moment when we are called upon to be more.   Rita Dove


Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.  Gandi 

 

I used to think the word “strength” had to do with the brave face I would show to the world. The “I got it all together- nothing is going to faze me - I’m totally competent” facade that I felt I had to put out in the world to be accepted. Strength meant being strong, capable, and fit, kind of a Wonder Woman stance of total self-assurance. I can picture myself standing at the top of a huge mountain I have climbed - my red Wonder Woman cape flapping in the breeze with me gazing out into the distance with a look on my face of total satisfaction and pride.

 

Well, I don’t know if it's getting older or maybe finally a bit wiser, but I have a totally different take on what the word strength really means now.

 

A few examples:

 

When my father was dying I remember the feeling of pain and panic I would feel as I put my hand on the doorknob to walk into his hospital room and face the fact that he was going to be gone soon. I would take a deep breath and drop into a place of a different kind of inner strength that I didn’t even know I had to help me make it through this and to be fully present to what was happening. 

 

A friend who I had a falling out with years ago was at a social event that I had been invited to. As much as I didn’t want to attend and go through the discomfort of seeing her, I listened to my heart and knew I needed to be there. Seeing her across the room, my stomach tightened and I made myself go and say hello. Again, tapping into that inner strength to move past that discomfort led to an easy conversation and letting go of past hurts - just by saying hello.

 

I think the true test for strength is the ability to be yourself - warts and all and shine your light.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” I remember as a teenager being so afraid to show who I was that I adapted to whoever I was with just to be liked. Well at 66 years old I am so over it. My inner strength comes from years of deep work and self-love to know that my real strength and superpower comes from my own self-acceptance. What I am talking about here I call “soft strength” - it’s that place we all have when we drop down into our hearts to hear what our truth is, what is ours to do, and to have that inner strength to know we will be ok. It’s not about bravado, or big actions sometimes it’s that quiet inner knowing and power that gives us our real strength to do what we need to do. The fact that this newsletter is called “Digging Deep” - is exactly what I am referring to. Sometimes we need to dig a little deeper into our hearts and souls to see what our truth really is and where our real strength really lives.



Karen Drucker

Singer, Songwriter, Retreat Leader, Author, Comedienne, and a Seeker

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