People often mistake strength for courage, loyalty and perseverance.
How often have we called someone ‘strong’, without ever knowing how many tears they’ve shed, how often they have had to grit their teeth and smile and take another little step despite the waves, how much they are hurting behind their determination to keep their heads up in the storms, how tired they are from enduring through their trials? Perhaps the ‘strong’ person is the one who needs the hug the most? Perhaps the ‘strong’ person is the one who deserves the most respect … not for being ‘strong’, but for being brave enough to surrender to what experiences life presents along their path to gaining deep and inner strength? Perhaps we learn more from those who endure than from those who take the soft route? Perhaps we focus too much on their being ‘strong’ and not enough on helping the ‘strong’ one up?
Next time you come across a ‘strong’ person … ask yourself: How and where did they travel in order to gain that strength? Could I have done what they did? And then ask yourself: What can I do to help them with their load … after all, have they not inspired me to persevere with my own?
Strength is courage in the face of almighty fear. Strength is not handed to us on a plate. It is best not to take ‘strength’ for granted. Real strength requires surrender, and is a ‘skill’ hard earned.
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