“A faithful friend is a strong defense: and [s]he that hath found such a one, hath found a treasure.”
Strength. It is not just a powerful force arising from the coordinated efforts of tendon and muscle. It is not just atomic molecular forces acting within a solid that provide it with peculiar physical and chemical properties. Strength has been described as a number of things – fortitude, persuasiveness, military strength and virtue. Strength is iron, but strength is also the nourishment-seeking determination of a tree-root pressing itself into solid, dry ground. Strength does not adhere to stereotypes. Strength challenges us to seek brave new identities for ourselves – identities of individuality, fearlessness and boundless endurance. Strength offers promise, and strength offers hope.
Strength is also intimately connected with Fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of heights, fear of the dark, fear of snakes, spiders and things that go “bump” in the night. Some of our Fears are validated and completely reasonable, while others manifest themselves into creations or mirages of our overactive minds. Name your Fear, allow it to occupy your thoughts and it will cripple you mentally and emotionally. Face your Fears and enjoy a safer world that has the potential to free you from your bonds, whatever they may be.
Ask yourself this, “What are you truly afraid of?” and “What is holding you back from your true, glorious potential as a human being?” “What type of demons are holding you back from seeking a gentler, kinder future for yourself?”
I am not a particularly strong-looking woman. I am not your stereotypical definition of strength anyways. I have never aspired to, nor will ever own an abdominal six-pack. I will never want my arms or calves to ripple with sinewy definition, although I used to weight train with the aspiration of developing “strength” (small “s” strength, that is). No, my Strength was born when I started to encounter and fight my Fears. When I started to regain control of my life through personal empowerment, new branches began to fork and open up along the road of my life’s journey. Now, I face these challenges head on. My flag is flying bravely and I move with new confidence in an unknown world, such that I have created new opportunities for myself.
We are all required and needed in our lives. People love and depend upon us daily for our services – be they professional or personal. We can serve as a source of inspiration and Light for others through all of our acts, no matter how seemingly random or insignificant they might be.
Now the few questions remaining are these, “Will you face your fears so that you can shine as brightly as you can?” and “Will we be able to stand the intensity of your bright light when you do shine as brightly as the day you were born?”
C’mon, I challenge you to try. You are loved and needed.