When one is amidst the storm, seeing no further ahead than the darkness will allow, courage to continue moving forward comes from a primal place so deep within your soul, you never knew it was there.
There have been many times in my life when things were so bad, I was sure I would break. Times when I was convinced I would not have the strength to face another day, another heartbreak, another problem. Moments that seem to stretch into years of nothing going right and absolutely everything going wrong. I have walked through some of the darkest days life has to offer, doubting with each step I took that I had what it would take to see myself through them. When one is amidst the storm, seeing no further ahead than the darkness will allow, courage to continue moving forward comes from a primal place so deep within your soul, you never knew it was there.
It has been there all along.
Even at your weakest, you are strong. If you allow yourself to be. Sometimes, those victories seem small. Opening your eyes in the morning to face another day. Getting up and dressed. For some, this requires an incredible inner stalwartness. Perseverance. The refusal to give in. Baby steps lead to achieving more as time goes on. For others, strength comes forth from necessity. Life situations that force you to think on your feet, times when others are counting on you to pull through for them. Life teaches you. Life beats you up, but at the same time, shows you exactly what you are capable of.
I watched my baby brother and sister in law these past few weeks find a strength neither one of them knew they had. When it became apparent that my nephew, who wasn't supposed to be born until the 20th, was going to be coming three weeks early. There were some very serious medical issues with my sister in law and with the baby's heart. I watched as both of them overcame every fear with steely resolve. Fighting back the panic to do what needed to be done. Both of them reaching into that primal part of their soul to find the strength they needed to bring baby into the world, through heart surgery at two days old and to fully embrace being new parents. I am in awe of them. The strength I saw, as they stood in front of the surgeon who had just operated on their son, was palpable. It was fierce.
Now that baby is home and growing stronger with each day, a new strength is being born. Adapting to a new reality. Shifting perspective and priorities. It takes courage to change. Even when the exhaustion threatens to overwhelm them, they dig deeper. Finding what they need within. That internal spring that never runs dry, we just must remember it is there.
During a life coaching session, one of my clients, who I admire greatly, said to me; "I will never be as strong as you." "I can't face anymore, handle anymore or deal with it anymore." Her "it" isn't important. We all have "its" but what is important is the desperation I heard in her voice. It echoed the same tone I have heard in my head over and over again. Just because I am strong, doesn't mean I don't battle being weak. It just means I am stubborn broad who refuses to give up. Ever. We all have the power, we all have the strength. What we all don't have - is belief in ourselves.
When you are in the thick of something, your strength is in each step, however small, you take to get through it. It is loving yourself in the process. It's being gentle with yourself. It's being a champion for your life and your sanity. Life is complicated, sometimes. It's hard. But, the hard doesn't last forever. Though, believe me, I know it feels like it. You don't have to be Hercules all the time. It's okay to feel weak. It's natural. It's okay to be tempted to just throw in the towel and give up. What's not okay is giving into those temptations. The world around you may have gone to shit, for one reason or another, but that doesn't mean you give up on your place in it. It means you lick your wounds for a while, dig deep, deeper still and pull yourself out of the darkness.
Think about this: Your track record for getting through all the horrible, painful, undeniably awful days... is 100%. Know how I know this? Because you are sitting here, reading this. When it all gets to be too much, remind yourself of this. Your track record is 100%. Impressive my friends. Maybe you are Hercules after all.
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