Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sometimes, "Strong" doesn't look that way ...

In our society, strength is admired. Revered, even. Words like "big", "powerful", "brawny" are often used to describe strength. This type of strength is commonly called "physical strength".

When we are children, picking at our plate because we find something on it unappealing, we are often told we need to eat our veggies/meat/whatever in order to "grow up big and strong."

The law of "Survival of the Fittest" is often described as the strong overpowering the weak.

In sports, strength is admired in the form of an athlete; the stride of a runner, a football player's tackle ...

On the schoolground, kids who are perceived as "weak" are often picked on or otherwise bullied by kids who wish to be perceived as "strong".

These are all images with which many of us are familiar. These are the concepts of strength against which many of us measure ourselves.

But there are other kinds of strength, those which are, perhaps, less evident or visual. Strength of character. Strength of will. Strength of determination. The words most commonly used to describe this strength are "bravery", "courage".

One could argue that this type of strength is too subjective to measure, and that is true, to a point. But this type of strength, commonly called "inner strength", is less superficial and far more important in our day to day lives than physical strength.

These days, finding my inner strength has been very challenging. Finding the courage to dig down and come up with the words "Hey, I need help" has been pretty much impossible.

Heck, finding words to finish a blog post has been just as difficult of late ... I have no less than three partially-written posts in my "drafts" folder as I type this.

One is a topic for which I will need to really draw on my inner strength to complete; a tribute to my brother who passed away this summer.

I am not sure why I have a hard time asking for or accepting help; perhaps it is because my upbringing has somehow informed me that asking for help is a sign of frailty, or weakness.

In any case, sometimes asking for help when needed takes a lot of strength.

I am working on that.

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