“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”– Eleanor Roosevelt
I’ve never considered myself a strong person. I’ve always believed that I am very much the weak one, easily manipulated by those I put my trust in and invariably always let down. Strength is not a trait I would give myself.
Yet, since everything happened I’ve found many people using that exact word to describe me and I wonder what it is that they see. Why can’t I see it? Even my ex told me I was ‘stronger than you give yourself credit for’ after I was collapsed in a snivelling mess after another ‘talk’. I’ve decided to try and figure out what strength is to me in the hope that I can see where I fit.
1. Ability to withstand the harshest of times without stooping to levels that would embarrass you
See now straight away I failed at point number 1. I yielded to the madness and wrote things that should never have seen the light of day. I allowed my weakness to show and in a very public way.
2.Has an understanding of her own self worth
Failure number 2 right here! I suffer from social anxiety as well as extremely low self esteem. If I was to estimate a value for myself I would probably owe people money!
3. Ability to adapt and deal with any given situation
If by dealing you mean crying like a baby at every given opportunity then I’ve got this one in the bag.
4. Has her shit together – looks good despite an hour’s sleep
Erm – my girls sleep all night. If I remember to pull a brush through my hair or (embarrassingly) brush my teeth before I exit the bomb site I call home then I call that day a win!
5. Is willing to sacrifice herself for those she loves without hesitation
This one I got – I’m the she wolf in this pack and if anyone dares threaten my cubs I’ll scratch their eyes out!
6. Does not rely on anyone else to give her life meaning
My biggest of all the failures. I define myself through how many people truly love me and want to be with me – this latest setback has rocked that to the core and I am now desperately trying to convince myself that I do not need a man to define me – being single does not mean people do not want you…….right??
True strength comes from within, just because someone puts across a strong persona does not mean that they do not have a frightened little child on the inside. My inner child wants to curl up in a ball and sob whilst my Mum hugs me and strokes my hair…..for a few days. Instead I have to get up and show my children that life is for living and no one can take that away from you.
Maybe the ability to fight the urge to be that small child and instead put others’ needs first is strength – who knows?!
All I know is that at this moment it is most definitely strength in numbers for me and without the numbers of people sending me their virtual and physical strength I would not be putting one foot in front of the other. So take credit for your own ability to offer strength and light in the darkest of times and remember, the darkness may lift but the strength takes much longer to build.