Finding your strength

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“It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on, it takes a lot of strength to let go.” ~ J.C. Watts

~~

I was born a “fixer” and, until a few years ago, I had spent a great deal of my time taking on other people’s burdens as my own.  But something shifted in the paradigm of my reality when I got divorced in 2012.  I realized I was spending too much of my time trying to change a life that was not mine to change.  I was hanging on to problems that irrevocably had impact on my life but I had no power to solve.  I needed to let go.  But I was so stuck in the pattern of my life that I didn’t know how to let go.  I wanted so desperately for things to work out in my life that I honestly thought that this was the syllabus of my future.

It takes a monumental amount of courage to walk away from a relationship that you have put your heart and soul into but a relationship has to give you what you need for it to be successful.  By its very definition, a relationship is a form of communication.  Wants and needs are expressed and, in a healthy relationship, are reciprocated without condition.  Such was not the case for me and I knew it.  I felt it deep within myself but it took me a long time to admit it because to do that would have made me feel like I had failed.  But I had only failed myself by not seeing the signs sooner and listening to that nagging inner voice.

I finally found the nerve to put my needs first and, in finally letting go, I gave myself permission to define myself according to my needs and not the needs of anyone else.  The strength to hang on was easy, it was my comfort zone, but finding the strength to let go made me feel eviscerated, vulnerable and it was not something I was accustomed to.

I wanted to write this post because I have friends now in the situation in which I found myself years ago.  I want them to know that letting go is not always the easy choice, but it may be the right choice, for them.   It may be hard to listen to that petulant voice in your head, but that voice is the most sincerely honest advice you will ever get.

let it go

(image credit)

Don’t give up easily.  If it is worth the fight, than fight, fight like your life depends on it.  But if you know in your heart that nothing will ever change, let go, let go like your life depends on it.

Holding on to strength

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worry-zdralea-ioana

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
― Corrie Ten Boom

~~

It is easy to tell someone not to worry.  I am guilty of doing that very thing on an extremely frequent basis and in many different circumstances.  Recently, I have become much more aware of how redundant that statement can be and how little it does to alleviate the concern of the person doing the worrying.

Worry is a big part of the human condition.  We spend countless hours stressing about the things we cannot foresee, cannot control and cannot change.  We are designed to be thinkers, to be problem-solvers, and in those brief moments that we are left without an answer or a contingency plan we submerge under the waves of the unknown.

For as much as I try to not unsettle myself with things out of my control, today was a glaring reminder of how quickly worry can overtake us and truly drain us of our strength.  There is a small path in the carpet in my office where I paced back and forth.  There is an emptiness in my stomach where nourishment should have found its place, but didn’t.  And there is a dull ache in my temple from the inescapable habit of clenching my jaw when I am apprehensive.

Today worry was the cat and I was the feeble mouse.  I was victim to its cunning and could do nothing more than to hide in the metaphorical corner and play dead, hoping that the insidious predator would leave me alone.

Now I sit, writing this post with a slightly more peaceful feeling than I had earlier today.  Worry still beckons, the concerns of tomorrow still evident, but it holds much less power now than it did earlier today.  I have regained some of my tenacity so I can face tomorrow with a new courage.

Worry may be strong but I am stronger.

~~

image credit: Worry by Zdralea Ioana – http://www.fineartamerica.com