2009 June 7 § Leave a comment

How do you define STRENGTH?
What is it to be strong?

It is smiling when you want to cry –
     smiling, because you would not see the tears of others.
          Or is that self-sacrifice?

It is shouldering a burden that cannot be carried by one
     shouldering a burden, unasked, with no expectancy of reward.
          Or is that selflessness
          and friendship?

It is saying “I have failed” –
     and then standing up after you have fallen.
          Or is that perseverance?

It is taking one step forward –
     when all you want to do is run away… far, far away.
          Or is that obstinance?

It is gritting your teeth and bearing it –
     because you know you are not alone,
     because you know others have it worse,
     because you know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
          Or is that realism
          and optimism
          and hope?

It is saying, “You can do this!” to yourself –
     even when you know you face odds that are insurmountable.
          Or is that foolishness?

It is curling into a ball and crying –
     because to take a step forward
     you must first acknowledge that yes…
     you need help.
          Or is that weakness?

It is turning tail and fleeing –
     when you face a battle you cannot win
     so you can live another day.
          Or is that cowardice?

Just what is it to be strong?
How can we define what STRENGTH is?

Can you say it is just
     Self-sacrifice. Selflessness. Friendship. Perseverance. Obstinance. Realism. Optimism. Hope. Foolishness. Weakness. Cowardice.
          Are these not the sums of strength – its foundation, and its result?
          Can you point to any one of these
               and say “THIS is what strength is”
          when being strong means being all of these
          and some of these
          and none of these,
          when being strong means having all
          or some
          or none
          of these qualities?
Can you really define ‘STRENGTH‘ with just a word
     with just black and white pixels on a piece of paper
     with just black and white pixels on a blank screen?
Can you tell me what it is to ‘be strong’
     and define the phrase, ‘being strong’?


It is knocking on a door at 3am in the morning, shaking and lost –
     reaching out after silence,
     even though you are afraid that nobody is there to listen to you
     because you have severed all your ties.

It is opening the door for someone you had let go of –
     embracing a lost soul,
     without judgment,
     without anger.

It is picking up a phone and calling that number you never thought you would call –
     because how could it ever happen to you?
     You are invincible
     until your house of cards is shattered by a reality that so many people become casualities of.

It is listening for hours without saying a single word –
     because sometimes
     all you need to do is listen
     all you need is to be heard.

It is stepping back and letting go –
     because a cage can never be a love without chains.
          Because love must live free
          or it is not love at all.

Now tell me, what is STRENGTH?
What does it mean to be strong?

It is standing at a crossroads and choosing a path –
     even when you know
     the future will bring you pain.
          Because life does hurt –
          but how else would you know of

It is opening up your circle
     letting down your walls
     embracing uncertainty
     embracing vulnerability
     embracing fear
     just so you can say “I love you”
          and mean it.

It is saying
     “I’m sorry”
               it is also saying
                    “I forgive you.”

how do you define strength?


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