Where I come from, we are a quiet family. Nights out would involve quiet discussions over coffee and cake. Nights in, the television and my brother’s soft strumming of the guitar would be the only noise in the house. Who I am, is a contemplative person. What people think of me, is sometimes, a quiet and withdrawn girl, other times, even in an inebriated state, still a reserved soul, and more often than not, someone who often “doesn’t know how to stand up for herself”. That, however, is not the truth.
Why do we think that to be strong you have to be forceful, vocal, opinionated and loud so that people can hear you, to assert your worth and energy in front of others so they know where you stand? So they know your opinions?
No, more importantly, why do we associate strength with decibels and ferocity, and weakness with gentleness and softness? As far as I’m concerned, there is an equal amount of, if not more, strength in quietness and calmness than in boisterous rackets. They say fight is more than flight. Yet we often forget that birds need strength to flap their wings and fly too. Doesn’t it take strength to control ones anger and disappointment? To act in a rational manner, to take a step back and consider the alternatives and options before making the next move? Isn’t there strength as well in learning to understand; in gentle humility; in giving of a listening ear and an open heart and mind before deciding which door to close?
And finally isn’t there strength as well in forgiveness toward our perpetrators? To be able to let go and let live, to curb our discontent or misgivings, to suspend our disbelief, even for a bit? To understand and listen first before we speak? Isn’t there strength in giving of second chances with grace, humility and an open mind?
And when it comes down to it, to finally move on, and have the courage to embrace the future despite past hurts, despite the scars and battle wounds, despite the possibility of disappointment again? To be lionhearted doesn’t require one to be lurid, and we can’t judge a person’s heart simply by looking at their faces.
Because true beauty does not scream to be seen or heard. It does not ask for attention. Sometimes beauty lies in self-control, something we talk too much about but know so little of. Beauty lies in appreciating what’s in front of you, in creating happiness and seeing the good in situations, in people, in circumstances, despite the odds. True beauty just is.