There is a phrase that I’ve held close all my life, two words I’ve made peace with, been encouraged by. ‘Finding strength’—for me, this is tangible. I’ve found strength in people. I’ve found strength in my faith. I’ve found strength within my own skin, when I’ve been pushed to the edge and clawed all the way back to solid ground.
‘Finding strength,’ to me, means that strength is already within you. Already in the world around you. Available. At your fingertips. It means that when you need strength, you can seek it from the people you love and love you, from your Father, from taking a long look in the mirror and understanding that you are powerful just as you are.
But on the flipside, ‘finding strength’ can also imply that you must search. That the fight isn’t right there, within your body. That you have to look elsewhere.
And I’ve been mulling this over in my head. To ‘find’ something means that it was lost. That it’s not present. And to say that we must ‘find’ strength somehow says we don’t already have it, right?
But I don’t think that’s not true.
Strength is a part of us. It’s in us. It is us.
Why are we so quick to forget our own fortitude? Why is it that when our lives crumble around us, we think we’re too fragile to stand our ground? Why is it that we allow life to happen to us, rather than take control and rebuild? Why do we have ourselves convinced that we are weak?
Why do we believe that we need others, that we need strength from everywhere else than inside us?
We are so much stronger than we think. Yet, when something happens to us, we forget to look back at where we’ve come from. We forget to take pride in the things that we’ve accomplished and the battles we’ve faced. We forget to smile with wonder at the challenges, the decisions, the way we rose up and out of our burdens and back to our feet again.
But we are strong, damn it. We are strong.
And maybe instead of thinking we have to look for confidence elsewhere, instead of thinking that when we fall we can’t rise again, instead of telling ourselves lies about who and how resilient we are, we need to understand that strength isn’t something that’s ‘found.’
Strength is not something that’s searched for. It’s not out of reach.
Strength is in us, with us. We don’t have to look for it; we create it.
And doesn’t that change the game? Doesn’t that make you wonder, make you think, make you stand a little taller? Doesn’t that reveal to you the person you are and have been, the person you have the potential to be?
You are strong. That much is true and apparent and real.
You don’t have to go on a mission to find some parts of yourself that are missing. You don’t have to reach out to people to help shape you, as if you cannot mold yourself. You don’t have to think you are less, or weak, or powerless to the things that happen to you.
Because all the power you need is already within you. You just need to spark it up and light your fire.
So stop telling yourself you can’t. Stop letting life’s circumstances beat you down. Yes, reach out to others and seek help and love and support when you need it. But don’t allow yourself to think any less of your being.
You are not a fragile human, waiting to be moved.
You are a force to be reckoned with; all you need is to fuel up and fight back.