These days, there’s a movement to be empowered. There’s a culture that thrives on portraying a woman as a force of nature; elegant, radiant and independent. There is a growing desire to embody the type of female who doesn’t need a man but naturally wouldn’t mind if the right one strolled along. These days possessing strength seems to imply walking away as soon as you realize he’s no good for you.
And yet, strength, like the curves of our bodies, comes in all forms.
Your strength as a woman isn’t always rooted in your ability to feel indifferent to pain. In fact, the wonder of your womanhood comes from the fact that you can feel so much of it, and continue on as if you’ve never been hurt. The power you possess is that you can shatter almost completely and somehow find a way to reignite the fire within you to love again. The character of this destruction is even mirrored in nature, the biological ability of a female to give birth, to destroy her body and cry out in the natural urge to reach the end, and somehow come to love the outcome so forcefully she’d willingly go through it again.
You’re allowed to hurt.
You’re allowed to break down in overwhelming grief even if it seems unnecessary. You’re allowed to wallow in anguish even if the timing doesn’t make sense. To overflow with tears even if you thought you had none left.
You’re allowed to ache with uncontrollable pain about the love you thought you’d never lose, the life you thought you’d figure out, the loved one you thought you’d have more time to cherish before they were taken.
You’re allowed to internalize your heartbreak in a way that contradicts everything they’ve told you about strength. To live the somber moments of your life in solitude; to reminisce over the lifetime of happiness between you and your loss that you’ve become so far removed from – even if the thoughts of your laughter and illuminating love bring you back to the wreckage of its ending.
You’re allowed to cry. You’re allowed to eat the pint of ice cream. To watch the montage of Bridget Jones. To find solace in the lyrics of Adele and Whitney Houston. To become angry with his apathy and disdain. To fall short of every plan you had, and to pray so sincerely for the hope that sometimes seems to escape you.
You’re allowed to take small steps backward because sometimes they’re the catalysts that propel you.
And you’re allowed to heal.
It’s okay to drown in the rain if that’s what cleanses your soul. You don’t need permission to soak in the flood of what’s lost if that’s what revives you to the surface. To burrow away from everyone else’s opinions of your path to healing if that’s not the way your heart rebuilds.
Give yourself time, space and encouragement towards the betterment of your soul, even if you don’t feel fully up to the task of revival.
You’re empowered to curate the timing of your darkness to your light because no two broken hearts have had the same experience. No two broken promises hold the same weight. No two humans have held the burden of their emotions with the same memories. For you are the most powerful force of nature in your own life, even when your light needs to dim for a time. You are a fury of courage for finding your way to the finish line even when your legs have felt like giving up. You are your most valuable source of strength even when fighting has taken so much from you.
And you will heal.
Because every memory somehow becomes less heavy. Every sadness we thought infinite finds a way to the back of our minds. Every heartbreak leads to new love. And every source of pain has always been a lesson in our ability to endure the feelings we thought would overtake us.
You are not simply your moment of weakness, but you’re allowed to feel them anyway.