Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What's Left After

How do you define strength? What characteristics in others do you deem to be strong? Does it differ from how you define your own strength?

When it comes to our most significant characteristics, most of us are overly critical. We can admit that we have a nice smile, an infectious laugh, or a great sense of humor, all of which are important, but rarely do we compliment aspects like our resilience, emotional intelligence, or our ability to inspire others. One characteristic important to our well-being is our strength, but we struggle to recognize or define it because we judge ourselves so harshly. We judge our decisions, we judge our lifestyle, we judge how we turned out, and we judge ourselves in comparison to others.

You may have made decisions that complicated your life. You may given someone chances that didn't demonstrate behavior deserving of those chances...repeatedly. You may have given up. You may have fallen. You may have disappointed your loved ones and yourself. Strength is not the absence of questionable decisions or repeated mistakes. Strength is not the absence of giving up, falling, or disappointment. Strength is not the absence of tears, anger, or loss of control.

Strength is what pushes you after...after the mistakes and after the bad judgment. Strength is what develops after the heartache and after the feelings of hopelessness. Strength is what thrives after you push beyond the superficial and break through the pain. Strength is what comes after you free yourself from judging everything you've said, done, felt, and been. Strength is what you discover after you let go of the judgment, after you release the emotion, and after you commit to continue. Strength is what is left after and after all of the uncertainty, the choices, and the trials, what is left is you. Strength is you.

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