In the world we live in today you would have to search far and wide to find a person who was a stranger to pain. It is a part of life and we have all been in it’s grip. My husband has a younger brother who felt the pain so distinctly that he chose to end his own life. This is a heavy weight in his family and something that no one will ever fully recover from. My oldest daughter has also suffered from depression and been in the hospital for attempting to take her own life. It has also made me think long and hard about what I might do to raise my girls to know adversity and pain and to hopefully come through and continue moving forward.
Strength may not have anything to do with your physical body. Or boldness. Or force. Strength can be an attribute, an ability to CONTRIBUTE and BENEFIT, not only yourself, but others as well. Sometimes it’s being the good guy, and sometimes it’s finding out you were the bad guy and reconciling that with with who you are and who you want to be. Strength can be powerful when it’s whispering as well as when it’s screaming. Powerful whether it’s visible or introverted and soft. Strength can be crying and feeling like there is nothing left but moving on anyway.
I want my girls always to know that they are loved, that they have support, and that no matter what their decisions they will be able to come through on the other side. To know that no matter how dire the situation and how long that dark tunnel is that there will be things that come along that make that trip worth seeing through.
At one point it was so important to me to raise my girls in a certain way. I wanted a specific kind of life for them that I felt would make them happiest or maybe just make me the most proud. It took a lot of beating down and failure for me to realize that “I just want them to be happy” might mean something different than what that looked like in my head. At this point I feel like I can truly say that and mean it for the simple value of what it is. I do want them to experience happiness, and I want them to survive pain. I also know that that pain will come for them and that I am incapable of taking it away just by trying to turn them into what I always thought I should be.
Now I want to know what makes them feel whole. Where their passions lie. To really get to know my children’s hearts so that they can learn who they are so fully that absolutely NO ONE and NOTHING can take it away from them—so that they can be there for themselves when they feel like no one else is. A person with their voice, energy, and ideas… a person with the strength to be truly themselves. So that when they close their eyes and picture “strong” they will see THEMSELVES.
Because STRONG means something different to every one of us and I want them to find their own inner strength.