So this week it was all about being strong and what it means. I felt it rather intense when I ended up sick and helpless over the last few days. What does it mean to be strong?
Let me give you two option to start with and think about:
It could be the ability to keep up the walls that protect what you treasure most behind. Within those walls you are well aware of any dangers coming and you have time to get ready and react accordingly.
It could also be the willingness to be out there, rather fragile, vulnerable and facing those dangers just because deep down you know and understand that what's not real, can't harm those treasures you carry within.
"Human beings - fragile and resilient!" Camino Called Life
Besides the options I gave you above I feel there is more what we tend to label as "strong".
We sometimes say that those who withstand the storms of life are strong. But what is it that makes them withstand in the first place?
We often see those who are brave enough to stand their ground and fight for their truth and way as strong. But where does such fire come from and does it always kindle other hearts or burn them instead? What controls that fire?
We tend to admire loud, persistent, visible but where is that strength when you look at yourself in the mirror right now, quiet and alone, as authentic as only you can see yourself?
Since being a child, my father was always telling us the story of a Slavic nature. Especially in times when strength and kindness were needed.
He told us: "It is said that Slavic people are like dough while strong nations such as Romans are like rock. Sure, it was meant to harm Slavs and their reputation and ridicule their ability and willingness to be molded under the pressure. But try to hit the dough with a knife! The dough won't be destroyed and the knife won't stay untouched after that."
Another Zen story talks about the strength we need to hold the water in our hands. The strength we need is actually gentleness! The more we squeeze the water, the more difficult it is to keep it.
So what is it then that we need to be strong?
Is human being the strongest of all?
Where does our strength lie?
And why did we get it in the first place?
Not the strength that builds the walls, sets the boundaries between the countries, nations, and people. But the strength that changes the hearts and builds bridges that will unite one day.
The strength that, as that dough, leaves others touched and changed but not destroyed.
"So I chose to live and create my world ruled by love and embrace the vulnerability that comes with a smile.
In the kingdom of animals, a grin may express inferiority. Animals grin when they approach a fight or try to step back from one. That's the explanation people made. In the world of business, women are often advised not to smile too much in order to be taken seriously, as an equal opponent. That's also the advice people came up with. When my dog greets me, he happily grins and shows me his fluffy belly. That's his definition of love!
My definition of what it means to be strong changed and it seemed I would need to come to it with a different perspective." Camino Called Life
“On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her weakness but in her strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not to abase herself but to assert herself--on that day love will become for her, as for man, a source of life and not of mortal danger.” Simone de Beauvoir