I've been thinking about strength.
About being strong.
How come some people seem so strong?
I think being honest is one way to be strong.
You have to start by being honest with yourself.
When you try to look at something in a way that you know will not work longterm, you are not being honest.
When your kid asks you a question that you know is hard to answer, you might give a brief reply, knowing that you never got to the bottom of it. Not honest.
Sometimes we might think we are saving ourselves headaches by not being honest.
It sure isn't very convenient to be brutally honest at times, but when you know that it pays off longterm, we sometimes stand tall and stay honest.
I know I share a lot of my feelings and can be quite open about many things.
Some people look up at me because of it.
Others think I talk too much and come across as "bragging", others might be scared of me!!
When someone asks me for my honest opinion, I will give it.
I will also do whatever I can to not say things that hurt or offend people.
But on the other hand, most people hear what they want to hear, so sometimes if they already have an opinioin about you or what you are saying, or if they don't want to change their mind about something, they will make up their minds before you open your mouth.
Some get offended very easily, and take things very personally.
I read somewhere that "When you stop taking things personally, you gain a lot of freedom"
At the same time I want people to understand me and what I might be saying isn't meant to be braggy.
There are differences between listening and trying to UNDERSTAND what you hear!!
When I go through hard times I like to talk about it.
Others keep quiet as a clam shell.
Which way is better??
I've been told to remember that others also have hard times, and just because they don't tell everyone about it, doesn't mean that they aren't suffering!!
To be honest, every time I hear of someone going through a really hard time, and it's already been a while since it happened, I get amazed that they didn't tell anyone!
I feel like I need my friends prayers, and that is why I share my hard times!
I heard about a guy who died and his wife's family wasn't telling anyone about it, because it was so hard to talk about!
We sure are different.
I know the longer I hang on to something that weighs me down, the more energy does it steal from me, and the heavier the trial gets.
Let's use this pregnancy as an example.
I am only just past the 8 weeks mark.
Many many women would not have told anyone yet (besides their husband), and in the past I've usually kept it quiet till about 10 weeks (then my belly is usually so obviously pregnant so it's kind of pointless not to not tell)
This time I was only 5 weeks on the way, and maybe some think I just want attention, and what if I miscarry and then have to tell everyone about it.
Well. If I wouldn't have told I was pregnant, and then would have miscarried, I would have told people about that to get over the hard time.
Is this just a way to get attention?? Or a way to seem strong?
After I lost Star last fall, it was pretty obvious at 20 weeks to even strangers that we were having a baby, I shared the sad news with lots of people. Was it to get attention, or to somehow show how strong I was?
Well, first of all people would have noticed my belly disappearing, but mostly I felt the need for everyones prayers and help. So what happened when I told everyone? My phone got text after text many days straight. People brought dinners, food and offered to help. Lots of prayers were heard, and I could feel the strength and love. It brought me closer to many.
But not only that!! I've been told after how our trial strengthend others.
So if I would have only told my closest friends and family, it feels like love would have been lost.
When I think about strength I think about being able to tell about even the hardest things.
Abuse, substanse abuse, marital problems, deaths, depression, mental illnesses etc.
We all know someone, and maybe we are victims ourselves, but when I look at the ones who have come out stronger on the other side, it's almost always the ones who opened up.
The ones who asked for help and prayers.
I also know of many who were and have stayed quiet, and they are the ones who are still stuck.
The ones who feels misunderstood, sad, like victims etc.
If you hear about an abuse victim, I think most of us feel that "You have to tell about it!"
Why??? So the offender can be charged?
Maybe that too.
But first and foremost so the victim doesn't get stuck in its victim role and can start to heal.
Of course there are self help books out there, but I think the power of hearing others telling you
"You will be fine!" is second to none.
It all comes down to being honest.
And being daring enough to speak up, even when it seems impossible.
It has saved me from so much pain and I wish more people would see it this way.
I don't mean gossiping about others, or putting other people down.
I don't mean making yourself seem superior or better.
I mean in a humble and honest way daring to bare the most painful and heaviest, in order to move on to feel stronger in a vulnurable way.
You know how much the pain hurt, but at least now it's getting better, and when more hardship comes your way, you'll know how to handle it better.
At the end of the day I think we all have the same need to feel loved, respected and accepted for who we are. And most of the time I feel that I get that from my family and friends. Something that I am so thankful for, because the ones who know me the best also know all my weaknesses...because I am strong enough to admit I have lots of those...