Friday, July 19, 2013

Why don’t we see our own strength?

                It’s amazing to me how we fail to recognize our own strength.  My grandma was an amazing woman.  She had a talent of making things better.  When I think of her strength I am in awe.  To me she was a wonderful, strong, independent woman.  Her perseverance in dealing with life’s trials were admirable.   As I look back on her life, and the many things she accomplished the one thing I noticed was she never recognized what a strong person she was.  She raised 10 beautiful, amazing, strong, independent women one woman in particular who happens to be my mother.  People who pass my mom on the street may think she is an average woman.  Yet, she is one of the strongest people I know she is beautiful, smart, talented, and a loving person.  My mother has a heart of gold, and to me she is a hero.  She too doesn’t recognize how amazing and wonderful she is.  Which is why I pose the question “Why is it we don’t see our own strength”? 

                I have been told by many people that I am a strong person.  Logically, why wouldn’t I be when I have had so many great examples of what strong really means.  Yet, I too don’t see my own strengths.  I focus on my flaws, and get down on myself for not being better.  Don’t get me wrong I have learned many valuable lessons in my life which have made me the strong vibrant woman that I am.  Yet, there are days that I feel weak, unworthy, and lost.  People sometimes ask me how I can be so strong when bad things happen.  I don’t really have an answer on what makes me strong.  I just know that sometimes when life throws you lemons the best thing to do is make lemonade.  If there is one thing I learned from my grandma and mom is that when bad things happen in life It doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong,  it’s called life.  I’m not really sure why people get some of the trials they do in this life, but they do and it makes them who they are.  As I look back on my life, I’ve realized that those bad things I’ve experienced in my life have molded me into the person I desire to be, and made me appreciate the good.

                I once heard this quote that said “you never know how strong you are until you have to be”.   My grandma lost her beloved husband at a young age and raised 8 out of 14 children on her own.  I know she didn’t expect to lose her husband but it happened.  My grandma talked to me about the pain she felt in losing the love of her life, and thinking she would never be able to live without him.  My grandma said she wanted to crawl in a hole and disappear, but she didn’t.  She knew she had to take care of her family, and that’s what she did.  She found the strength to get up and be the amazing grandma and mother that she was.  I can’t count the number of times on my hand that I have said “I can’t get through this” and I do.  We don’t get to pick the things that happen in our life, but we get the choice on how we deal with them.    

I’m always telling people that what we say, what we do, how we act, has a lasting impression.  We make mistakes some of them are fixable and some of them are not.  I’m such a stubborn person (hard to believe I know), and I sometimes find myself buried trying to fix things that aren’t meant to be fixed.  My mom always taught me to let go of the things that can no longer be fixed.  If you force to try to put them back together, things will only get worse.  When I was younger I broke one of my mother’s priceless possessions.  I remember trying to glue it back together (let’s just say it didn’t work).  When my mom found out she was hurt and upset, but she asked me what I learned and said don’t do it again.  Just because we can’t fix something it doesn’t mean that we have failed.  It just means that we weren’t meant to have it.  This can be hard when you’re trying to fix a relationship that just isn’t fixable.   As much as I want to fix people in my life I have learned that the only person that I can fix is myself.  As we learn to recognize the things we need to change, the people we need to let go of, and live the life we are meant to be it empowers us to be better and happier.               

I don’t know if I would consider myself a strong person it’s just that I have learned that in the midst of getting bucked off life’s horse it’s not a matter of how bad we get hurt it’s about getting back on the horse and finishing our ride.   No matter what, at least once in our life, someone will hurt us.  Someone will take us for granted.  Someone may not see us for what we really are, but never give up.  As we endure through life’s hardships we will eventually learn to appreciate the things we learned, and the strength we gained along the way.  Life is not a destination but a wonderful journey.   
Crystal Angel