Sometimes in life, we’re called upon to be the ‘strong one’.
When a partner is made redundant.
When a friend is given a scary diagnosis
When our kids get sick.
There have been many times in my life when I’ve had to be the strong one.
As a teen, when my parents split up.
In my twenties, when my marriage broke down.
In my thirties, when my partner got sick.
Each time, I’ve cried and ‘why’-ed, then picked myself up and got on with it.
‘You can do this, you’re the strong one,’ I’d tell myself. ‘You’ve always been the strong one.’
Then, this summer, someone very close to me got very ill and they needed my support.
But instead of feeling strong, I felt wrung out.
The ‘strong one’ title that I’d held on to for years suddenly seemed to be sliding from my grasp.
‘I can’t do this. I can’t be strong any more,’ I thought … and that thought terrified me.
Then I did what I always do when I get desperate – I hit my knees and I began to pray.
‘Why do I always have to be the strong one?’ I cried. ‘Why do I always have to be the rock for other people?’
(Please note: This isn’t true, I have loads of people who are there for me too, but what can I say? When you’re in the middle of a self-pity party logic and reason aren’t on the guest list.)
‘Because being strong for other people is how you get to experience true love,’ the voice of wisdom answered inside my head. ‘If you choose to see it that way.’
If I choose to see it that way.
I thought about my situation.
I saw myself at a crossroads, with two possible routes.
I could choose fear.
Or I could choose love.
Something deep inside of me shifted.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself – which wasn’t going to help anyone at all, least of all me – I realised I should embrace the chance to choose love.
When we choose to love others selflessly and unconditionally we unleash a superpower within us.
When we focus on how we can love, we block out why we might hurt.
If you’re being called upon to be the strong one right now, try it and see.
Instead of filling your head with fear thoughts, ask yourself the simple questions: How can I bring love into this situation – for the other person and myself? And how can I navigate this minefield gently and in peace?
Whatever the situation that’s calling upon you to be strong, choose the loving path to get you through it.
Because ultimately, when it comes to helping others, there’s nothing stronger than being love.
SIDE NOTE: I’m not a member of any religion but I strongly recommend the power of prayer. When the chips are down, when the tears are flowing, when fear is all around, simply turn inwards and ask for guidance. Ask God. Ask the Universe. Ask Love. Ask your inner wisdom. It doesn’t matter. Then keep your mind open and still and wait for the answer…
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