“Be strong!” I always challenged my little girls when they’d fall and scrape a knee, come home with an overwhelming school assignment, or express concern about a stressful childhood relationship. Strong is important to me. Power up, pull through, smile, show up, get it done. Don’t accept anything less.
I am strong.
Life swelled into a symphony of events, responsibilities, and expectations. I loved it that you needed me. I thrived when you anticipated big things from me. “Look at me! Love me! Tell me I’m enough!”
I can do it all.
Unexpected betrayal swept us off our feet. A move took us halfway across the country. An injury uncovered a shattering diagnosis. Chronic illness. The mind and body I relied on for everything were debilitated and beginning to atrophy.
My strong is gone.
I didn’t even recognize the anxious face in the mirror. I resented my frailty. Sleepless nights brought dark questions I couldn’t admit in the morning. Who am I if not strong? How can I be enough if I can’t? Is there anything that can’t be taken from me?
I’m in the dark.
A promise of treasure is hidden in the dark. Only there could I detect the whisper that my self-reliant noise had hidden. Weakness positioned me to rely on the strong hand I didn’t realize I needed. I found my name on that hand. I don’t have to be impressive to be loved. I don’t have to be mighty to find strength. With the stability of that hand, I fight. Atrophied hope and flesh are finding strength as they learn to rely on a new source.
I am recovering.
I don’t have to be strong.