Shining Armor or Shining Heart?
What is strength? I have had a few clients walk into my office proclaiming their strength.
Most of the time the word “strength” is misconstrued.
When I hear a client tell me it is strength they possess; I find it is often related to what they present to the world; how they may tell someone off, their apparent incarnation as the burro that everyone places their backpacks on, in other words, they carry the weight of the entire world on their back.
Sometimes my client means they can handle anything that comes their way, “Bring it on, what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger!”
Thing is….all this strength is weighing them down and that kind of stress may lead to a not so “strong” road ahead.
Being strong as in, “wearing armor”, means you have built walls. When you dismantle the wall, what is behind door number three?
That is why we like to place value in our walls or armor, that way no one including us, has to deal with what is behind that curtain. It can be scary to even take a peek, when you create this type of separation within yourself.
Many of my clients visit me, because they retain this remarkable strength. They are also suffering from high levels of anxiety, a need to push help away offered by others, perfectionism, depression, stress, fear and are trying to keep it all in balance. They can’t figure out why they feel so weak, when they are being so strong.
A few missing elements from this “type” of strength are words such as: connection, peace, belonging, vulnerability, courage and feeling good enough or worthy.
This type of strength requires one to prove oneself against a measuring stick with no end. It is a system of approval that is vague and has no absolute authority, because there is no one there to greet you at the finish line for strength; there is no reward leading to fulfillment.
A person can keep on proving their mettle and never feel good.
Strength that I work on everyday in my life is finding where I build walls to myself and against others. Strength is seeking my own vulnerability and speaking my truth to whomever may listen. Strength builds connection not superiority or inferiority; it allows me to relax and embrace happiness. Strength of being my most authentic self no matter what it may cost in how I appear to others is priceless; I know of nothing more that brings a sense of wholeness. Strength is reaching out and specifically stating what you need from others; clarity brings Strength is honesty, pain, happiness, love–feeling all of OUR emotions; visiting what breathes behind my carefully placed armor and constructed walls.
Strength says “no” when you mean “no” and “yes” when you mean “yes”.
Strength is recognizing you are enough and worthy just because you exist and doing what suits you from your heart and soul. Want to fingerpaint all day Saturday and not run errands? Do it! Want to start a fan club for happiness? Begin it now. Start living life on your terms…that is true strength.
There is no need to draw a line in the sand or tell other people where to go. You just go where you want, others can join you or choose their own road. Freedom is true strength.
Take a stand for yourself by being true to your heart, not your mind and the stories it tells you that you “should” act in any capacity…there will always be the “what ifs, the shoulds, the have to’s etc…”
And what happens if you don’t do the items on the “should list”? Your world changes.
I watch it happen with my clients all the time. Stop a “Should” in its tracks. They break a pattern of auto-pilot and become engaged in their life by not being the burro, superman, a knight in armor, the tent-holder or any other show of “strength” which is meant for applause by an invisible entity…. they drop down to where they live behind the wall and come out and play.
Strength is in vogue when it is from your most vulnerable, authentic, connected place inside of you….
Please let me know your thoughts on how “strength” works in your life.