Friday, November 1, 2013

True Strength

In the last few days, things have been less than ideal.

I was upset. I didn’t understand things, and really I had a right to not be okay or happy or peppy or cheerful or embracing each new day with every precious moment <3. That was sarcastic.
However, I was most upset because I was allowing myself to react so negatively toward my circumstances.

I thought I was being strong by just toughening it out, just waking up each day and completing the necessary tasks for that day. I thought that was what strength was.
It wasn’t until I observed another person going through a trying time whose attitude was drastically different from my own, that I realized I wasn’t being strong, or saintly, or great. I was being just “okay”.

Strength is finding and embracing your circumstances and not being just “okay” with them, but rather finding joy in a place where joy is not easily found, where joy is not suppose to be found, by the world’s standards. Strength isn’t just toughening it out, and putting on a brave face. Strength is pushing yourself and striving for better than fine, because things are often better than you perceive. You determine whether you are fine, or whether you are great. Be strong.

I am a firm believer in laughter. I believe it is the one rope tying you back to sanity. When all else rips away happiness from your life, and you yet find something to take joy in, that is a strength, that is a gift, that is a saving moment.

Because, honestly, that is what is going to make people look, wonder, question. Don’t settle for the expected. Strive to exceed the unexpected. That is what is going to not only reach your own heart, but much more importantly, others’.

“Be joyful always.”1 Thessalonians 5:16


  1. i loved your post.I adored your picture!A person who smiles wholeheartedly lights up every room he/she enters..You are absolutely right about your view/definition of true strengh and i am very excited that you discovered the true sense of "strengh" at such an early age.
    Untile very recently i used to define myself as an extremely strong person because i endure every single challenge scleroderma presents,because i am "tough" and i am able to wake up and survive in spite of the numerous problems.This is not real strengh.Real strengh is having inner peacefulness,gratitude and joy in spite of circonstances.Real strength is not about "enduring" is not about playing the role of the victim.It s about thriving and shining!Judging by your beauty and your wonderful smile i can see you shining every single day of the rest of your life!!
    Vasiliki from Athens

  2. I suppose what I truly want to say, and to clarify, is that I have found joy to be one of the only ways to get through and joy-less time.
    The source of this joy, however, I do not find within myself- because even if I can make myself happier- that happiness doesn't last. And, more often than not, I fail and disappoint myself (i.e. when I keep failing in my attitude toward my circumstances).
    It is the joy, the true joy and inexpressible peace that comes from God that holds me and stills my soul. That is my foundation and rock. What I simply realized was that I wasn't being strong by "putting up" with my lot in this life. What strength really is is relying on God, which therein provides me with joy and happiness that encourages my soul. So, I suppose it's sort of a paradox in itself. My strength, in finality, is not sprung out of my own self, but rather my weakness, which is God's strength.

    I just wanted to express the source of the joy that I shared above.

  3. So impressive! So inspirational. Just started blogging in my classroom. Is this a link you let your students see? You are a teacher, right?

    1. You might be surprised, but she is a student. I'm one of her classmates, and I suppose I'm a friend of hers.

      And very day she inspires me with her laughter. I look at my friend, and I see the strength in her eyes. Every day she goes through so much pain, and yet she manages to stay optimistic. Most days I don't realize how courageous she must be to get out of bed in the morning and come to school (which is incredibly difficult now, considering the massive amounts of snow), and still manage to keep herself happy, more happy I daresay than most students in the school. Even during this season, where everything is gray, mushy, and just downright awful, she still is the voice of positivity, encouraging everyone to love themselves for who they are.

      She might not be a teacher in the literal sense, but I think all of us learn something from her every day.