A Lesson in Strength and Love
Strength. It's a word that this society is oh so familiar with. It seems that every other post I see is about being stronger than your storm or how no one saw the rough times but you made it out on top...never to be weakened again. It seems that lately I've been seeing so much geared toward being a strong woman or how women carry the weight of the world on their backs. And, it's not that I'm against any of that. I am a woman who has definitely been through more than what she looks like she has. I am divorced and I am raising two boys (with lots of family support and their father is very present in their lives) so I get it! Sometimes the struggle is so real! I've been through days where I wake up and feel like "Really!? This can't be life." I have more great days than rough ones but that change didn't come without me doing a lot of soul searching, praying, crying, and talking things out with my friends and family. I had to come to terms with who I am as a person...not Richelle the mom, the writer, the sister, the daughter, or whatever titles I hold but who am at my core I and what I bring to the table when it comes to relationships. And what I've found is that discovering my weaknesses and being true to where I've gone wrong in my past decision making has been one of the toughest but most necessary things I've done for myself and for anyone in my life now or for those that will enter into it in the future. I realize that no matter how much I've gone through, my real strength isn't in how much I've overcome. It isn't in how many quotes I can remember or showing someone that I can make them bend before I break. My real strength stems from my ability to be vulnerable. Vulnerable to new love, to new experiences and vulnerable enough to trust others with my heart, my feelings and all of the things any relationship requires. I think there is a thin line between having strength and being hardened to the point where it's hard to love again. I've realized that in order to receive love, you've got to be strong enough to learn from the past, but even stronger to lay down and say the past is the past and I will use it as a learning tool--not a set back. It's not about waiting for someone to come with a bulldozer and knock down the brick wall you've crouched behind so you won't get hurt again. It's about coming into a situation ready and willing to bare all. To be you to the fullest extent. It's knowing that having control over someone isn't showing strength. It's not about showing the other person that you don't cower under pressure or that they won't run over you.
Being vulnerable is scary. It's difficult. And unlike many who think it's a weakness to say how you feel or to put yourself out there, I disagree. I think some of the bravest people are those that are willing to love whole heartedly despite knowing whether a relationship will work or not. Those that are willing to utter I love you first not knowing if the words will be returned are braver than those who feel it but don't speak. In a world that solely gives those that only show strength recognition. The real MVP, in my eyes, is the person that can admit that they are perfect in their imperfections. Though they know they will trip and fall, they also know they are worthy of giving and receiving love whole heartedly. And if by chance things don't work out--they are willing to get back up, dust themselves off and try all over again.