The adjective strong has been on my mind quite a bit recently. It’s actually quite a diverse word by meaning, although rarely difficult to understand the context. It’s also been in my mantra that started nearly 6 years ago now, but I’m still working to understand exactly what it means to be strong, especially as you go through something like a cancer journey.
I think most of us probably go first to the physical strength. I may have had that at points in my life, but I definitely don’t have it now. In no particular order now, sometimes strength will be defined by one’s resilience or grit. The ability to fight through whatever it is that lies in front of you. Definitely a strength, without a doubt, but what about when strengths tear you down when used incorrectly? My drive to push through tough times is exactly what left me with no physical strength at all and in the hospital for 2 weeks straight. Adding on, maybe it’s the mental strength to deal with life. Or the intensity in which we live our lives. Defining strength is both easy and difficult at the same time.
I’m going to keep this a little shorter today, but wanted to share what I believe to be the greatest strength we need. It’s ironic actually that strong 💪🏼 will always have a sense of force or power defined in it to me, but the greatest strength I have had to find is the strength to ask for help or the strength to do nothing. Actually it’s more like the strength I am still learning to develop. When we are at our weakest points, we don’t show strength always by “pushing through” but instead sometimes by understanding that what may be the hardest to do is what you need, and that’s just to take care of yourself.
We must learn when to push and when to rest. We need to understand that sometimes the strongest you will ever be is when you feel the weakest you have ever been. It’s the times that you can’t (or more accurately shouldn’t) do anything, that you show your true strength.
I hope that few of you ever find yourself in positions like that, but even more I hope that you know that it’s not always the action that makes you strong, it’s the decision. It’s your decision to never give up in the toughest of times that mean the most, even if the “actions” you must take to change things may have to wait. Or in my case, maybe the best “action” I can take at times is inaction.
Growing up in the sporting world, strength has always been defined as that pure physical strength or the mental strength to push through pain and handle stress. At least in my mind. And as a coach now, I get to see that side of things all the time. The Dors are showing off a tremendous amount of strength as a TEAM as I write this actually. But while I may not have swum at quite the same level, I’d have to tell you that is the easy strength.
True strength to me is never giving up on yourself. It’s not about an individual accomplishment or fight that needs to be won, but rather about the individual committed to living their life and finding what happiness means to them. It’s accepting the results in front of you (doesn’t matter what they are) and finding a way to your happiness. It’s remembering that the strongest you will ever truly be, is when you feel your absolute weakest.
Wherever you are in life, take the steps you need to take in order to find the happiness (yes, even in middle of heartache) you deserve in life. Thanks for reading. 🙏🏼😊 #TEAMjeff