True strength

“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” ~Aradia Orcutt

I recently had a trial coaching session with a professional life coach, and one of my assignments that came out of that session was to email her daily for a week with one thing about which I was proud of myself (and no repeats allowed). The idea of coming up with things of which I am proud is never easy for me, but it is particularly hard right now. I have dealt with so much in the last year and have so often felt like I was just barely holding it all together, and at the same time have been hit with more criticism than I’ve had to deal with in a very long time. The combination of the criticism with the feeling that I’m just barely keeping my head above water while dealing with so much overwhelming change has left me with a really bad case of self-loathing. Trying to find things about myself to be proud of was a real challenge!

However, as I did this assignment, I did manage to come up with seven different things, and I found that they were all really about having strength and courage to have survived this last year with all that it has brought. Which reminded me of the quote above that a friend of mine posted as a status on Facebook. Although most other people seem to have very little compassion or understanding for what I’ve been through, I think that if more people really comprehended the extent of transformation I am enduring or the magnitude of change I have experienced, they would probably understand if I fell apart.

And yet, I haven’t given up. I have my moments when I have fallen apart, but for the most part I have still accomplished more than might be expected. I have continued to face my demons and walk into the flames to push myself to become the person I want and need to be. I continue to challenge myself to ever greater degrees of transformation. While no one else may ever recognize how hard this has been, I have now claimed for myself the true strength that I have shown. There’s still an awful lot of me that I am not proud of and even in some cases despise, but I have reclaimed my inner core of strength as one positive asset I have on this journey. It gives me hope that I may yet find other things of which I can be proud.