A Note on Strength

Strength has been the theme to the start of the new year for me. 

Regaining my strength after the relax and rest of the holidays, finding the strength to return back to my routine, and building strength—both physical and mental. Strength has manifested itself in many ways for me, but I've noticed lately that I'm falling short of it.

However, just when I think I'm at my weakest is when I realize just how strong I can truly be. It could be as simple as waking up at a consistent time every morning, lifting heavier weights at the gym, or finding the emotional capacity to be vulnerable to trying something new or open up to someone. 

I think we all have different definitions of strength and what it means for us—our physical, emotional, and mental capacities are constantly tested, tried, and worn. Especially at a time when the world is digressing into what could be another lockdown, here's to hoping. I lean on strength and cultivating strength to get through it all, so here's how: 

Finding Power in Discomfort
There's nothing more discomforting than finding out that your body or mind has reached its limit. I noticed this the other day when I started benching. I don't usually go to the gym and bench a ton because I don't normally have anyone to spot me, but this time I was working out with a friend who encouraged me to try it. I've always been curious to see how much weight I was capable of handling, but to my surprise it didn't take too much weight for my left bicep to completely give out on me. I felt defeated and like I should definitely have been able to lift more. 

I'm writing this with sore biceps and the realization that although my arms gave out on me, I tried and I tested my strength in a way I never have before. When mental and physical challenges test us, it's truth telling of just how strong we actually can be—even when we think we're at our weakest in the moment. We never truly know how strong we are if we just allow ourselves to submit to the discomfort of the challenge or obstacle at hand. 

Leaning on People
This may seem like a given, but I find that I need the constant reminder that building strength isn't just a solo venture. Knowing that there are people who are on the same journey to find strength, in whatever form, lifts me up just as much as it lifts them up. 

Specifically, choosing people who choose me; who care enough to want to stay, listen, and allow me to be my completely and utterly genuine self. I've found that these select people: family, friends, and colleagues are those who I can lean onto, learn from, and feel uplifted by. 
Reflecting on the Good Every Day

I find it easier to get through the day when I can find at least one positive or good thing that happened, no matter how miniscule. It keeps me present and allows me to focus on the things that truly matter. One way I've started doing this is keeping a jar aside to write at least one good thing on a sticky note each day. It could have been a really, really good latte or going out with friends to play mini golf. 

I jot it down, toss it in the jar, and by the end of the year I hope to have a whole jar filled with all the good that I've experienced. I think when we're trying to be strong and deal with the not-so-pretty parts all of the time, we breeze over the small joys in life. 

Cultivating the power to find strength is just as difficult and dubious as finding the power to let yourself feel weak. No matter the challenge or struggle, I want to remember that it's okay to be at a discomfort with my situation, the unknown, or whatever I may be dealing with and lean on the people I trust. Remembering what matters and what uplifts me. 

I am strong and you are too. 

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