The Truthiness About Strength

I have to laugh.  The quote that’s been on my mind lately is Steve Maraboli’s quote that, “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.”  I’m sure you could guess why that quote has been on my mind based on my post from last week A Stroke of Luck. I had full intentions of writing a post around this quote, only to find that I already did a similar post back in June called Strength and Purpose from Our Trials, which compliments and references yet ANOTHER post Finding Happiness Amongst Trials.  You think maybe I have a strong opinion on the matter of trials in our lives?  I guess it’s a good point of view to have, as many people have been telling me that I’m such a strong person in regards to my recent news.  The remarks got me thinking though, what qualifies someone as strong, as I certainly don’t consider myself such a person?

In trying to answer that question for myself, I analyzed how I was handling all the events of the past couple weeks.  I still came up without answers.  So, I decided to contemplate how a weak person handles things?  Perhaps I don’t know a weak person to reference, as I was still stumped.  Does a weak person cry?  If so, then I am weak, as I sobbed hysterically when they told me I had had a stroke.  I saw no point crying over the prospect of the tumor, as it’s level of concern had not yet been determined.  As a side note, I have since received word that my tumor did appear on the MRI from two years ago and is the same size now as it was then.  This means that the tumor is deemed as stable and I will now receive annual MRIs to ensure it stays that way.  So, you see, there was no sense in crying.  I was worried, of course, but I think that’s understandable.  I imagine a weaker person worries.  This leaves me 2 for 2 in the weak department.  However, people kept telling me I was strong.  Is that just something someone says to make you feel like you can handle the scariness of the unknown?  I genuinely wanted to know so I asked a dear friend of mine her thoughts.  As any kind friend would, she said lots of nice things about me and indicated that I was, in fact, strong.  Her thinking was that I had been through a lot in my life thus far and didn’t seem to let it get me down.  I also got remarks about how some marveled that I would be out and about doing stuff so soon after my baby was born and shortly after the stroke and tumor news.  So, I’m deducing a positive outlook and movement is the sign of a strong person.

So, lets talk about a positive attitude.  I hardly consider myself an optimist.  That’s always been my husband’s role in our relationship.  I rarely think positive when it comes to matters of my own.  But I am quick to see the best case scenario for someone else.  Does anybody else do this?  The times when I do feel at peace or seem to have an it’s-all-gonna-be-okay attitude are when I have spent much time on my knees in prayer.  My positive attitude comes from answered prayers and the comfort and love felt from my Heavenly Father and my dear friends and family.  It is not my own doing.  And, if I do seem to have a positive outlook on a difficult event in my life, it is because I believe 100% that every trial I have faced has made me stronger for the next.  Maraboli’s quote is truthiness.  And, in case you’re wondering, truthiness is a word.  Go ahead and click on the word for proof.  Thanks, Stephen Colbert, for getting this word officially added to the dictionary.  It should have been there all along and that’s truthiness.  Alas, I digress.  Oops. I just realized that if Maraboli’s quote is truthiness, which it is, then I am strong; or at least stronger.  I am not stronger from any magical thing that I am doing.  I am stronger by enduring each trial.  This means that each of us grows stronger day by day with each hit we take and get back up from afterwards.  Certainly, I am not the only one experiencing trials in life.

Although, I imagine the key to becoming stronger after a trial would be the whole get-back-up part.  This brings me to the topic of movement as a sign of strength.  Yes, I have been doing my best to keep moving as though nothing has happened.  Who wouldn’t?  A full recovery from a stroke tends to bring the marvelous abilities of a healthy body in to perspective.  Just being able to sign your name or brush your teeth seems to have a whole new appreciation.  So, yes, I’m going to get out there and use this full-recovery-stroke body I have.  That’s one reason that I keep moving.  The other reason that I keep moving may seem confusing to someone who considers themselves as weaker.  I’ve spoken to a couple people on this matter and they told me that if it were them they would just hide in their home.  Well, I suppose hiding in their home would be the method that would bring them comfort.  The thing with me is that hiding in my home tends to bring me down.  I don’t go out and do do do because I’m strong.  I go out and do because that is my medicine.  That’s what I have to do for myself to keep my sanity when life has me down.  I will admit that there are many times that I do choose to hide in my home and let myself throw my very own pity party.  I am quite good at hiding out so no one has to deal with Debbie Downer Sara when the time comes.  But, overall, if I want to feel better, getting out and moving is my therapy, because life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving.  Thanks, Albert Einstein, for that quote.  Oh, and thanks for all that other cool physics stuff you came up with too.  Much obliged.

So, if the conclusion is that strength comes from a positive outlook and moving, then I am surrounded by people that are stronger than they realize.  Because aren’t we all trying to survive the challenges of the day?  Sometimes our days have harder challenges than others and sometimes we handle our challenges gracefully and sometimes we sit and pout.  However, I think if you’re facing each day, then you’ve got enough positive attitude left in you to believe that things can improve and you’ve got enough movement in you to give that day’s challenges a go.  And, as life tends to do, things do improve and the movements become easier.  Then you’ve done it, you’ve come out stronger and more resilient.  So, while I still contest my being strong, I do consider myself stronger.  And that’s the truthiness about strength.

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