Have you received compliments such as "you're a strong lady" and "you go girl!"?
Have you heard encouragements saying, "be strong","I'm sure you're strong enough" and "you are stronger than this"?
But what is it really... what is it that makes you 'strong'?
Your ability to stay sane? The ability to put up a strong front? The ability to pick yourself up again and walk away from the past?
Personally, I've heard the above many times... From the times I struggled with my identity as an 'unwanted' child, the times I was thrown out, the time where my great grandma (my closest kin) passed away, the times I was left alone, the times I struggled with living with a new family, the time I decided to walk away from my 8 year relationship that was not meant to be and the time something really bad happened to me.
People who saw me through these stages told me that I was strong to not complain or cough a word to them about them, people who saw me cry told me that I was strong to walk out of it and people who knew me personally told me I was strong enough to carry on with life.
Yet, I do not feel strong at all. Up till today, the past still haunts me. The hurts never really left me. What did I really overcome? All I have learnt is that I have to pick myself up and start living again. The pain still hurts, it never left and the memories still haunts, it was never exorcised. Facing the reality was easier than facing the hurt, and facing the hurt was easier than facing the faces of poignant sympathy from others.
What really happens is not me becoming stronger, it was my walls becoming thicker, the more I face these hurts, the more I put up defense and distrust, the better my act becomes.
When we come back to Earth, that is when we realise what being strong really meant, it isn't about physical strength or emotional resilience, its about your capacity to contain and control the mind. Thoughts can be overwhelming but its doesn't kill us, what kills us is our choices and decisions.
Ultimately, it boils down to the choices in life, strength lies in the ability to make the choice that you feel is best in your situation and work towards it. Pain is temporary, but the future lies beyond.