In spite of the new information coming at us from every direction, the one thing we can be sure of is change. For some of us, our ability to adapt is commendable and it is this superpower that we tend to draw on the most during turbulent times…. but what about everyone else, will this make them weaker? No, it doesn’t. It would be wrong and disrespectful for me to call anyone weak and advise them to ‘just get over it’ during this season. We are not just dealing with change we are also dealing with a lot of unknown elements. Try to understand that when everything around you changes, and you combine it with existing battles with self-doubt and fear, it can leave you feeling not just vulnerable but weak.
However, please know that being concerned and feeling overwhelmed are not weaknesses. These are overwhelming times and referring to anyone including yourself as weak is not only highly unproductive but also untrue. Instead of focusing on these feelings and thinking of them as negative, we should instead seek out the strength within us and each other… And please know this: strength does not mean an absence of fear. On the other hand, strength means that in spite of the fear, in spite of the unknown and in spite of the many obstacles that may and do exist – we are going to push through.
To help us reconnect with our inner strength, I am going to try and touch on a few things today, it is my hope that with them you can:
- Pull from the inner strength within you;
- Celebrate the superhero you are; and
- Help others around you find the strength within themselves.
Pulling from the inner strength – Before we get too far ahead, I need you to understand something. Being strong does not mean you are the loudest, being strong does not make you the quickest. I am not sure who said it first or best, but neither strength nor courage is the absence of fear, it is actually the ability to act in the presence of fear. It doesn’t require you to keep all of your feelings bottled up either. For instance, it is a notorious fact that I cry. I cry when I am happy. I cry when I am upset …I just cry. This does not make me a weak person; it may make me a wet one but not weak. If you are someone who cries, asks a lot of questions, gets frightened or occasionally doubts your own abilities, you are not weak. You are, in fact, human.
Don’t be too hard on yourself during this or any other time. Try to remember all of the previous battles you have already overcome in your life. They don’t have to be big historic battles either, size or recognition is not in question. We have to each face our own trials whether once or daily; and many of them are private ones that are often kept hidden in the dark, away from the judging eyes of others. No matter the obstacle, your inner strength helped you to overcome it and you will overcome many more.
Celebrate the Superhero – Now that we have acknowledged that there is strength within you, it is now time to celebrate her/him. Make your own crown and dance to your favorite song. You have had many obstacles small and big and you deserve this moment. Yes, it is true that many people tend to exaggerate our losses more than they celebrate our wins, but we are not going to focus or wait on them. Waiting for someone else to acknowledge your strength and your wins may keep you waiting for a long time and leave you dependent and vulnerable to their opinions.
Today we are going to throw ourselves our own celebratory parties [inside the house please]; even if it is a party of one [remember social distancing :)]. We are going to remember each and every time we have ran into a mountain and forced our way through, crawled over or under it – and made it to the other side. We will acknowledge that yes, we are not perfect, as no true superhero is, but we are going to look beyond our imperfections and celebrate our strengths as superheroes
Helping Others – In true superhero fashion, we are going to have to help others. As I always try to remind myself and those around me, everything isn’t about you. Your strengths are needed in this world [especially now] but so are the strengths of others. We need to help others recognize their strengths; we need to celebrate them too. Take time out to reach out to someone and see how you can use your strengths to help them feel safer, calmer….and, in the end, stronger. It can be as simple as reminding them of all the things that they have accomplished or what you appreciate about them.
Remember, this does not require you to be perfect, and it doesn’t mean that you don’t have your own concerns or obstacles. It simply means that there is a superhero heart within you and when you combine it with imperfect strength, you will make a difference. So, whatever it is, no matter how big or small, know today how much you matter, your strength matters and your words and actions can help create superheroes everywhere.