'Stay strong' - I have been hearing so much of this phrase in the last one week that it just bounces off me. I wondered at this phrase. I decided to break it down to enable better understanding and self-awareness.
What does 'being strong' mean? What does it entail? What are we expected to do different during a tough time? Why, do situations make us weak, crumble or turn and run the other side?
As far as I know and understand from personal experience, being strong means staying calm in the face of a crisis, not losing your sense of self and purpose, doing what needs to be done, not drowning in self-pity, never losing your focus and believing that the crisis will abate. Unusual situations that possibly arise out of our usual life to create hurdles in our functioning, to give us enough grief teach us many a lesson. It is what we carry forward equipping us with a transcendental freedom that we have been through the worst and survived it!
In life we rarely differentiate between a 'tough' time and 'normal' time because no matter what 'time' it is we dress up, show up, face it and give it our best. We don't at times have the time to analyse because we are too busy dealing with the issue. We just walk through the tunnel and perhaps just wonder, hey why is it dark. We hasten our steps, our eyes fixed on the small light at the end of the tunnel. Rarely do we turn and run away. We might be in denial for awhile but the reality demands our attention and
A few thoughts on being strong:
1. Our mind at times tends to expand negative events as they happen and it replays it for us over and over again. So it appears like they’ve been going on for a lot more than they really did, and as if they will continue to go on for a long time. It also feels lot worse than it actually is. But it's not the case. We need to reach for the awareness within. At such a time we need to turn and look back at our own life. We will find many situations in the past that we've successfully overcome. We can find a precedent nearly every time if we think hard enough. Doing this acts as a reminder of our ability to handle challenges and get past them. It eliminates the sense of helplessness that tends to arise out of situations. This attitude shift is necessary to help us move.2. We don't realise it or identify it but each and every one of us is endowed with strength that helps us rise above. Since we are so used to seeing only our flaws we don't know of its existence. But it is that which empowers us to function and walk through the quagmire.
3. In such a situation we get the feeling that only we have been singled out to be acted upon in the cruel hands of fate and destiny. It's not so. There are people in worse situations. We need to look around. The silver lining, the many blessings eludes many and if realised will have a humbling effect on us. We'll find many like us. We are not alone. That in itself makes us feel stronger.
4. Finally being strong is not a special characteristic. It is just an extension of who we are. That possibly is the biggest realisation we need to arrive upon.
Stay strong, be you! It's what it's meant to be. Nothing else!