Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Strong Woman

A Strong Woman. Many have different ideas or definitions about what a strong woman is in today's world. Strength is defined in many different ways: Muscle. Attitude. Status. Religious. Sense of Self. All elude to strength but offer different examples of how strength is demonstrated. Muscle strength is physical; a man or a woman can feel strong if he or she can physically overpower another, be it in an abusive relationship or in sports situation. Attitudinal strength may reflect a self-righteous “in your face” attitude, or a snobby condescending demeanor. Status strength reflects a variety of examples, including economic, financial, career position, even social position. Some feel having more of something - material things, money, influence, or friends in your corner - gives one position of strength to influence over another person or situation. There's religious strength, in which some with their belief doctrine of choice strong arm others into their way of thinking in the name of God, be it through pious judgment, having an “in” with God, or a pious righteousness that God's sword will "right" a situation. And finally, there's the Sense of Self – a concept many give little consideration.

The Sense of Self is an inner knowing of one's personal truth - who she is through and through. She knows her history, her role and responsibility in it, her strengths, her values, her human weaknesses. One recognizes the need to maintenance her sense of self through self-reflection, and is honest in this task, feeling no need to pretend to be someone she isn't. Her heart is open, unconditional, loving, and forgiving. A sense of self is strong because it's light – holding no resentment, no grudges, no self-pity. A strong sense of self affords comfort in one's own skin, flaws and all, and doesn't need to mask anything or be something she's not. A strong sense of self needs nothing outside of itself to feel valued or worthy; she meets her own needs, knows self-love, self-respect, and self-confidence without any outside validation.

The above quote about “A Strong Woman” describes a woman with a strong sense of self. Her principles are clear, those to which she holds herself without expectation of anyone and everyone to follow suit. A strong woman is honest with her emotions and about her own feelings, owning them rather than placing blame on others for experiencing them. With a strong sense of self, a woman opens her heart to healing, accepting responsibility for all her choices made in the past, forgiving herself and all others involved. With this healing, she is capable of feeling deeper love for and acceptance of others, no matter their personal choices or how they show up in her life. Through the healing of past experiences, she gleans wisdom, and when Life throws a curve ball, she digs into the wisdom held in her Sense of Self to find what she needs to manage her way through it towards love, forgiveness and peace again.

A strong woman passionately loves all, standing strong on behalf of those she loves and for herself in the strength of personal empowerment rather than in the overpowering of another. A strong woman's strength is quiet, internal, not the the swing of a sword, the cut of one's tongue or the stepping on or over another. Her inner strength is spiritual, as well as practical. Her strength is soft in its quiet presence within, but strong in its effectiveness. That inner strength allows her heart to open wide and love generously, freely, and deeply. When another attempts to hurt her, this same heart reconciles within itself, forgives, and loves anyway, but now standing stronger in her personal power. Strength is knowing one's own feelings and freely sharing them with others and with herself from the place of "I feel", fearlessly, honestly, genuinely to express one's truth, rather than from the place of "you make me" to hurt, blame, manipulate or coerce another.

Strength is indeed an essence within, a knowing of one self, an empowered sense of self. The Sense of Self takes time to develop; in many ways, it involves a rennovation, a tearing down and a rebuilding if one has suffered many years of heartaches, heartbreaks, carries unresolved grudges and resentments, or is consumed with anger and bitterness. This rebuilding shifts the outwardly swing of the sword, the slaying with words, the explosion of emotion as power to the quieter inner power of knowing, self-confidence, and solidified foundation of truth built with the bricks of values, character traits, principles and standards that support and reflects one's personal presentation of Self in the world.

A strong woman is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely. Her tears flow just as abundantly as does her laughter. A strong woman is soft and powerful. She is practical and spiritual. A strong woman in her essence is a gift to the world.

1 comment:

A'ra said...

Thank you for your tender reflection. I is beautiful to know and embody your words, knowing I sit in a circle of so many wonderful, spiritually guided women.