strength

noun \ˈstreŋ(k)th, ˈstren(t)th\

Simple Definition of strength

  • : the quality or state of being physically strong

  • : the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force

  • : the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way

Strength. For as long as I can remember I have valued this trait and strived to possess its attributes. Before I fully knew what this word meant, I instinctively knew that it was an inherent part of my character. Passed down from a first generation immigrant father, strength was something that was held in high esteem in my household and upbringing. It was the standard that all of my performances and struggles were held against.  The question of whether we were giving our best, fighting with our all, was always subconsciously posed beneath the surface of what was actually spoken. And sometimes, it was spoken.

“You have to be strong.”

“Don’t give up.”

“Anything worth fighting for is going to be a struggle.”

“Don’t be a quitter.”

“Life is hard, but you just have to keep at it.”

And though there were and are many truths to these statements, it dawned on me as of recent that there is  such a thing as an appropriate time to let go of the fighting and the struggle and just surrender; to find acceptance and peace with what is, and still contend for a better life. Can the two even coexist? Contention and acceptance? I believe so. And I’m finding that the less I struggle against what I can’t control or can’t overtake, the more ground I actually win.

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