On Strength…

Today started with thoughts around writing something about Earth Day.  And then – as often happens – something distracted me and I read an amazing piece from someone I’ve only met a handful of times. { At farmer’s markets if that helps to tie it into an Earth Day theme.}

I don’t know much about Julie to be frank.  She’s a friend of Evin’s so that must mean that she’s good people.  I was sent an article she wrote entitled 1st Letter to My Future Partner.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but the lappy was booting up and I had my coffee in hand so I clicked open the article on my iPhone and … it’s one of those pieces that feels like it was ripped from the recesses of my heart and said all the things I’ve tried to put into words in my own “letters I haven’t sent yet” file {what – you don’t have one of those?} but never was I so eloquent with the words.

When I read through the first paragraph, I knew exactly where the rest of the words would lead… because my heart already had composed similar words so many times before.

“But what I want you to know is that although I am “strong” in that way, even though it appears that I can take care of myself and don’t need you, I really do. I really do need you when I’m not capable of being strong. I don’t always want to take care of myself. Sometimes I want you to take care of me. ” ~Modern Day Aphrodite

And you should totally read the rest of it.  Go ahead – read it.  I’ll wait…

After I read it through, I couldn’t shake the thoughts around strength.  Shocking – I know – but I have been called a strong personality a time or two.  I’ve been told I’m intimidating.  I think my favorite compliment {and I see all of these as compliments} is that I was “the most pulled together fucked up person” the compliment giver had ever known. Or something like that.  I was mid-emotional-breakdown-re-telling when the words were said so I may have gotten them wrong, but the sentiment is there.

I haven’t always been strong… Looking back at some of my weakest moments are difficult because those movies in my mind don’t match the person I believe I am now.

Strength of character| Slightly Off KilterBut what is strength really?

Strength is knowing what you can do and doing it… more so in knowing what you can not and asking for help.

Strength is having the answers… but letting others find them for themselves.

Strength is having faith that the road you are travelling will lead you exactly where you want to go… and being able to change your mind when you get there.

Strength is the silence when the words your head and heart are screaming won’t help in any way.

Strength is saying the words that you don’t want to because you know they are important.

Strength is saying “I was wrong…”

Strength is choosing to be happy over being right.

Strength is taking the high road when you really want to say “Fuck you!  Quit being an asshole”

Strength is putting another persons needs above your wants without sacrificing your soul.

Strength is loving those who are in the most need of love… even when they are acting completely unlovable… and realizing that this is the moment when they need it most.

Strength is loving the reflection in the mirror.  ALWAYS.  and not seeing the flaws as faults but rather as character or opportunities for improvement.

Strength isn’t about never falling down.  It’s about getting back up and saying “Let’s try again.”

Strength is not about never having been broken or shattered… strength is in trusting others enough to allow them to love you.

Strength is about being vulnerable… it’s scary as hell to open yourself up to another person to begin with… add in a {few} divorce{s} or broken hearts and some days I feel like it’s a miracle that I’ve not turned into a hermit.


There will always be those who abuse the gift of your love.  Those who take for granted time and talent and treasure shared.  Those who will treat others in selfish and self serving ways.  Do not let them steal your strength because the true strength is in recognizing toxicity and moving it and them out of your life.

Just as there are those who will abuse the gift of love… there will also be those who do not.  There will be those who show patience and kindness in the moments it is most needed.  There will be those who offer a smile or a hug or a friendly ear.  There will be those whose arms you feel at home in long after you have left them.  There are those who show compassion and wonder and joy with others – even when there is nothing in return they should or could expect.  There are those who know that sometimes there are no words and let your tears flow freely while they hug you and allow you the freedom to stop being strong.

Keep your eyes open for these people.  When they stumble into your life, recognize that they are worth hanging on to.  Know that they are deserving of your trust and won’t shatter it like the others before you.  They will become your best of friends and biggest cheerleaders.

They will be the ones who see your strength… and remind you of it… even when you’ve forgotten how strong you really are.



  1. This is such a great post! I agree, it’s hard to admit that you were wrong… but the more you admit it, the easier it gets!

  2. Strength is hard. It’s hard for people to remember that they are, in fact, stronger than they give themselves credit for. And I think that’s true of pretty much everyone. But it’s especially hard for people to believe about themselves because it’s so hard for people to think of themselves in positive terms.

  3. Anonymous says

    And when you find that one that’s supposed to BE that one….don’t let go. It leaves everyone to wonder what life would have been like….knowing full well…it would have been awesome.

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