Keep going. Keep pushing. Try Harder.
Strong Mind. Strong Body.
This is "desirable."
On September 4th, 2020 I broke my leg: compound tib/fib fracture at the ankle. It was BAD. Very Bad. I had surgery the next morning.
I believed myself strong enough to get through it without needing help because we all know that needing help is:
I healed and had pain. Every day for a year and a half.
Because I was "strong."
Then I came to a "breaking" point: no more.
"I'm doing physical therapy," I announced. "I am DONE with pain." (I announced this to myself - I was the one that needed convincing.)
So I did physical therapy that included a LOT of pain (thank you Dr. Anthony Gravin and Staff!!). I was sharing my success in PT with a client and they said something that stuck with me: "I heard that when you break a bone and it heals, it makes it stronger."
"Well," I said, " It does and it also makes it brittle."
"Brittle?" she asked.
"Yes, because the body formed new bone to and around the damaged bone - it is more dense in those areas. Dense, brittle, harder." I could see that she still didn't quite understand what I was saying so I went with a metaphor - man are those handy!
"If you think about it like a Pine tree vs. an Oak tree. You would describe the Oak as 'Strong' and 'Hard.' The Pine tree is 'soft' and 'pliable.' If both trees experience the same storm the Pine tree will bend and flex while the Oak tree will snap. Too strong to give way to the wind."
"Oh!" she exclaimed. "So the bone is stronger but can also be injured again just as easily?"
Strong is not always desirable. Strong can be too forceful, too willful, too much. Strong can cause more damage than "weakness." Being too strong can lead to breaking, snapping, ending.
I invite you to think about how you try to be "stronger" in your life. Maybe you feel strong when you shove your feelings down or when you overpower another (physically or willfully). Then I invite you to evaluate how you can be like water: the strongest and most accommodating element I know (I'm not a scientist, I'm not claiming it as THE most powerful thing categorically).
Water is strong enough to pull down buildings, re-route roads and valleys, and crack solid granite from the inside. Water is also fluid and adapting and provides life force to all living things (without being lost). Water can be one with our body or it make take our body. Water is both: Strong AND Weak.
"I am the Ocean. Deep, Vast, and Unpredictable." Jennifer Butler
Embrace the strength of water along with the softness - the caress of a wave, the cold water that quenches your thirst. Being strong doesn't mean you have to break (or break others).
Build flexibility while maintaining your ground. Know who you are so deeply that anything that comes at you will just be something you flow around.
Let's flow together. Let's teach each other how to flow.
Let's all be Water.