06 May The Strength Of One
Just recently a quote danced across my newsfeed. It was 13 words of powerful, relevant, truth. Someone brilliantly summed up an essence of survival by saying, “And … In the end…All I learned…Was how…To be Strong…Alone.” Amen, right? It’s like listening to the words of your favourite song that makes you nod your head as they speak the words you long to hear.
My Facebook page is generally resigned to cute puppy posts and fun little memes. Sometimes I deviate to a more serious tone although the motive remains to connect in kindness, never to subscribe to self-indulgence. So, when I shared what I thought was a sentiment that everyone could relate to, I was somewhat surprised, and okay, maybe even enlightened that it was interpreted as my state of being. Did I relate to it? Oh, absolutely. I own that t-shirt but try to never wear it in public.
When I read the quote, I wondered how many people are truly dangling by the last thread of their strength, a deeper strength, they’ve had to find since Covid-19 invaded our human beingness. How many healthcare workers fear they can’t hang on much longer? Everyone wants a piece of them. Everyone takes a piece of them. They are alone in a sea of other front-line professionals also struggling to assemble their wits and shine their strength every day.
How many small business owners have bled not only their resources but also their pride, confidence and dreams? Everywhere they look, the drought steals their hope. Yet, they try. Every day, they try to find their legs to limp through the day. They, too, are alone in a sea of other small business owners also struggling to assemble their wits and shine their strength, every day. Those once proud signatures on mortgages, business loans and equipment rentals haunt them while their cash registers gather dust.
When it is only you grappling with a disgruntled consumer that feels lockdowns, buying restrictions and lineups in the rain are an infringement on their rights and freedoms, and somehow you are the one to blame, that is how you learn to be strong alone.
It’s you, the young Mom, with young kids crawling out of their skin because sports are cancelled, online sucks, they miss their friends, masks itch and they are bored…you learn to be strong alone as you find ways to comfort their anxious souls. Yet, your spirit is screaming for a hug at the same time. Strong alone.
Then comes that dreaded moment where you don’t want to be strong and you don’t want to be alone. That is where we all need to practice gentle thoughtfullness and do what others did for me. Go the extra mile and reach out. This “not my problem” attitude never works in reverse. We are all alone in some fashion. We are struggling in ways we were unprepared for and most of all, we are all exhausted. Kindness is life affirming. It will keep you strong when you are alone.