The best way to see a Real Woman’s strength is to put her in a situation where she is not comfortable. Actually, “seeing” the strength is not the right term here, because I’m not talking about physical muscles. I’m talking about that invisible internal strength that I have witnessed in the Real Women I am blessed to know.
It is easy to be strong and confident when we are in our element, when we are happy with our activities and environment. We are on top of the world and cruising on auto-pilot. But put us in a position that is personally challenging, outside our comfort zones, or that goes against our personality, and we have to draw on “toughness reserves” that we often don’t even know we have.
I got thinking about this today because my personality is basically one of a caretaker. I like to make people happy and care about emotions (for those of you familiar with Myers Briggs, I’m a strong J. ) Today at work I had to put on my Manager’s face and make someone very unhappy. Did I survive? Of course I did. Did I feel awful about it? Of course I did. Did I ever have a doubt that I couldn’t do what I had to do? No, I didn’t.
As I drove home, I started thinking about all of the times we women are called upon to take on a different role of some sort, or deal with an uncomfortable situation. And I thought about the R.W.’s in my life who get through challenging times because of their strength.
I thought about the moms who have had to use tough love on a child, which is nearly unbearably difficult to do.
I thought about the shy woman who had to get up to make a presentation in front of a crowd, and made it through it.
I thought about the women who have been through the end of a marriage or long term relationship, and how they came out stronger on the other side.
I thought about my BFF who battled breast cancer.
I thought about the women who lost their jobs and still found a way to make ends meet.
I thought about my friend who has physical limitations, and for reasons outside of her control, has to move out of her apartment with limited certainty of where she will live in a month.
I thought about the women who have loved ones off fighting wars in foreign countries. Or are the ones doing the fighting.
I thought about the women caring for ill spouses or loved ones.
All of these women have one thing in common: awe-inspiring strength and resiliency. We may not enjoy having to take on certain roles in our lives, or deal with life’s challenges….but we have no doubts that we can get “get ‘er done” when we need to.
A few years ago my sister gave me a small framed piece of art that I keep on my desk, and I look at it several times a day. It shows a woman reaching for the stars and it reads “You Will Because You Can.”
I can, because I have so many others in my life who have shown me how true that statement is. It is undeniable power.