Strength in the struggles.
We all face them to some degree. Some among us, by outward appearance, have a greater inner strength and ability to handle what comes at them. Others among us, work to overcome the challenges they face. While there are those who surrender and hide, hoping by some miracle their troubles will go away.
My son normally a rational individual does have his moments of frustration when something doesn’t go easy, but he thunders his way through. He accomplishes what needs being done. Yesterday while waiting on a load of firewood that was being gifted my parents I was talking with my dad. He was commenting on the limitations he and my mother face now at their age. The things he knew they could no longer do and that they weren’t going to get any better. My mother has said almost the exact same thing to me recently. They are facing the struggles brought on by age with a quiet strength. I have in the past mentioned my own personal struggles with domestic abuse, my husband’s death and the loss of my job. Every day is facing a struggle against grief and financial concerns.
Then obviously there are those around us, among us, who face their own demons and battles. They must find ways to face their own struggles every moment of every day.
That’s all well and good you say, but…how?
I will be up front and honest in that I do not have all the answers. No one can have all of the answers because all situations are as different as the individuals who are facing the struggles. We each must find what works for us, whether the process is orthodox or not. One can be creative in their resolutions, without going across into the dark, illegal or immoral side. Just because it isn’t always easy, doesn’t make it impossible. It does mean that the accomplishment will be that much sweeter when accomplished properly.
An internet search will bring up quite a list of sites defining and offering ways on how to find your inner strength. One important thing to remember about this, is to practice discernment while reading. In spite of what was said in the past, supposedly tongue in cheek sarcasm, not everything you see on the internet is true. Also, the things that are true, may not pertain or work for you. It is important to research carefully and weed out the bad until you find the correct recipe for your success.
I can’t, no matter my good intentions, tell another how to face their struggles. I can, say how I faced mine in the hopes that it may offer a possible route to follow as others travel their own journeys to overcoming the battles they face. With the understanding that winning some battles take a long time so patience is required.
Domestic abuse. It was bad. No, I didn’t end up in the hospital though the last incident came close. Between the verbal and physical abuse I was a shell of who I should have been. All of this was thirty-eight years ago. I know that I still carry some of the affects from that time with me, though not nearly as bad. Every day forward, is a step toward healing. My escape from that relationship was the first step. Every day since have been steps toward being a better, stronger me. Even through my marriage with my now deceased husband, I was fighting that battle. I had to overcome what was wrong, to be a better wife and better person. Adding another individual, be it spouse, children, extended family and close friends, increases the degree of difficulty to the fight. They do need to be considered, but the important thing is finding your personal healing first. Once you find your path, it is easier to take the hands of those who are with you. If needed, allow them to assist you in your journey. They will not know fully your pain, but they can offer a shoulder or hand up from the dust. Never allow yourself in your frustrations, to take it out on those around you. Especially your children, they are the innocent among us.
Grief. My husband will have been gone five years come March of 2022. When he passed away, after thirty-two years of marriage I found myself adrift. I had been part of a couple for most of my life, now I was a widow. Single and adrift on a sea of confusion and loss. I have a grown son and I have family, but anyone who has lost their partner of so long, can tell you it isn’t the same. You no longer have that connection with another. While I miss the conversations, even the heated ones, and I miss the attention and partnership, I miss hugs the most. Those wrap your arms tight and hold on hugs where you feel the world slip away and there is just the two of you.
I have spent the time since my husband’s passing in working on me, finding me, seeking resolution to the long and short term battles of life and living. Grief, is not a one size fits all emotion. Just as dealing with domestic abuse, we have to find out own way out of the battle field.
I have joined people who have similar interests such as the Jeep group and Relay for Life. Diversions that allow for finding that full inner me that had been suppressed for so long.
I have worked on my writing and my photography. I have other hobbies that I am working on and considering where to go with them.I spend time with friends and family.I spend time with my church family. I have found that I really enjoy time alone. Whether at home or out in nature somewhere. There is a great, healing peace in the solitude.I am discovering where I need to place boundaries. I have been accused of building walls. Allow others to call it what they will and shake it off. You are working on yourself, you are finding your way, your strength. If that involves building walls, either temporary or permanent, build walls. Then, when the time is right, build a door.
Financial. It would probably be an easy fix if I could take a part time job. I can’t due to needing to be here for my parents, which is way more important than a few extra dollars. As long as my bills are paid and we eat, I’m good. But I’m not everyone and others struggle in different ways. Finding a job is not always easy no matter how many signs are out saying the business is hiring. There are many things that can prevent an individual from being employed. So then what? All the usual methods apply. Turning a hobby into a money making endeavor. Pick up odd jobs as available. While you search, find the local charitable organizations that are helping those in need.
Personally, my greatest battle that has been and continues to be an ongoing for as long as I can recall fight, acceptance or rather, feeling as if I am accepted. It is difficult, when you feel different. When you feel that you don’t fit in among the masses. You know you don’t want to be a carbon copy of others, you don’t want to be just another cookie cutter individual that fits the mold. You simply want to feel as if your own brand of uniquely crazy is accepted and maybe even appreciated. You stand and watch as others happily and proudly show the world who they are and you envy their self assurance and bravery. Okay, I do anyway. I want to be the daisy among the roses. The individual who can stand among the masses in their beauty, and shine in my own right. But like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz who asks, “What have they got that I ain’t got?” courage. Too many insults taken to heart. Too many times of seeing the sideways looks. Too many times of missteps along the way have caused insecurities that must be battled. That one is ongoing, that one I will not give up on because I know, even a daisy among roses has purpose and beauty. As I journey through this life, I seek the strength, and I grow with each step. Learning that the ridicule, the insults, the bullying of others, shows their own insecurities and weaknesses.
That, is the gift I would wish to be able to share. That we each and all, no matter our struggles, find the strength to carry on, the strength to heal, the strength to grow. To be that daisy, that dandelion, that forget-me-not among the roses. That in our differences, in our uniqueness, we are just as important as anyone else. Once I think we fully take that to heart and understand, we are seeking an end to the battle.