I think it is pretty obvious how men wield their strength – it is that which can be seen by demonstrative, obvious displays. Women are different though. Superlative strength, often with secret suffering, are inherent within us. And yet we don’t know our own strength. We bear children – a pain that no man can relate to, we love hard in the midst of anguish and through tragedy we are still able to give off ourselves to others. We are phenomenal.
This week taught me many things about myself.
As I moved out of the house I shared with my husband, children in tow, I worked physically as hard as a man. I didn’t know my own physical strength. As I set up home in silence, trying to make things comfortable for my children, I forgot my heartache and did what I had to do. I didn’t know my capacity for endurance of emotional pain. On Monday morning, I got up, dressed up and showed up – enthusiastically – to lead my team at work, to fulfil my obligations to my employer and in between, I forgot my personal issues long enough to do my job well. I didn’t know my own aptitude for compartmentalising issues. As I got the notification that my Divorce papers are in Court – reality hit me, overwhelmed me and scared me, but surprisingly, I didn’t react. I was and am at peace.
Women choose (out of fear or circumstances beyond our control) to settle, suffer, endure, tolerate, get beaten down, broken down and finally, die a sad death…..having wasted years of our lives thinking we are brave because we accept the things that bring us down and don’t quit our marriages or relationships. And we suffer. And we lose ourselves.
I don’t know how the decision came to me, where I drew the strength from or how I put the plan into action to take the alternative road, the one less travelled, the one that is scarier and far from my comfort zone. However, now, having done so, I consider myself braver, more courageous to have stepped up and owned my life. And during this entire process, which seems so surreal, I have discovered that I am far stronger than I look, far stronger than I feel and have the power to control my destiny.
I didn’t know my own strength. Until now.