Strong? Who, Me?

“You never know how strong you are until you actually have to be.”

I heard this quote while binge-watching a show I like and it inspired me to write.

The quote resonated with me because I have said the same thing many times to people who refer to me as “strong.”  I always think it’s interesting that people think I am so much stronger than they are.  Just because I was a fully able-bodied person at one time doesn’t mean that my strength (albeit more visible) is any greater than anyone else’s.  We all have varying amounts of tolerance and endurance.  We all have stories of adversity and every story is relevant to each individual. These experiential stories come complete with the life lessons necessary for our personal growth as human beings.

From the outside looking in, I suppose I’ve been through a lot.  Yes, I became disabled at an adult age.  Yes, I was a single parent.  Yes, I have had financial challenges.  Yes, I’ve been through a divorce. AND yes, I’ve been through much more!

When I was a little girl, I would never have guessed that I would be where I am!  If you had told teenaged me that I would be where I am I would NEVER have thought I was strong enough to get through it.


Like the late Whitney Houston sang “I didn’t know my own strength!”

I don’t believe any of us know how strong we really are!

You see, the funny thing is that YOU are at least as strong I am!  Before you challenge that with “no way” or “I could never have done…blah blah blah”  I’d like to remind you of the original quote that inspired this post:

“You never know how strong you are until you actually have to be.”

If you’ve lived long enough you have experienced life’s unforeseen dramas like losing a loved one or a home, facing a major illness of your own or another, abuse and so much more!

These challenges, and a host of others, require us to dig deep within ourselves to find the strength to keep moving through life.  Every time you push through a situation, you have built that muscle which makes it easier the next time life passes you a hot steaming bowl of BS.  After all, what is the purpose of physical fitness if you crumble like a broken cookie when life gets you down?

The key to real strength is fearlessly proceeding through whatever happens and allowing your feelings to happen without judgment or limits.  If you want to cry…friggin’ cry!  If you want to scream… friggin’ do it! As long as your emotions push you forward rather than keeping you stuck.  And as long as you don’t allow your circumstances to define you.

I am not by any means downplaying the strength I’ve had to muster over the years!  It was and still is rough at times.  I know that I am strong, but I want you to acknowledge, honor, and leverage your strength, rather than believing that others have something that you don’t.

It is not how or why you fall or fail, but the way you get up and get on with it.

Being strong doesn’t mean that nothing bothers you, it means that you are willing to dive into tough circumstances, get through them and get moving.

Don’t be afraid to:

  • Take time off if you need it!
  • Find a great therapist.
  • Get away for a while, take a trip.
  • Read great self-help books.
  • Use your story to help others.

I am happy in my life as it is.  I’ve learned that my strength is incredible for my life…and I’ll bet yours is exactly what you need for yours!


Love, Light, and Strength!



Be strong enough to like and share! 😉



4 thoughts on “Strong? Who, Me?

  1. Except for the divorce and single-motherhood [I am single with no kids], this could have been written by me. I wish people could realize how offensive they are with their “well-meaning” comments. What is the alternative to “being strong”? I guess some people just lie in bed and wait to die. Recently I had a discussion on Facebook when I posted a link to an article about a young woman with my disease [ALS] who gathered 30+ friends together for a big “send-off” the day before she succumbed to doctor-assisted suicide. Several of my FB friends lauded this woman for her strength and bravery. And some of them called me brave and blatantly said that, if they were in my situation, they would opt for the suicide route and “complimented” me for being so strong and saying that they weren’t as strong as I am. Not only do you not know what you would do until the situation presents itself, but I consider it insulting to be told “I’d rather be dead than be you”


    1. Totally understand as I have also heard the “I’d rather be dead” and “I’m glad I’m not you” comments. What I’ve learned is that our lives are our own to do with what we will from giving up to thriving. Strength is a choice that can only be judged by the beholder of the strength. I actually love to be told that I a strong because my reply is always… “and so are you!” Our circumstances don’t MAKE us strong…our attitudes and actions do! You are incredibly strong Fern let’s you and I continue to debunk these stereotypical comments and perceptions! You rock my sister!


      1. Great minds think alike!


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