Strength does not come from winning.
Your struggles develop your strengths.
When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender,
that is strength.
Strength is a misconception. Physical strength, strength in character, mental strength, strength in relationships-- all of which are "defined" by how much one can carry. But, isn't strength really a cover for vulnerability? Vulnerability allows you to tap into self-awareness and opportunities for self-discovery.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone tries to prove that they live this certain life, and they put up emotional barriers that don't let people see the real, authentic version of themselves. But, in my eyes, I think the strongest thing someone can do is show how vulnerable they really are. That's one of the reasons why I started this blog-- to show that life isn't perfect, nor should it be.
There was so much unknown when I moved to Denver, and there still is. But, through writing, I've allowed myself to show raw emotions-- joy, excitement, doubt, fear. Everyone constantly faces new challenges every day whether it's in terms of career, friendships, roommates, opportunities, and activity. While facing some of those challenges, it's hard to not take the easy way out or give up. I have been challenged more in the past year than I could ever imagine. Sometimes, I too, thought that I would give up because it would have been easy to move back to Boston when things weren't going my way. But, I didn't. I proved to myself that a strength existed within me because I allowed myself to feel those emotions that come with hardship, and decided to challenge my way of thinking about those hardships.
I owe a lot of that perseverance to practicing Yoga regularly. I felt a massive change in my mentality. An hour for focusing on breathing, and listening to my body... Feeling my arms and legs shake in certain postures, understanding the fine balance between being so exposed and vulnerable, and yet powerful all at once. Something that I realized could be applied to any situation-- if you listen, feel, and understand. In this case, it's applied to physical activity, but another thing I think of is forming new relationships and building upon the old ones. It's easy to build up walls, and almost need people to prove themselves before they can be let in. But, in that circumstance, isn't real strength showing an openness to other people being their true selves as well? No matter how goofy, dramatic, weird, and quirky they may be. It may end in disappointment or pain or, maybe laughter, joy, and new memories. Each person that touches your life will help you learn something new about yourself and the world.
So, when I think of strength, I think of how I got there rather than the fact of really being there. Strength is a scar from vulnerability. It stays with you for a lifetime, whether it results in good or bad, and builds upon your personal legend.