“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.”
*Let me preface this by saying that I am okay, and that I have good boundaries in place, excellent support, and I am in a great headspace. I wrote this not for myself but for you – for the leaders and strong people, for the people getting stuff done, organising others, and finding solutions – I wrote this for all those who are reaching out to me because they are at the end of their rope but they need to find a way to keep going, because that’s where they are at and that’s what needs to be done.
Strong friends, I know that many of you are finding things tough right now.
I know that you’re struggling, even though you are usually so tough, so resilient, so good at persevering under difficult circumstances.
Here’s the thing: you are used to coping. You are used to leading. You are used to taking charge. You are usually able to put you own hurt or exhaustion aside when others rely you, or the job needs to get done. It can be confronting and confusing to suddenly feel that you aren’t coping the way you normally would.
As a strong person you’re a bright light in the world. It is your choice to be that bright light, but it is also your calling – you can’t help but be who you are. When you are the problem-solver, the director, the manager, the boss, the leader, when you are the one at the front of the class or at the front of the group, everyone else looks to you. They don’t see you as a person any more, they see you as Teacher, Healer, Captain, Commander, Wise Woman, Parent, Elder, Muse, Rescuer, The One In Charge. And you ARE all those things.
You’re also the person they won’t or can’t acknowledge – the person who is tired and frightened and battle weary. They need to see you strong because seeing you strong gives them faith and hope that their own lives will be okay somehow. For many, it will only be after, when they have found their own light within, that they may be able to acknowledge your personal struggles, and your humanity. They see you standing strong and they forget what you have been through, what you are going through, what lies ahead of you. When you are championing them, you are helping them to know that there is a light within themselves. You give them hope to believe in themselves. And the truth is (and you know it, because you are a poster child for this), most strong people can keep on functioning, even when they feel dead inside, completely broken, and in the deepest despair.
Much of your strength comes from your compassion, empathy and sensitivity. It comes from your intuition and your great big heart, and your desire to be of assistance. Strong people were built to cope, but when you aren’t coping (even though no-one may know that), it is vital that you realise the truth of your situation. Self-management is everything. You are still strong, even if you are overwhelmed right now. You know this, because you have been in this hard place before, and it’s likely that you will be again. It’s natural, in times like these, to become swamped by the enormity of what is happening in the world, the emotions and situations of people on the other side of the planet, of people closer to home, and for the planet herself, as well as the demands placed upon you by yourself and others. It’s easy to buckle under the sheer volume of stuff that needs to be processed and dealt with.
Wherever you can take time out, reach out for support, and make decisions that take a little of the load off until you can move back to your natural state of strength. Your sensitivity is a super-power, but sometimes you need to shield yourself from inputs that affect your sensitivity so you can give yourself time to recharge. You were never designed to go 24/7 forever, without having downtime to rest and reset.
I know you know this, but I want to take a moment and remind you. When you are living your truth as a strong and capable person, you are magnetic. You radiate your truth – that you are here to help. That’s why people turn to you, follow you, ask for your advice. It’s also your natural state – it’s something you are good at, something you were born to do, born to be. Something you enjoy. When people are leaning on you for strength, they want and need you to be the strong person you’ve always been for them. They take courage and strength from your energy. They rely on your steadiness, generosity and leadership. Without that, they crumble – but in your presence, and with your support and leadership, they manage to keep going. What a gift that is for them, and for your community.
Even if you are affected by the same issue, it’s likely they won’t see how exacting this toll has been on you.
Sometimes, it’s because you hide it so well.
Sometimes it’s because people don’t even realise that you might hurt, that you might need help yourself.
Sometimes it’s because needy people, in their own world of hurt, have no idea that you might be suffering too.
So, my strong friend – look after you. Withdraw if you must, regroup, find your feet. Close the door to others if there is nothing left within you to give. Little birds must sometime fly, no matter how reluctant they may be to leave your nest.
You may find that prioritising self-nurture; or taking a short break away from social media, the news, and the ongoing stress; is all you’ll need before you are refreshed and ready to carry on.
But you might need greater support, a counsellor, a change of scenery, an ending…
If you do, then seek that support or change. Life is too short and precious to live it on your knees.
Do what gives you relief. Value yourself as much as you value the wants and needs of others.
Today, I hope you find a quiet space to regroup or strong arms to support you. Sometimes that’s family – but friends, neighbours and even strangers can be that support too.
There is something I must add here too, because you know I must always keep it real.
I have found that there have been times when, faced with great challenges, I have walked alone except for God. Incredibly, I found strength within me to keep going, helping me understand that we really can deal with anything life throws at us. No matter how awful or frightening or abhorrent, and no matter much how we might not like it, we can do hard things, and get through them, even if how we do that is a minute-by-minute thing. Remember that.
I know you have the strength to get through this hard time. I also know that you need to manage yourself better, so that you can go the distance – because this is a marathon we’re living through, and we’re nowhere near done.
It’s a tough act, being a responsible leader and action-taker amongst so many who are still finding their feet. I am so very grateful for all you are and all that you do. Thank you. Your presence makes the world a brighter, safer and more loving place. Please, take care of yourself. We need your light in the world.
I’m sending an abundance of love your way, and including you in my prayers and meditations. ♥
Big hugs, and loads of nurture, Nicole xx