Ready or Not #181: Finding Strength

I have learned something very valuable about being prepared this last month – and I still have a couple more weeks to go – and I suppose a lot more learning.  I have always known how important it is to be equally mentally, spiritually and temporally prepared, but until you go without one of them for a time, you really won’t know how well prepared you are.  This last month I was, at times, somewhat mentally bereft and I was disappointed with how lacking I was in that “deep down strength”, that I thought I had, but desperately need in order to get through the hard things in life.

I didn’t necessarily want to renovate a couple rooms in my house, but out of necessity I knew that it had to be done.  Now, I know that it isn’t like a real disaster: tornado, flooding, earthquake, volcano, war, etc., but there have been times throughout this ordeal that I have fallen apart like I was in one of those desperate situations –  and I can’t say that I have always been proud of how I acted.

I wrote an article not too long ago about how we handle stress and that we don’t always react like we want to. Well, I now know – I have found that I cry and it is a real bother because it makes it hard to see clearly when you are crying, not to mention that it ruins your mascara, but I’m working on that.  I am also working on keeping things in perspective, trying to keep the big picture in mind – even if I don’t particularly like the picture that is being painted at the moment.

I also found out that after I rant and rave and stomp around a little bit (well, maybe a lot), that I will settle down and dig deeper for the strength that I need to carry on; I get a “steely jaw” and just keep moving forward (tears and all).  I found that I just don’t give up, and that is a good thing.

Oddly enough, when I started to dig down deep for the strength I needed to get back on track, I found the strength I needed from thinking about my wonderfully strong, won’t-give-up, mother, my incredibly strong women friends and the other determined ancestral women that have gone on before me. I have read some of their histories and diaries and they were some very strong resilient women, who went through some very difficult times, and in some cases, very difficult lives – but they never stopped or gave up, they just kept on doing the things that were necessary.  And they kept moving forward with grace and dignity.  I’m still working on the grace part, and when I have that mastered I’ll start practicing on the dignity stuff (but that would mean that I would have to stop stomping around – it will be awhile).  What it comes down to is that I am genetically wired to be strong – eventually, after I have earned it.

I guess what I am trying to say is that part of being prepared is to know who you are and not be afraid to see yourself at your worst, but then stepping back and striving to do better.

But the most important thing that I have learned is that we can’t do it all alone (no matter how stubborn we are) and that we all need to learn to rely on each other and share our talents willingly to help each other through good, bad or hard times.  A very good, but sometimes difficult lesson to learn.

A friend of mine, who always takes such good care of me, gave me a book that I have really enjoyed and I often think about it because it helps me to keep “learning opportunities” in perspective.  It was written by Carol Lynn Pearson and is called, “The Lesson”.  It is a short book that everyone will enjoy and gain from and it is really easy reading; it won’t take but fifteen minutes to read.  Just a word to the wise, read it when you are alone with a box of tissue the first time; it is not a sad book, but it does make you stop and reflect. (Maybe you won’t need the tissues – that might just be me.)

And just remember that if you are ever in a serious disaster with me, I might (no, I will) get a little bossy at first and if you know what is good for you, you will at least act like you are listening to me, let me cry just a little, and then give me a working computer and tell me that you need a spreadsheet created; that way I can make sense of things and I will be able to make everything all better – really.

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