Strength. When I think of that word a toned gym rat comes to mind. We associate the word strength with physical appearance. That is not always the case. I know so many strong women around me and I love finding new ones, especially since BodyGuardz has launched their "The Case For Strong Women." There are so many amazing stories. It made me think, "How am I strong?"
Strength to me, has to come from the inside, before it can ever come from the outside. It is so important to feel strong, and it doesn't have to be in the physical form.
Over the years I have had to rebuild my mental strength. I have struggled with feelings of depression, insecurity and inadequacy. I dealt with it in all the wrong ways. In high school I dealt with it by not eating. In college I dealt with it by sleeping excessively and not getting out of bed.
I would constantly tell myself I wasn't good enough, that I would never succeed and that I would never be happy. It was like trying to swim with a lead jacket on, and every new thought like that only pulled me lower.
My life dramatically changed through one girl. She might not even know it to this day, but it is her that I thank that I can see the happiness around me. She said she took a challenge from her friend to find the happiness in each day by writing down every single thing that made her happy that day. I decided to try it, and it was the best decision I ever made.
I made a blog to keep track of all my happiness. It was before I made this blog, and it was called "Happiness Is..." My lists seemed silly at first, being filled with the most mundane or simple things, but they were always the best. Because it is really all the small things that make up the big things in life.
My lists would go as follows:
- freshly cut strawberries
- knowing there is only 20 minutes left in the work day
- coming home to a clean kitchen
- shaved legs
- when my favorite song comes on spotify
- painting my finger nails
- catching a glimpse of my wedding ring
- that last goodnight kiss from my husband
I would make one of those every single day until it became a habit, and the more I did it, the happier I became. The less I would dwell on why I wasn't good enough and the more I recognized the amazing things that made up my life.
I am strong because I don't let my insecurities and inadequacies overtake my life anymore. I am strong because I let happiness win. Somedays are still harder than others, but I gets easier.
While I was at the Lantern Fest at the end of April I decided to remind myself that I am strong and that I can and deserve to be happy. Luckily I have a pretty amazing husband who is good at reminding me.
Even if you don't think you are strong, or strong enough. Remind yourself that it is all the little things that make you strong. You can't ever have something big without all the little things making it up. So you remind yourself to be strong, and to be happy.
I challenge all you out there who are feeling the same way to try The Happiness Challenge and I promise you'll start to see a difference in the way you think and view your happiness.