You’ve probably heard about people walking over hot coals and not getting hurt at all. Or you’ve seen those martial arts demonstrations where someone smashes a cinder block with their head. And that look of both awe and wonder was likely very visible on your face.
I’ve never walked over hot coals in the literal sense, but I’ve burned my toes no imaginary hot coals quite a few times. Walking over hot coals is actually something I want to do one day. In the mean time, though, I’m undertaking other feats of strength. Not as super awesome and exciting as padding across white-hot lumps of compressed rock, but no less empowering.
For me, I can count some very unusual feats of strength for the average gal – parachuting out of an airplane and a helicopter before the age of 18, rappelling down sheer cliffs as a teenager. But those are things I think are rather pedestrian compared to what many of my friends have gone through.
When we think of feats of strength it’s often about doing something, like walking on coals or zip-lining over shark infested waters. But in our every day, I’m amazed at the strength people demonstrate. The grace when all you really want to do is run screaming. Calm when you feel your world crumbling around you. Finding joy in something, no matter how small, when you’d rather cover your head and retreat to a dark room for at least 24-hours.
Some days we wake up knowing that no matter how hard we try, we’ll never be perfect. And for some people that’s ok. For others, it’s debilitating. But we do it. If not for ourselves then for our children, our spouse or partner, the world. For many people, just getting dressed is a feat of strength and instead of walking over hot coals they navigate the maze of their brain which is more of a mental flamethrower and grenade launcher.
I don’t think we give ourselves credit for being strong. We think feats of strength are like lifting 500 pound Atlas Stones onto a wall, or pulling a bus with only our body. In reality, we all harbor enormous strength. Not necessarily physical strength, but emotional strength. It’s easy to feel strong when surrounded by love and confidence. For some reason it makes us believe we can do anything.
On those days we don’t feel confident or loved, or the negative chatter in our head gets really loud, it seems like we’re crumbling even though that Atlas Stone is but a small pebble. Every day we all accomplish amazing feats of strength. They may be different than your friend’s and quite possibly the same and the days, weeks, or months before. But every day is something new.
Just because someone walks over hot coals once doesn’t mean they can do it again without having to be prepared. Each time it’s a new challenge. And yet we discount our own personal feats of strength because they don’t involve fire or physical strength or daredevil acrobatics. Why? Because we’ve come to believe that strength is an outer show of our mental and emotional strength?
We tell ourselves that someday we’ll be strong enough. But the reality is that we already are. We just have to believe it!
What feats of strength have you recently conquered?