Wisps of Strength
Some days I don’t feel like being a warrior.
Those are the days that even the thought that I am the stuff of stars (exclamation mark), a child of the universe no less (double exclamation marks), fail to cut through the smog of existence. On the contrary, everything seems absurdly far-fetched. And the mere thought of an exclamation mark exhausts me.
And I get a little alarmed at this dark, murky creature that is me and wished I was brimming with robust strength and vim. For I remember a time when I was strong. Invincible. Solid as a mountain. Unwavering as a rock. Bright as a rainbow. A force to be reckoned with.
But, along the way, along the years and life’s unexpected twists and turns, it sometimes seems as if the unlimited storage of strength which I once possessed in massive bucketsful had but all been used up. And I feel a pang of remorse. For the loss of a very dear and wonderful thing.
Yet, when I compare the bright, abundant strength of my younger self and mourn its loss, a new revelation dawned on me. These budding wisps of strength that I have in my possession today are no less worthy. They carry a value I have yet to fully appreciate and comprehend.
For the strength I felt in my youthful earnestness, like great tumbling waterfalls – was the strength of a child. It was a glorious, magnificent strength. The undisputable inheritance and hallmark of every human being. It was beautiful and triumphant and yet – it was also weak.
It was the proud, unbroken strength of the untried. A strength borne from a safe life.
I was reminded of this as I sat in quiet reflection one evening. As I recalled with a pinch of regret, the cup of strength that brimmeth over which once was mine.
And just as I was feeling a tad maudlin at the scraps of strength that seem to be in my possession lately, I could not but stop to remember just how much bravery and guts and spunk had been put into making it so far.
That what I have now, from a lifetime of big and small moments, having tasted both sweetness and bitterness – these, these wisps of strength that now inhabit me, are banners. They are testament to having lived. And died. Of being lost. And found. Of being in slumber. And being awakened.
These are the wisps of strength that had withstood the battering rams of life. This is strength that have matured and come into season. And far from being scornful of the strength that now inhabit me, I am grateful. And I am humbled.
For nobody knows your battles as well as you do. Nobody knows the hidden trials of your heart. Nobody knows how that bucket of strength got depleted. Nobody knows the sacred work of transformation that is taking place within the essence of your soul.
To all you warriors out there who are feeling tired and a little battle-weary. Sometimes, strength is not measured by great big bucketsful. Nor by grand acts of valour. But by the tiny wisps of strength of a kind word. A warm smile. A heart stripped of envy. A life lived in quiet integrity.
Now that is strength unalloyed.
Great piece…thanks for the reminder that strength is measured in many different ways.
Wow I really needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing it
I think we don’t tell each other enough just how strong and brave we see each other. And how strong and brave we ought to see ourselves. Hugs to you strong one. Sharon
Beautifully put. The strength of youth is strong, inexperienced, lacking in temperance. Your strength now is deeper, less obvious and tempered with wisdom. Joy to you for your words and the experiences of your life.
Dear Aviott John, I like that a lot. Thank you so much for writing. Sharon
A smile wells up from the depths of my soul and wafts across the waves to you dear Sharon. Thank you for the reminder.
I’m soaking up that smile Cathy. Big hugs, Sharon
I love this reflection, Sharon. As with your other essays, you so skillfully follow ideas through the murkiness of competing and opposing thoughts all the way to the light! I think diminished strength/energy also teaches us (if we’re willing to keep learning 🙂 ) to use what we have with far more wisdom, dexterity, and efficiency than when we were younger…I think there was “wasted” energy in my past because I had so much of it, I didn’t need to think about conservation, but now I do, and I don’t mind it…Age can gift us with a life lived more care-fully, and that’s OK, in my book. 🙂 Love to you, and gratitude for your beautiful images and writing.
I wish you a journey of deliberate pauses, one even richer than before dear Kitty. Your thoughts echoed mine in the parallel journeys of our lives. To the transformation of strength and the different forms it takes. With gratitude for your wisdom and friendship.
Wow Sharon. What a wise and loving post. I often feel inept at my lack of strength, progress and repeated failings. Your words and vulnerability brings me courage to keep on, one small step at a time, trusting in the strength that may lie dormant or unappreciated. Thank you my wise and compassionate friend. 🙂
A wise old man once told me that one day I would see myself for who I truly am and when I do… even wild horses couldn’t possibly pull me back. It took me a long time to get this. Brad, wild horses can’t possibly pull you back, my friend. Never underestimate the power of these wisps of strength we have acquired. Sharon
Thanks Sharon. I appreciate the encouragement and compassion. It’s hard to trust when I also don’t have a clear sense of life/ work purpose. But that’s another long story. hugs,
So nice, Sharon. Encouraging.
Thank you dear Virgilio. So lovely to hear from you. Blessings. Sharon
Exquisitely written. The hidden strength of humility?
I love that Hariod. Sharon x
Strength is wisdom… we acquire more and more as we age. Sometimes, silence is the most difficult/precious strength. 🙂
The taming of the tongue is a sure sign of great strength. The power that comes from being guarded in our speech and the observance of silence. I have missed you so much Fae! Love, Sharon x
Your posts display a richness and depth of spirit and self reflection that is glorious, awesome, and humbling. They are intensely personal yet often touch universal themes and feelings. Perhaps your bucket of strength that feels so depleted is in fact just quietly pausing to refill, preparing for life’s challenges yet to come and to be available for helping others with your strength, compassion, and kindness. Thank you for yet another wonderfully heart-provoking post, Sharon.
What a beautiful message Russ. The imagery of “quietly pausing to refill” evokes great peace. I will treasure these words and the kind thoughts behind them. Thank you from my heart. Sharon
enjoyed your poetry, Sharon!
of mind’s gauges swinging
from full to empty
with an ultimate jump start
from heart’s compassionate wisdom 🙂
Thank you David. Yes, empty is oftentimes a very good place to be. So good to hear from you. Sharon
How true. This was so beautifully written. I am so glad I read this! How inspiring, something I need to be constantly reminded of. Thank you!
Loved reading this post Sharon, thank you for reminding how important our awareness of little wisps of strength is.
Thank you for this article..so much needed words in the days previous to bounty filled period that is about to start..
Thinking of you with love my dear Rosa. To a season of purification and perfecting.
Thank You ❤
Dear Terhi, you bless me more than you know. Hugs.
Thank you for this wonderful post which was a reminder to me of the various ways of being strong, some of which we tend to overlook.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”. I think the rather insightful Winnie the Pooh said this. I think he’s absolutely right! Hugs to you dear Elizabeth. Sharon x
Dear Sharon, such a wonderful and wise post, turning around, what seemed a huge sadness, into a great positive! Your strength and words reach out. Any size rock can tumble…or, get dislodged, from time to time! But knowing now you have even just little wisps around, will in time, I’m sure, gather their own momentum to multiply back into a new age of strength 🙂
What a lovely, lovely thing to say Caren. I will cherish this thought and a “new age of strength.” Sharon x
That is so beautifully put and so life affirming. Thank you for we all feel like this at times and we all need to recognise ourselves. Lovely. Thank you again. 🙂
I hear you!
Beautifully written and great images. Thank you for sharing your inner experience and wisdom. I am so with you.
This was exactly what I needed today. It’s been rough, and I’m searching for strength.
May your strength be replenished in a fresh new way today Amrita. Hugs, Sharon
Wisps of strength as finely wrought, as super strong, as spider’s silk.
This is brilliant G. Thank you for wisdom drawn from the powerful lesson of the arachnid. Sharon x
What a beautiful observation. Thank you for sharing so openly and for sending this encouragement to those of us who, like you, sometimes feel less than the warrior we aspire to. It’s nice to be reminded that while we are each in one sense on our own, we are never — in that grander sense — alone.
Thank you for reaching out Cate with your warm support and kindness. And thanks for reminding me that we are never truly alone – in that grander sense. It is a solace to my heart. Sharon
Strengths, weakness, it’s like the rest of life: always changing. Just when I think I’m invincible something knocks me back and amid that state I find strength I never knew I had. The trick for me is to be grateful but not attached to either condition. And, like you seeing the strength that experience provides and knowing, “cracks are how he light gets in.” Blessings to you in all your states. Thank you for a lovely and deeply personal, honest post.
This favourite quote became so much more vivid when I was sorting these thoughts out. Your comment is rich with having plunged your hands deep into the waters of life dear Barb. I send you love and light for each new day. Hugs, Sharon
Wow Sharon… so beautifully expressed.
Thank you for sharing this.
Thank you for writing this.
Chère Sharon, I see much strength in the way you think and write. Reading you gives me pleasure and peace. Your words and reflections are a great encouragement for moving on in life after unexpected events hit you badly. For your wisdom and much more I thank you with all my heart. Today I will write “Sharon” in my Gratitude notebook. Isabelle
Dear Isabelle, sometimes I have no words when I am moved. I feel your love and your deep kindness. I send you my heart’s deepest blessings. Big hug, Sharon
I really needed this today-Thank you Sharon. It is good to be reminded that strength is not just physical, it is spiritual–and that can move mountains when we let it help us-Thinking of you!
I’m so glad to read this Meg. And indeed how often those hidden moments of inner transformation that truly count for something. To faith that move mountains. Hugs and hugs. x
And yet … indeed. Such a beautiful reflection Sharon. 💛
The wisps of strengths from our youth seem to transform into courage and wisdom.
The young part within us may mourn, but we know in our heart it is our path.
Dearest Val, yes. Hugs, Sharon
Well said. Strength can’t be measured in grand gestures necessarily, but in all the little, infinitesimal things.
“Nobody knows the hidden trials of your heart.” This sentence has such depth. Thank you.
The thoughts you share touch my heart deep inside while reminding me of similar things, and yet all that is a part of a life makes us better within…for as I read what you shared, i share it also with you as well as smiles and the genuine selfless smile you have always sent our way with your spirit and heart. You made my day! Hugs and blessings dear sister!
Wonderful words of wisdom, Sharon. And so good to hear today. Thank you!
Hugs from Helsinki, Tiny. It was gloriously sunny today 🙂
The gift of a warm smile from a stranger can help hold a person together. I loved reading your post today…I’m sending you a warm smile and hope across the miles.
Beautiful, humble, profound – thank you for this post that gives me quiet strength this morning. Also, thank you for visiting and following Beauty Along the Road, which is what brought me here 🙂
Very deep stuff! Ever so eloquently said. Thank you so much! 🙂
Speechless! 🙂 🙂 Thank you so much for reaching out to me this morning and leading me back here. It’s funny how we can float around in this blogging pool, gliding past each other, isn’t it? I visit endless blogs and sometimes wonder why I do it, and then this spark- this connection, which is truly beautiful. Thank you so much for the gift. I echo your sentiments in this post but have not expressed it so. I vividly remember crusader me, in a canary yellow coat. Makes me smile whenever I think of it. 🙂
A crusader in a canary yellow coat. Now THAT is unbeatable. Love to you too Jo! X
Too often I fault myself when I am overtired or burned out. I fail to realize the strength and endurance that brought me to that place. I think that God knows how to apportion my strength in the perfect doses for what I need. The wisps that linger near me, reminding me that all is possible in its time. Tendrils to keep me from falling into despair. Thanks you for reminding me to be thankful for what I have – and have had – each and every moment of my blessed life. You are one of my great blessings…
What an utterly beautiful way of sharing this deep truth. It did my heart good and wrapped me in solace and peace reading your words that have been birthed from deep places. Thank you most dearly. Tight hug, Sharon
I totally feel that nowadays…the feeling of not being as strong as I used to be. I was never too afraid of anything but now I’m always trying to stay away from everything so that I don’t have to deal with the fear that I may not know what to do. Thank you for this post. I always love your words.
This is simply beautiful, written impeccably with so much insight and passion. I love your writing and plant to read all your posts. Thank you for reading my blog, heartandsoul974. ❤️
Beautiful soul that you are Sharon you are very aware of life’s fragility. Strength does not have to come dressed in the warrior’s armour. Strength can be gentle and quiet and go unnoticed. Amazing words. As we age we think it is owed to us through experience. But the more I age and the more I learn, I realise I know not much….. but my strength may look different each passing hour.
Beautiful post !! Happy to read
This is beautifully written. Absolutely remarkable.
So very kind of you Josh. Thank you. Sharon
Transformation can be very wearying. And challenging. It can make us wonder who we ever were and what happened to the rocks that stood so sturdily beneath our feet. But there is a strength, a real core, that just holds on, lifts its face to the sun, that is always the very best of us, and I know that is you.
“For nobody knows your battles as well as you do. Nobody knows the hidden trials of your heart. Nobody knows how that bucket of strength got depleted.” You couldn’t have said this better, and yet … every morning we open our eyes … and begin again. We reach deep and find the strength, wispy as it may seem, and greet our life. From across the ocean, I send you whatever of my strength you may need. Take good care, my friend. ~ Jeanne
Dearest Jeanne, I needed this. Thank you for being the answerer to my heart’s call today. Love, Sharon
Any time. Just “call.” Love, Jeanne
Really nice. Good sharing .I like your photos.:-)