I’ve been hearing the words “You’ve got to be strong” pretty often lately. And for a good reason too.
You see, my mother was recently warded at the Singapore General Hospital, for a long time ailment – Cancer – and her condition took a beating over the turn of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Her condition has been fluctuating pretty much since her admission. She could be down in the dumps and drowsy on morphin on one day, or take on the positive persona of Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. Her condition has taken three turns in as many weeks since she was warded – the latest, major one taking place this afternoon.
That was when the doctor called to inform me of three possibilities for her downturn, and the eventualities of each. One of those eventualities included: “You’ve got to be prepared…”, (now, you can fill in the blanks)
I’d be lying if I said my Mother’s tumultuous journey hasn’t, and does not affect me. It does – BIG TIME!
Yet, I’ve been learning to cope throughout this tumultuous journey. Mainly with the support and encouragement of my friends, relatives and mentor who have rightly told me to “be strong” for my Mother.
Just a question though… What does it mean exactly to “be strong”? And how is one qualified as that? Surely this strength has got nothing to do with physicality or the amount of muscles I have on my biceps (because I seriously have… *nevermind*)
So what qualifies a person as “strong”? Well, emotional and psychological strength will definitely fill the void. But I found those two categories a tad too generic – anything can fall under their umbrella.
Thus, based on my visits to the hospitals and the observations I’ve gathered from studying the actions and reactions of relatives of other patients in the ward, I’ve decided to chronicle some of my definitions of personal strength in the following:
Being strong does not mean not crying – it means daring to cry and being willing to carry on after that.
Being strong does not mean avoiding the truth – it means accepting it, learning about it, and dealing with it head on.
Being strong means recognising the things you can’t change, realizing the things you can do, and having the perceptivity, fortitude and wisdom to tell the difference between the two.
Being strong does not mean getting stuck in the moment, but being able to get on with one’s life despite the constraints and emcumberances.
Being strong means juggling sacrifices whilst pushing for progress.
Being strong means having the capablity and fortitude to stand steadfastly despite the blows of change.
Being strong means being the pillar of support for yours, when yours breaks down.
There’s probably a million and one definitions of what strength means out there.
What is YOUR defition of strength, and what/when are the instances you saw that “strength” being displayed?
Share them on this blog! Who knows it might be a lamp onto the paths of those still trudging in darkness?
Grow in Strength!
Follow in Fortitude!