Inner Strength Leads to Inner Growth

Let’s get real for a minute. Every one of us has inner strength. God knows there are times that all of us at one time or another feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders and we can’t take another thing added to our plates. Sometimes our jobs add more responsibility than we think we can handle and then our personal relationships add another layer of issues for us to contend with. No matter what, we all have to find ways to become a phoenix internally and rise from the ashes that burn us out. Take for example if you were wrongly accused of something. You try your best to prove your innocence and no one will listen until you categorically find enough proof that shows you didn’t do what you were blatantly accused of. It takes strength to keep fighting when the odds are against you.

Let’s say that you are up for a promotion and you keep getting overlooked because you do really well at your current position and upper management doesn’t want to move you up because you are dependable and do a good job. It takes a lot of inner strength to hang in there until something better comes along. Especially when some of the men and women who are over you treat you as if you were the proverbial ant to be squished just because they can. This is why it’s really imperative to push yourself and recognize your own value. There’s a difference between taking the abuse and learning from things. When people add and add to your workload, why do you think they do it? Are they just shuffling off what they don’t want to do? Or are they preparing you for something greater? Are you willing to keep communication open with your bosses or do you hold things in and get mad when others get what you wanted? Do your bosses even know that you were interested in a promotion and if you don’t get the promotion, have you ever asked why? What are some of the things that you can do to move up and forward within either the organization you are with or other organizations that will allow you to keep growing your skills?

There’s a lot of questions that have to be addressed when we feel beaten. One of the hardest conversations I had to have with myself was why was I allowing myself to settle? I had settled in relationships, jobs, and just about every facet of my life and I couldn’t figure out how to break the monotony. Instead, I got agitated. I began to feel that everyone else was just using me to their advantage and all I was getting was a paycheck. Newsflash. If this has happened to you, then you probably need to get an attitude adjustment. I did. I had a really good friend of mine tell me that my bosses couldn’t read my mind and if I didn’t learn how to delegate and start working with others as a team, then I deserved the treatment I was getting. It was a valuable form of feedback.

I have some really close friends who can be extremely loud. You know when they have entered a room because they have very boisterous voices. They are also extremely smart. My favorite misconception is that when people see us in our jeans, sweats, or t-shirts, they think we are just low level workers. What they don’t realize is that we have connections throughout our networks that consists of doctors, attorneys, judges, teachers, medical personnel, high powered executives, and many different acquaintences in the arts. Never ever ever judge a person by how they are dressed. You don’t know their story. They could be a participant on Undercover Boss and you would never know it. They could be someone who just likes to be casual when they are away from work. No matter how a person looks, their looks can always be altered. It’s what’s inside a person that shows the caliber the individual is.

How many of you are sexual assault victims? If you aren’t, do you know someone who has been assaulted? Chances are the statistics would completely amaze you. According to rainn.org, about 230 cases of sexual assaults go unreported out of about every 1000 cases. That’s almost a 1/4 of the cases to not even be reported. Do any of you have any idea what a sexual assault victim goes through? If you have been assaulted, the answer is yes. Now, imagine that same sexual assault victim trying to bring their accuser to justice and having it thrawted because the person who committed the crime was in a position of power. It happens more than it should. The folks who have to go through this process have an inner strength that can’t be measured or defined. They have to deal with their own form of the Scarlett Letter. How do I know? I’m one of the victims. I don’t talk about it much. But I can tell you that it took a hell of a lot of strength to report what happened. The man who raped me didn’t even have a trial. His family had connections within the legal system that got him off. I literally didn’t want to get out of bed when all of this was going on. Not only had he raped my body, but he raped my pride and integrity. He made me feel like a victim and when I did have the guts to report it, his family taunted me. Those lessons that they taught me, made me realize that a person can be raped and assaulted, but it’s up to that person to realize and recognize that they have strength that is embedded inside them. They have the power to speak up and say that no one else will be put through what they went through by that person. I wasn’t able to stop him in court. But I was able to stop him through the university. I found out later that he had raped three other women and they had managed to get at least two of the rapes to stick. He’s now serving time in prison.

We make our choices in life. We can choose to have the strength to make a difference or to draw up in a shell of sorrow. It’s okay to deal with pain. It helps to surround yourself with a strong network of friends and peers that can help you with the issues you encounter. Not everyone will be able to understand what you are going through. Choose those who are willing to listen and not judge you for what you are dealing with. If you have been through a traumatic event it’s okay to get counseling. Sometimes we need a little help in order to get stronger. Sorting out our emotions is crucial to understanding the cycles of events. If we are not willing to learn how to better ourselves and our circumstances, then we are more prone to repeating the mistakes of the past. There’s a lot to be said for humility. Don’t let pride keep you from having the strength to stand on wobbly legs.

I’m grateful for the support I’ve had dealing with some of these issues. Every day is a new chapter in a book that I don’t even know how to write yet. What I do know is that every time I allow myself to talk about things that are painful, it allows me a strength that wasn’t there the day before. I’m able to grow a little as a person because I know that there’s a lot of folks out there dealing with some of the same issues and it’s because there is a lot of people that have endured various forms of assaults, that I draw strength. We are not victims. We are not what others claim that we are. We are a nation of strong individuals that no matter what life throws at us, we will find the strength to survive.

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