The Illusion of STRENGTH

One of the biggest issues many of us face in our relationships as African Americans is the stigma of always needing to be strong. Most really have no idea what true strength involves. We sometimes throw being strong into our self-description; along with titles like educated, independent, and self-made. All of which is really unnecessary for most adults to utilize when describing themselves. These titles are normally understood when it comes to men and women of other races. In fact, I find it offensive when someone singles out those particular attributes when describing me! It’s as if I shouldn’t be all of those things and more.

We have been given false definitions of strength in our society. As black people, we are known for going above and beyond in everything we do (sometimes out of necessity in some cases). But most times, we are seeking the acceptance of others who are recognized as the dominate class in this country. Once again, we have ran with our false definitions and in the process we run off potential healthy and happy relationships. We have been taught in order to be recognized or categorized as strong, we must be cut-throat, cold, boastful, aggressive, and even violent in some cases. Without realizing that these very actions are what separates us from our fellow men and women. The effect of being programmed to this idealism, is why most of us are left very unhappy and unfulfilled no matter what level of so-called success we reach in our lives. We believe that independence is a badge of honor that we should wear proudly and those who need others are weak and needy. When in all actuality, we all need each other in order for us to survive as a race of people. When I refer to race in this instance. I am speaking of the human “race”. Meaning the result could mean: children without parents, communities without families, and businesses without customers.

So what makes a person truly strong? The answer to that question is very simple. LOVE!

Not even the ego can drive love because this type of love is not what we learn about in movies and romance novels. That type of “love” (which is conditional) says that you only love when you are getting something in return. Real love, however, is the reward a person receives when he or she gives it freely and genuinely. The act of giving love makes you a better and happier person. This higher vibration also attracts love to you in all areas of your life. True unconditional love starts from withIN and radiates out to the world. Once we have taken the time to learn, know, and except ourselves completely, we begin to experience true strength. The acts of being compassionate to others and understanding that the Universe has no shortage of anything we want or need for our total fulfillment, causes an internal shift that translates into positive external changes in life. The shifting process isn’t an easy or overnight thing. In fact it’s an ongoing process.

True strength comes from withIN. You were born with it and only you can release it into your life when you put in the time and effort into cultivating yourself. Once you understand the true meaning of being strong, you then begin to see your relationships and life make positive changes.

Remember strong relationships begin with strong people and it all starts withIN.

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