Strength – A Working Definition

Strength. It’s a powerful word (yeah, I went there). And while men and women the world over define it as uniquely as they, themselves, are, I find that women – aging women in particular – seem to have the widest spectrum of definitions.

If you haven’t ventured to our Facebook page, I highly recommend that you do. It’s full of affirmations and humor and you’ll see all our blog posts appear there as well as here on the website. But the other thing you’ll find is a link to our private group, The Sisterhood at Wrong Turn at Albuquerque.

The Sisterhood is a closed and private group just for us aging women where we can talk openly and freely about all the things that go along with being an aging woman. Lives are changing there, and it’s a pretty powerful place to be some days.

We’ve recently been doing something we call the Word of the Week (WoW). Think of it like a “theme word”. We present the word at the beginning of each week and then, throughout the week, there are prompts to get your mind going and thinking on topics related to our WoW.

Last week our WoW was “Strength”.

For a group of women who grew up in various stages of the feminist movement, the personal definitions and reflections on what the word has and does mean to them could fill a book! I was particularly taken with one woman’s reflection on the question, “What does being a strong woman mean to you?”

Charly Clark is actually one of the younger women in our tribe at The Sisterhood. She is just entering this second half of life. Her definition of strength is nowhere near exhaustive, and she’d be the first to tell you that. But, damn, if it isn’t a fine start! It’s a reminder that strength doesn’t always come in the form of a roar. In fact, it most often comes in the small, everyday decisions that we make. She’s graciously given me permission to share her words here.

So many things come to mind, its like there are 80 strong women in my head saying different things. So I am flexing my strength to shut the voices up so I can think. That is strength!

Being strong also means knowing when you can handle something on your own or not and being brave enough to ask for help but fierce enough to handle it if help is not given.

It’s standing next to another strong woman and admiring her strength without that taking an ounce of my own.

It’s showing up again and again, over and over even after you just want to crawl in a hole and disappear.

It is putting the ice cream away after you scooped a lot out but you know it is too much.

It’s saying “I will” and actually doing it.

It’s the voice in my head that whispers “Just be”.

It’s being there for others not just because they need you but because you need to do something.

It means trying your best and even if it isn’t good you are still able to attempt it the next day.

It is making dinner for the kids when all you want to do is cry.

It is listening to your friends secrets and never saying them to another soul.

It is helping someone just because.

It is skipping the clearance section at Target.

It is singing in the shower while tears fall and not breaking your voice.

It is powerful.

Strength. It IS powerful. From the loudest roar to the silence we sometimes keep.

What is your definition of strength? We’d love to hear what it means to you. And, whatever it is, I hope you’re living it all over the place today!



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