Thursday, July 2, 2009

When might is right

I’m very attracted to strength.

No, I’m not looking for a body builder type of man in my life. Although I wouldn’t turn that type of guy away if he happens to be the “one.”

What I really mean by that statement is I appreciate people who are strong emotionally. You know, the folks with intestinal fortitude who aren’t afraid to let said intestinal fortitude show most of the time.

If someone were to track my friendships through the years, they would find that the majority of the people I have intimately connected myself with possess that one characteristic in common. They’re all fairly strong in spirit.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “Well, I always thought we were pretty good friends, but I’m really not that strong …” then odds are one of us was and/or is “fronting” the other one. (And you’re probably a lot stronger than you realize you are!).

Growing up, I never considered myself that strong really. I guess that statement is pretty funny coming from someone who was over six feet tall by the time they were 12 years old. Even though we equate strength and size, though, that’s not always how it generally works in reality. I’ve known some pretty big people who were, well, pretty much weak internally. And I’ve known some folks who are pretty small in stature that I hope literally have my back.

So in my immature mind, I decided that if I connected myself to strong people I would somehow become stronger by association or osmosis or some biological process that I didn’t quite get but believed or hoped could happen. And, retrospectively, I had a pretty good idea. I mean, what better way to become stronger than to plant yourself around strong people?

I could start naming names and telling tales, but I won’t. But I did have some great examples of courage and perseverance to follow growing up. In all honesty, I still do today. And I truly need you people around because, contrary to some belief (I can’t call it popular belief because I’m certain few folks would really agree), I have yet to arrive to that proverbial destination of being a card-carrying, full-fledged adult. Although I have already obtained some of the rights and privileges of said adult – like debt, sporadic hot flashes and being forced to make life-altering decisions alone.

There were times in my life when I wouldn’t have called myself strong. In all honesty, I wasn’t really. I wasn’t a parasite of sorts, but I was more like a barnacle. I seemed to find attaching myself to others and feeding off their lives and experiences was easier than attempting to live it on my own.

But situations came, as situations often do in life, where I found myself backed against a wall and forced to choose might or weakness. It was at those times I had to dig deep within me and determine exactly what I was made of. I had to, without much of a choice actually, stand on my own two feet and take care of myself.

I HAD to be strong.

And I did it. I became Beyonce (that’s a slight I was a SURVIVOR reference for those of you who totally missed it – with apologies to Michelle and Kelly, but it really made even less sense to state I became the three women of Destiny’s Child!) and grew even stronger from the experience.

Even today I’m still working on the strength area of my life – and still attempting to surround myself with positive examples of it as well. I’m becoming more comfortable with letting my strength show, too – as well as my weaknesses. I’m learning to step up more often when others need to lean on the strength I possess rather than wait on someone else to take the role instead. And, in turn, I’m learning to be weak and allow others to be stronger during the appropriate times of my life.


I’m gradually becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin because I’m becoming more and more comfortable with the source of my strength.

Nope, I’ve not yet arrived, but I’m not beating myself up about it either. I’m growing and growth is a truly positive and blessed thing. Hopefully it looks good on me, too!


Bobby Capps said...

Great post... Nice thoughts on strength and barnacles...
There's an old saying that characterized many years of my life... "I'm anybody's dog who'll hunt with me." Just wanted to be invited... pant pant, tongue hangin' out and all...
I really compromised a lot of who I really am in those years... afraid to let people see the real me for fear they'd run away.
But hey, what you see is what you get and I'm more okay with me now, like you... still won't take my shirt off at the beach, sorry... spent too much time in San Diego, some things need to be covered!

Pam D said...

What a great post, Kim! I've always (well, not ALWAYS, because I haven't known you always.. but for as long as I've known you always..)wished that you could see yourself through God's eyes. The way you've perceived yourself in the past hasn't fit with what I KNEW you were or could be. You've played to your weaknesses, and now it seems as if you are finally playing to your strengths, which are many and impressive. At the same time, it seems as if you are letting GO.. not in order for other people to take over, but to give GOD room to do HIS thing. And, through this blog, you're leaving some great signals along the path so that others (like me) can follow. You're like Red Roof Inn... you keep the light on..!
Loving the Kim that I see now.. the one I always knew was in there. And loving the fact that you're writing again...

Mandi said...

Kim, I KNOW you are a strong person - much stronger than you think you are - and I'm gonna need your strength to keep reminding me of mine. Thanks for being such an awesome friend!

By the way Pam, it's Motel 6 that leaves the light on for you :-)