Tuesday 4 January 2011

A strong woman, she is!

What makes an individual strong? Well, I'm not talking of physical strength but emotional and mental. I often wonder at the usage of the word 'strong.' Often checking on the background of the individual, I realise that one is strong if:

1. he/she has been through failed relationships
2. deaths in in the family
3. extreme financial loss and coping through it
4. unsound emotional health at home caused by either parents, siblings or extended family

If the above reasons have been part of an individual's life and he/she has managed to stay sane inspite of all that, then the person is labeled as 'strong.' Now if a person has not been through the conditions mentioned above, then is that person not strong enough. We love to admire people who are 'strong.' I don't know why but the word has been abused over time. The tag 'strong,' though is highly motivating and encouraging, it creates a certain standard by which one is pigeon-holed. Every bout of failing constantly echoes the line: 'You are a strong woman.' Sometimes this creates a feeling of fear of failing. Just because a person is labeled strong, it becomes imperative that the person keeps up to the standard of being 'strong' always.

But the label does wonders to the self-esteem as well. On many a days when the spirit is down, lines like, 'You are a strong woman/man' and 'I know that you are quite strong to handle that' is always uplifting. But an overdose of motivating words can sometimes work on a reverse gear.

Another meandering as I start on with another year. Do you also think this way, sometimes?

Image: Internet


  1. Nice post! Just discovered your blog and looks like it is a nice discovery! I feel this applies not only to women but to men as well!!

  2. A thought provoking post.

    I like the quote given in the end of the article.

    I think everybody is strong as each one of us is fighting with some or other sort of problem(s).

  3. i think those things test our mettle...there are times i think strength can be over played...

  4. I think of myself as strong, but there are times when I just don't want to be. I think sometimes falling apart is a necessary part of the rebuilding plan.

  5. First things first- A very happy new decade to you and may MMXI brings in loads of luck and happiness your way :-)

    Secondly, your blog is looking fab...nice change of outfit I say ;-)

    And finally coming to the post-I've read some place that the only key to success & strength is failure,setback,down fall.


  6. I think it takes strengh to fail and overcome, but also to succeed and overcome. All of life requires strength... and courage.

  7. "You'll never know how strong you are...until being strong is the only choice you have." So true.

    I will post something about this and would like to use the quote. Hope this is ok?

    Happy New Year to you, with all the blessings it brings.

  8. Sorry for the 'delete' my link did not work--fingers crossed now.
    Hey girl! Put me down for a BIG 1, 2, 3 and 4. I didn't even have to THINK about it.

    Funny thing is, I have not thought of any of those for a real long time.

    Susan, please do me a favor and go HERE

    It is a new blog of a friend of mine who is tired of playing the 'name game'...It is....ME!

  9. Another great post of yours.;)
    To me a strong person is a person whose true colours are shown when it counts. Not necessarily someone who has gone through hell on earth and came pristine through. Those people might be strong, but the again they might also just be emotionally detached.
    A strong person is the one who hurts and falls and fails and losses, and becomes desperate and sad but who eventually retains his or hers integrity an a belief in the good and the beautiful.;))
    Have a lovely day my dear friend,

  10. OtienoHongo:

    Welcome here. Gald to meet you here. Thanks for your kind words. They are much appreciated. I titled the post so as only women are spoken of as being 'strong' and 'courageous' while men are assumed to be strong and courageous always. This is more of a stereotyping where all men are seen as strong and women as soft and weak. So it becomes a great test of mettle to label a woman as 'strong.'


    Thanks for your visit and kind words. We are all fighting but not all are perceived as strong by our society.

  11. Brian:

    It can be definitely overplayed :)


    I like the second part of your comment. Could not be truer.

  12. Nu:

    Thanks and wish you back the same. May the year shower happiness always on you and yours.

    Hmmm. Thanks for this as well.

    Failure, many times but does it always work that way.


    Absolutely Myrna. Life definitely needs strength.

  13. Naijalines:

    Please feel free to use the quote. The link is given in the last part of the post. I wish you joy, peace and love in abundance in this year and always :)


    You make a good point here, Zuzana. Hurting, falling and losing are the different ways where we prove our mettle. You have a lovely way of saying things, dear Zuzana.

  14. Dearest Susan,

    I think like this ALL The TIME; you wise woman.... and I completely agree, and yes, I've been through all that a couple of times, which should make me 'double insane' or 'double strong'... Both features remain in me somehow, insanity and strength.

    But then I also have my days down, as they may, and I let them go . THAt is the biggest difference > in the past I'd think I would never survive, currently I know no matter the tears of sorrow and loss... tomorrow is another bright day if I want...
    that's realy BEING strong... don't you think?

    Love u girrrl!


  15. What others think of you may be morale boosters / ego boosters, but what you think of yourself is what really matters, what makes you what you are and what you want to be - strong or courageous or what have you....

  16. Susan, it's funny because just this morning, as my husband and I were getting ready for work, I told him, "I really think most people love a rags-to-riches story, but I'm not so fond of them, myself." I have to admit that life has a way of making one feel guilty about finding success without going through some sort of suffering that has made me "grow." Sure, difficulties do teach us, but joy is also a great teacher. As for motivating statements, I live in an environment where I am constantly surrounded by posters proclaiming "Success" and "Strength" and "Challenge" and so on. I tend to become bored with such statements and I often ask myself if student even ever read these posters. I think we find our own strength and will inside ourselves, if and when we desire. But, that is just me, I suppose.


  17. Great and inspiring post...well done. And hey, happy 2011.

  18. Of course I do. My mind meanders quite a bit.

    I have a close childhood friend whose husband left her three years ago, she's raising three boys on her own, physically and financially, all the while battling breast cancer. She is a strong woman. In the truest sense of the word.

  19. Sus, Belated wishes for a happy prosperous,successful and healthy 2011 to you and your family and more importantly a year to be filled with such lovely posts.

  20. Exactly right! Sometimes even a strong person feels tired, and nothing is more welcomed and sweet than rest and being able to be all weak, so that he or she can feel someone else's strength.

    I think life is like that. That's why God made people so they could help each other up even though He alone is sufficient to care for his creations.


  21. One of the labels I detest the most given to me is exactly it, "strong". I often feel I am anything but strong. What strong says to me is "those people don't know me, don't know that I cry, that I endure and dont' know how, that I survive difficulties I wish I didn't have to. That I am weak and feel weak and wish sometimes people let me be weak".

    Thought provoking as usual.

  22. Intense thought Susan.
    True while labels do work well for the self-esteem but constantly trying to live up to them can be overwhelming...

  23. Just because a person is labeled strong, it becomes imperative that the person keeps up to the standard of being 'strong' always.

    I could hear myself in you!

    First time here and loving it! :)

    Happy new year to you.

  24. RGB:

    Absolutely, dear RGB. What I think of myself always keeps fluctuating :)


    I liked the way you have remarked: "Joy is also a great teacher." I have never heard anyone say that, dear Nevine. You are quite perceptive and original that way. I so love that in you :)

    Big hugs coated with love and joy back to you.

  25. Blogoratti:

    Thanks for the lovely words :)


    Ofcourse but sometimes it is a burden in disguise.

  26. Angie, Angie, so good to see you here. Your friend is remarkable. I am glad that she is swimming upstream. I wish her the best always.

    Guess Who said:

    Well, I cannot guess for the simple reason that there are no signs to give away your personality. Thanks for the kind words and I wish you the best in this year and always :)

  27. Silver:

    Your words cannot be truer. Big hugs dear Silver.


    I am glad you are with me. As Nevine remarked, the world loves "rags-to-riches stories" but I am not for one of them. I also feel weak and like being that way until I feel all well.
    Hope the days are coming on well :)

  28. Ruchi:

    Overwhelming, YES. How have you been dear Ruchi.


    Welcome here and glad to meet you to meander and reflect. Kindred souls in thoughts!
    I wish you a lovely year as well.

    Joy always :)

  29. Susan

    You pick some deep and profound topics. There is something of a mystery to any beginning of questions -- often they are answerable by looking back over the challenges of our life and perhaps what we observed in others ... living life is both challenging and takes courage , for we not know what awaits us around the next twist and turn of our days, and sometimes we have to dig very deep inside ourselves to get through it. I have witnessed very young children rally with courage that I have seen adults fall apart from. Therefore age and circumstances do not always have anything to do with what is in each person. Not to use up space here - but I worked and volunteered with adults and children who were abused & disabled -- and the stories and actions of some young children with there inner courage and strength of character amazed me.

    cheers and warm hugs to you dear one,

  30. Joanny:

    How well you know the human disposition. Always glad to read a comment from you. Your visits here are much anticipated and appreciated.

    Warm hugs and much love, always.

  31. I consider myself a strong woman, however sometimes I feel tired, weak, and often burst into tears.
    Guessing I am human; aren't I?

    Big hugs!
    B xx

  32. My dearest Susan :)I am doing fine, thank you... Enjoying the winters for now. one of my favourite seasons after rains :D
    How have you been my dear friend?
    Wishing you a thoroughly joyous week ahead!
    take care
    lots of love and hugs

  33. Oh, there is nothing to give me away?
    so let me think of some way
    perhaps my style of commenting may
    help identify me without any delay.

  34. Betty:

    we are strong yet don't hesitate to cry when the going gets a bit out of our hands!



    Guess Who? Govind, who else? I thought it was some secret admirer but it is GOVIND. Govind, who? The same one who rhymes his comments. Now I know. It is that same PRG :)



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