Beauty in Strength

January 6, 2015

“I am strong because I’ve been weak.  
I am fearless, because I’ve been afraid.  
I am wise, because I’ve been foolish.”
– Ritu Ghatourey
Conflict or Pain can hurt me deeply, regardless if I am directly involved or not.  I do not like it at all.   I would rather connect with people, give lovely facials, light candles, arrange little bouquets from my garden, and wash my dishes with Mrs. Meyers geranium scented soap.  I prefer  to be tender and open.  However, through the years I have had to learn that when conflict or pain comes knocking at my door, it’s time to lean in.  I don’t pretend it is not there.  I don’t run away.  I don’t sugar coat it;  like my Dad once said, that’s just like holding a grenade and saying ‘Gosh, I hope everything turns out ok’.   But in the process of doing so, staying true to my  tender nature yet embracing my strength takes  practice and I know very few people who do this well.  This kind of grace quietly attracts respect.  It’s not loud or childish.   It feels like a calling to be better not only through monumental life experiences but also  through  the quiet, simple moments  which can cultivate some of the deepest meaning in our lives. It sounds like a poignant whisper and feels like a perfect rhythm.   To be this way when things in life are going well is lovely,  but to be this way when things in life are painful  is entirely different.  It is a noble form of Beauty, and something I hope someday to possess. 

While having lunch with a friend, she said something that gave me pause.   “You are tough.  I don’t think people realize what a tough girl  you  are because you are generally so sweet.”    I suppose since I was little,  I have always had a hard time being sort of fiery while balancing being  good.  My parents use to tell me I “would push the limits” and would often get into trouble…definitely more than my sister.   As I became older I would sometimes try to hide this part of myself because I was afraid it wasn’t pretty ~ something I should try to conceal in order to remain  a “good girl”.  Dim my strength so as not to be too much for others in fear of scaring them away or worse yet, (gasp) have them think or say something bad about me.  (Oh the horror!)  But that never worked. I would feel trapped and resentful.  Besides, I have accepted the simple truth that sometimes people come and people go ~ but never can they take with them my capacity to love or to live a beautiful life.  In fact, the absence of another has at times served me quite well and I recognize the divine design of this plan later down the road.  Love  remains  an imprint on my life and moves me forward to the next place that I am suppose to be.  Blocking that truth  is foolish and  I am not easily fooled when it comes to matters of the heart.

Experiencing conflict or pain does not scare me.  It is not having my strength to move  through them that does.

Emotional pain is real  and  most of all temporary therefore  nothing to be afraid of.  It is  part of the sacred order in life and pays me a visit every so often in order to show me once again  that should I accept what is,  I will rise above.  I am  not implying that it feels good. In fact, it can feel pretty awful.  But something happens when  I come out on the other side… I sense a larger vastness inside of myself.  I question my negative thoughts more.  I feel more free. My sense of what is  beautiful goes deeper.  Not to say life becomes like the land of rainbows and unicorns because Ugly still tries to visit in the company of  its’ annoying side-kick,   Hideous.  And I am reminded that all the Ugly and all the Beauty will always exist in this life sometimes even side-by-side.  But Beauty is a force ~ even sometimes stronger and more resilient than human love.

I really don’t know a lot but one thing I do know  is that I am starting to look at what it means to be strong differently….Strength is looking at pain straight in the eyes and asking it straight-up what it came to teach…it  is feeling pain and transforming it into something full of so much light  that people feel it from you when you enter the room…it’s using wisdom when choosing who to be vulnerable with….it’s not believing all the negative thoughts and sad stories we make up about ourselves and others.  Real strength breaths life into vulnerability which is not a place of weakness.  It is a place of power and a force so real it shakes things up inside and forces the lies to leave so Truth, Light, and Beauty may enter.

I believe that it takes tremendous strength to allow all the dark places and pain from inside to be revealed.  Those dark places we try to hide were usually created because we believed a bunch of  lies in the first place.  But  to me strength isn’t about hiding those places.  Strength is understanding that light not only wants to shine on light. It also looks to shine on  darkness that aches to be released,  freeing us to not just  survive with occasional moments of Love and Beauty, but to thrive in a Beautiful Life fully rooted in Love.  If I am  strong and  open just long enough,  there is a force so powerful that fearlessly enters to trump the darkness in the most profound way.  And that to me,  is seriously  Bad-Ass.

In Knowledge, Beauty, & Love…


Julie Lampros





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