Strength is a really weird thing. We might associate it with muscles, force, being emphatic, structural immovability… these are certainly traditional associations. But, equally, a person can show themselves to be strong by putting away their traditional power; by respecting consent; by choosing not to respond emphatically; and by allowing structures to move.
Just as the clouds move around the sky, changing shape, so the good and bad things in our lives do the same. Tomorrow is never the same as yesterday. If we always think of strength as the preservation of shape, then we will not be able to join the clouds in their changes, and we will make the mistake of fighting the world too much.
Loss does affect us. How can it not? We are human, and our minds have a big job to do every time life changes. But, equally, every time life changes, we have a chance to learn and grow with it. Sometimes loving adaptation, rather than force, works better. Sometimes patience, rather than anger, works better. Sometimes kindness, rather than demands, work better.
Am I strong? If I am, then how am I strong?
Perhaps today I can be a strong warrior by putting my sword away. Perhaps today I can be strong in honour by respecting others’ consent. Perhaps today I can be strong in speech by remaining gentle. Perhaps today I can be strong in integrity by accepting change.
Perhaps I can be strong in patience, strong in kindness. Yes, perhaps, instead of using anger and demands, which are such unsubtle tools, I can use patience and kindness as the subtlest of tools.