When I was a toddler, I used to try to walk through the sliding glass door. Repeatedly. The coffee table was simply an apparition that should bend to my will and allow me passage. Even the bulk of the couch was no match for my will; I assumed that it too could be bested if I tried long enough and hard enough.
As I approached adulthood and learned about the states of matter,I realized that my chances of walking through solids were pretty slim. However, this did little to temper my will and stubbornness. These traits saw me through many challenges in my life; I succeeded because I refused to give up. I worked to make myself stronger, both physically and emotionally to see me through the challenges that life had to offer. I had perseverance and reliance in droves.
It wasn’t enough. At least not for the long run.
My strength got me through the early days and months of my divorce. I looked to my fortitude to help me push through what seemed like insurmountable obstacles.
Then, one day, I realized the external obstacles were gone. All that was left were my interior barriers, and try as I might, I couldn’t simply lower my head and barrel through them. This was not a time for strength.
I found wisdom in the teachings of yoga and meditation, areas that I had been exploring, sensing that they could counter my natural strengths and bring me more into balance. In yoga, you are taught to find your edge, accept your edge, explore your edge (not to pretend it is not there and continue forward nonetheless, as I was wont to do). Pain is not something to be denied, rather it should be acknowledged and investigated. I learned to recognize my edge and slowly, softly shift it. I became more comfortable just being with the pain, softening my attitude towards it. The process of healing from the trauma made me softer, and that in turn made me stronger and more whole.
Strength found its balance in softness. The two together are so much more powerful than each alone. Try as I might, I still can’t walk through furniture, though.