Strength vs Flexibility. This is an interesting one, in that I need to start firmly differentiating between these traits. What do I mean? Well, I do know that there is a large dose of strength that’s required to be flexible in life. Only the weak and frightened cling to the controlled rigidity of unhealthy, outdated paradigms, maniacal eating habits, Nazi like schedules and regimens etc. There must be baseline seeds of courage to try new things, embrace new ideas, and welcome change. Inner strength and confidence is needed to know you won’t fall apart by not being able to predict and control the outcomes of life, be they minor or major. To stay safe isn’t very strong; that’s what keeps us in our shadows. Scary conversations, inviting new people into our carefully constructed lives, displaying vulnerability, and the big one; BEING WRONG. We avoid feeling uncomfortable by living life according to the familiar sensory experiences that we have always expected. At this stage in my life, a time where I’ve built up so much inner strength, I have indeed naturally adopted increased flexibility too. I feel strong therefore I can be adaptable, riding out the waves of life. I’m much less afraid to fall, knowing how resilient I’ve become. My mind is open and I’m embracing new ideas. I’m not judging the stories surrounding others nearly as much, and am understanding that anything is possible. That people make mistakes. That new chapters and belief systems are attainable to us all. That’s it’s admirable and brave to work on ourselves and steer the ship in a new direction. Strength and flexibility have become interchangeable badges of honor for me. But alas, they are not the same at all.
Recently I allowed (subconsciously) certain patterned situations into my life that cannot continue. I’m so trusting in what the Universe places in front of me, and so I’ve “gone with the flow” too readily, often without slowing down to calmly observe the facts. I’m flexible, right?? What I’ve learned is this; just because something or someone is placed in your path, this does not mean you have to pick it/them up. Maybe an opportunity has arrived as a test to see just how ready we are to level up. Do we rise above our instinct to be flexible and instead use caution and rationale? Do we focus on keeping an open heart while simultaneously maintaining healthy boundaries to protect ourselves? Do we learn that being flexible doesn’t mean we have to dive head first into any situation, simply because it’s new and it is “new” that we want? Do we realize that strength means saying no, and that perhaps another variation of weakness is the inability to keep ourselves untangled from other peoples’ issues? I’ve been writing a lot about adaptability, which is a trait governed by the water chakra. But I’m thinking I might be a bit unbalanced in that area. It needs some tending. By welcoming too much adaptability into my life lately, I haven’t been acting very strong; I’ve been too permeable and therefore, not very strong. There’s such a thing as being too flexible. That’s when it crosses a line into foolishness. Yes, true strength is required to say yes to life. But it’s also required to say no. No to bad ideas. No to stagnancy. No to old narratives and familiar bullshit. No to the old versions of ourselves that each of us keep bringing into new chapters. Strength is walking away without the pressure of having to keep molding and bending ourselves just because another asks us too, however sweetly. To be strong is to be self aware, and to make choices in the very best interest of self care. To know where we need to go. To forgive ourselves for being too permeable and for letting others slip past the gates. We are the security guards at the booth at the entrance to our lives; if we slack off then the riff raff sneaks in. Strength is being on guard while asking lots of questions before opening the gate. You wouldn’t let strangers into your home, so why in the interest of flexibility would we allow them into our lives? Yes, when we are strong we are equipped to embrace change. Firm roots yield beautiful, outstretched branches. A solid foundation won’t get knocked over by fierce winds. This is all true. But being strong also requires knowing how and when to choose to embrace change. Certain waves of life are coming for us no matter what. We will not want or ask for most of what life throws at us, but deal with it we must. However, there are other waves in which we do get to decide whether or not we are going to run into the surf. Strength is knowing when to stay put on the shore, enjoy your quiet time, feel the earth beneath you, and embrace stillness. To be strong is to be patient, while being flexible about our preconceived notions for how life is meant to be. I am both. I can be both. I will be both.