Emotional strength

Natalie Bejarano-Dugarte, Staff Writer

“You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

      That adage always seems to pop in my head at my most troublesome times, but it never really gets me through.

      I want to talk about a virtue that to a lot of people seem to have trouble accessing: emotional strength.  Emotional strength is something that we seem to need more of.  Society has taught us, in a sense, not to let our feelings get the best of us. But, is this a good thing? Yes.

      I’ve been talking to a few friends now that have been going through rather difficult times, enduring challenges in ways they never thought they could handle. I get calls in the wee hours of the morning from a friend who lost her mother to brain cancer, a friend whose boyfriend just broke up with her after three years – you name it.

      It goes without saying however, that no pain is lesser than another.  It all feels the same and gets processed by the brain as legitimate physical pain.

      What I’ve learned through the years, and continue to learn today, is that we can’t control what happens to us.

      Situations come into our lives at a certain time to teach us lessons. Things may break us, split our hearts in two and leave us with deep emotional wounds that are difficult to mend, but that doesn’t mean the world is over.

      Emotional strength is about being able to look at your problems in a way that benefits you, helps you grow and maintain perspective.

      Some things are inevitable, but ultimately you have the power to look at a situation in a different light and grow as a completely new person.

      Nothing in life can ever hurt you without your permission.  Yet, we’re human, and we have emotions that need to be felt.  It’s okay to allow yourself to feel from time to time.

      In fact, I believe it’s perfectly okay to retreat from the world for a bit and give yourself time to gather a new perspective.

      Resilience comes through patience and faith, faith in yourself and the knowledge that you’re only human.

            Always remember that you have the power to choose happiness in your life and recover from whatever may be upsetting you.  Nothing lasts forever, and challenges do indeed make us all stronger.