How does she do it?
“I don’t know how she does it, she is so strong”.
Have you ever heard that said? I’ve not only heard it, but I myself have said it about others.
It’s always spoken with a sort of awe that these women are still able to stand, to carry on, to breathe, to have such inner strength. They’ve faced dreadful circumstances, ones that we can’t imagine having to endure ourselves - and if we did, we’re fearful that we would probably die. Maybe they’ve survived some sort of abuse, been diagnosed with an illness, lost of a dear friend or family member, or survived some other sort of tragedy. Yet these are often the women who go on to help others. They become the coaches, the motivational speakers, and the leaders we look up to.
How do they do it?
Growth Through Adversity
Theirs is a strength that sometimes comes from simply going through the adversity. In fact, they are often just like us. They too probably thought they would die, probably even wanted to die at times, when faced with the tragic events unfolding before them. Somehow though, these women made it through the days, the hours, the minutes. When time had passed, and they found themselves still breathing on the other side of intense pain, they probably felt like a miracle had occurred.
The question then became “How did I do it?”.
You see, we are all these women. Perhaps we haven’t been abused or been diagnosed with a life-altering illness, but we have all faced adversity. And adversity makes us grow. It’s like healing from a small paper cut and gaining faith that our bodies can also heal from larger physical wounds. We learn that we can heal emotionally from going through the smaller emotional road bumps in life. Perhaps we found tools during those dark hours that helped us survive, like surrounding ourselves in nature, going for an intense workout, finding a therapist, or relying on close friendships. Because we’ve survived before, we realize that this means we can survive again. Like a muscle that grows from being torn apart during exercise, we grow from the lessons that we go through in life. We become stronger.
The Meaning of my Painting "Roots"
This growth is where I found the inspiration for my painting about strength. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that some of my earlier paintings were of darker emotions. They portrayed a dark time in my journey and the insecure feelings that came from it.
I thought long and hard about what positive emotions came during and after I healed. I realized that I truly did feel stronger, and so was born “Roots”.
In this painting, her eyes are focused intently on a bright future. The branches, almost a part of her, represent reaching out for new goals, and hint at the strong roots she is growing to hold her firm through the storms of life. The flowers portray that she has grown strong enough to bloom, and also portray her femininity as a strength in and of its own. Part of the painting was left “unfinished” to show that she will always be growing, and that this is okay.
Roots is one of a series of four paintings. The other paintings represent 3 other attributes that I feel are often born after a journey through adversity. They are representative of my journey, but I’m pretty sure you will relate. Comment below what characteristics you have gained by going through the difficult times in your life, I’d love to know if they are similar to mine. Your comments will help others feel less alone. They will also help me with my next series, where I plan to explore more stages of inner growth. Make sure to sign up to my newsletter so you don’t miss my next post where I talk about my painting that considers Hope.