You’re Strong (And Other Things I Know About You)

If you are reading this, chances are good I don’t actually know you—as in, we’ve never shaken hands, never talked face-to-face.

But still, I feel like I know you.

you-are-strong
Photo Credit: Jesse757, Creative Commons

I think about you often (in a completely not creepy way), and when I think about you, I realize: While I don’t know you, I do know some things about you. Chances are you know these things about you, too. It’s just they’re easy to forget.

You are stronger than you think you are.

You are. It’s true. When you get tired and run down, it’s easy to lose sight of this. It’s easy to think you’re weak and you don’t have what it takes. But that’s not true.

You are stronger than you think you are.

The first time I learned this about myself was when I ran a marathon a few years ago. It was a completely illogical decision. I had never run more than a mile in my life. But someone threw out the suggestion, and in the heat of the moment it seemed kind of glamorous and totally badass.

And of course I wanted to be glamorous and badass.

But instead of making me feel that way, training for that race made me feel like I was completely unfit for such a task. I would look at the length of a run I was supposed to complete (14 miles) and think, “there is no way I could possibly run that far,” or another runner would fly past me while I was running, and I would think to myself:

I’m a hot mess.

I can’t breath. My hair is everywhere. And while that runner is streaming past me like a gazelle in the wild, I’m clomping along like a clydesdale.

Maybe I wasn’t made for this race. Maybe I’m not fit to run it.

But then, at mile 23 of the marathon itself, when I was quite certain the cramping in my legs would prevent me from finishing, my husband whispered to me: You’re stronger than you think you are. And you know what? He was right. I crossed that finish line.

And if he was right about me then, chances are I’m right about you now.

You’re stronger than you think you are. Even when you’re hair is everywhere. Even when you feel like a hot mess. Even when it seems like everyone else has it more “together” than you do. In fact, especially in those moments.

You’re stronger than you think you are.

You belong.

It might not seem like you have a place to belong, but you do. Sometimes we have to uncover our space, or discover it, or carve it out—which can be tricky to do without stepping on the toes of others, without accidentally taking up someone else’s space (when we occupy the space another was designed to occupy, we miss the peace of fitting in our own space, the one that was designed uniquely for us).

It’s a balancing act. But there is room for you. In your career. In your family. In your church. In your community.

You just have to find it.

You don’t have to fight for it, you don’t have to be sly about it, you don’t have to compete for it. It’s already yours. You own it. You just have to discover where it is and live into it as you grow into the most beautiful version of yourself.

It’s not always comfortable or easy, but it’s a dance. Don’t stop dancing—but do stop fighting to prove you belong.

You have nothing to prove. You belong.

You are incredibly, uniquely gifted.

It’s amazing what you can do—sing, write, build, create, be kind to people, serve, love, invite, cultivate, captivate, grow. And what’s even more amazing is that you can do these things in such a way that nobody else can. Nobody. What you do is beautiful, beautiful in a way no one else in the world is.

You are incredibly, uniquely gifted.

It is so easy to forget this, isn’t it? It is so easy for our gifts to become old hat. If I could have any talent in the world—if I were just picking—I wish I could sing. In fact, sometimes, when I’m home by myself, I open my mouth and pretend like what happens next is anything remotely resembling the word beautiful.

But it’s not (take my word for it).

I’ve been gifted in other ways. It’s just so easy to think someone else’s gifts would be more glamorous, more useful, or more exciting than my own.

To be clear, I don’t ever plan to stop singing at the top of my lungs when I’m alone (I might even keep pretending it sounds good) but I do plan to stop wishing away my gifts, stop assuming someone else’s gifts would be more impressive than my own.

I, like you, am uniquely and incredibly gifted.

Instead of resenting your gifts, or wishing you had different ones, invest completely and wholeheartedly in the ones you’ve been given. Embrace opportunities. Grow your talent. Master your craft. Take every chance to serve people, and to celebrate the gifts of others.

You are incredibly, uniquely gifted.

Yes, You.

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Allison Fallon

I write books. I help people write books. I believe a regular practice of writing can change your life.

42 thoughts on “You’re Strong (And Other Things I Know About You)”

  1. Hi Sweetie,

    This was wonderfully and beautifully said.
    Thank You for your gifted words.
    It took me a long time to except who I am. I had so many tell me that I was ugly, and I would not make it in this world.

    I was put down and let down for many years, and my picture of my self was so low.
    I had to look and search my inner self, and start telling
    myself that I am wonderfully created by our Heavenly
    Father who loves me like no other.

    Now I can look in the mirror and tell my self that I do belong.
    That I can do all things through Christ.
    Live my special life to the end with goodness and kindness
    and a lot of love for others.

    It took a lot of years of help from going to therapy.
    Had to start out with baby steps, But! I did it.
    Now when I do something I tell myself I can do it and not
    give up on my gifts that God gave me.

    I enjoy all your amazing peace of art, you had touch my
    heart many of time with your stories.

    I just want to say thank you, God Bless You today
    and every day.
    {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}} ( Loretta )

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