Recognizing the weight you’re carrying.

It’s a word you hear when someone’s going through a hard time, when they’ve lost something they can’t get back, or when they’re overcoming an obstacle that’s testing their will. The word is used for encouragement, to reassure someone that they have the strength and willpower to defeat the pressure. Strength is associated with weight, and often times we fail to recognize that weight is carried in so many other forms apart from a dumbbell or a cast plate.

Weight comes in the form of people, in the form of things, in the form of experiences, and in the form of memories. It is a dynamic constant that’s present in every person’s life, presenting itself in new ways each and every day. What most of us fail to understand is that our weight cannot be compared to another’s. In some cases, we even fail to acknowledge our own weight.

The most important step in lifting the weight is acknowledging it. Today, I acknowledged my weight and I overcame it. I allowed myself to cry. I looked at a picture of a memory I will never be able to recreate. I listened to a voicemail from a person I can no longer hold a conversation with. I played a song on repeat for 45 minutes because it reminded me of a loved one. I smiled at an accomplishment that I knew he would be proud of.

By definition, today I was the opposite of “strong.” I didn’t hit a max squat or deadlift 150 pounds. But, in my book, I lifted a much heavier weight. I acknowledged a factor of both stress and sadness that I carry daily.

The true meaning of “strong” is different for everyone. Even though it’s on your shoulders, don’t look down upon your weight or the weight of anyone else. Acknowledge the fact that everyone is fighting a battle you know very little about.

Today, I’m challenging you to identify what it is that keeps you up at night. Face it directly. Figure out what it is you need to do to overcome it. Remember – your “strong” isn’t the same as your friend’s, as your neighbor’s, as your colleague’s, or even your sibling’s. Acknowledge it first and consider it second – yesterday you were strong. Today you are strong. Tomorrow you will be stronger.

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