Not by strength

The word strength has a number of interesting meanings, both on the street and on the pages of a dictionary. Cambridge dictionary gives several definitions:

1. The ability to do things that need a lot of physical or mental effort.
2. The degree to which something is strong or powerful.
3. A good characteristic.
4. At the best level of ability possible.

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Source: Pixabay free images.

No one wants to be weak; everyone craves to be the strongest in the group. In the past brute strength was all that counted, in present day society brute strength is less appreciated, wits and intelligence quotients, on the other hand, have more significance. It is not hard to understand why; in the past, a vacuum of knowledge existed between man and his immediate environment, the earth seemed like a wide open field in need of a conqueror. Fast forward to today and man has more rhetorical questions, the environment endures him and nature seem in a bid to wrap him up, thus a need to outsmart the system is needed. Regardless of these differences man’s strength hasn’t changed, if anything his need to reconnect with it has become more expedient.

Man is said to compose of a body, spirit and soul, the heart being a literal part of the body, while the mind and the figurative representation of the heart are considered part of the soul. For this article, they would be considered as separate entities. These various components have unique strengths which are manifested in different ways:

The strength of the heart is love: love is defined as a great interest and pleasure in something. The above definition is very apt as it in no way rules out the possibility of love not being returned by the object of our interest or pleasure. It also doesn’t imply that love has no room for reason, balance or correction. It does, however, imply that love is a positive feeling, a desire to be involved or understand the object of one’s affection. The heart grows stronger and broader as it learns to love genuinely.

The strength of the mind is the ability to keep things in perspective: this is a very important strength as the mind has been known to play a lot of tricks on us. Although what we see or perceive from our environment is affects are final interpretation of events, however, situations have been known to turn from bad to better and vice versa depending on the swaying of the mind in the moment. I find this strength the most difficult to cultivate as it requires a lot of patience to harness, but it one mark of a strong character.

Tenderness is the strength of the body: there is something very endearing about a baby held gently in the arms of a muscled adult. Our strength is at its maximum ability when it can be restrained when it is pushed to bend another, but rather bends itself. A lion roaring at full capacity at a mouse isn’t amazing, a lion roaring full capacity at an elephant now that’s different. In essence, it is not enough to have strength but it is a mark of great strength to know which way to lean with your strength.

The strength of the spirit is discernment: this is limited very closely to the strength of the mind. It is very influential to the outcome of the mind; they have to work in sync to produce the best result. A balanced and calm spirit is very important as it is a gateway to more than what we see through sight.

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Source: Pixabay free images

A compassionate soul is an endearing one: the ability to feel empathy, to share someone’s pain, joy, anger is a deep trait. A strong soul isn’t one hardened to the reality of everyday life, but one that is able to detect the ever wavering invisible signals weaved between people like a spiders web, easy to break, easy to strengthen.

And the strength of humanity is the ability to endure, to overcome, to outlast its opposition. This last strength pulls all the others together to produce remarkable men and women throughout history. Examples abound of lowly men and women who saved families, aristocrats, men of great societal standing from the world that sort to destroy them. A clear example that strength from without is of no value in the face of true opposition. Women and men who rallied troops into battle, but never feared to kneel literally and figuratively before another as some battles are won by a restraining of strength. Thus it is safe to say that whatever eras we find ourselves in these strengths are the only things that will sustain humanity.

Fearless/fearful

I am not fearless, but I am also not fearful.

Either extremes can have dire or triumphant outcomes

depending on what tune the piper plays.

For me it’s a case of half-full, half-empty.

I try not to let either scenario blind me,

or overshadow my judgement.

Well that’s what I try to do most times.

Which is why I haven’t authoritatively said be fearless or fearful

‘Cos tomorrow might present a crippling nightmare 

which might make me shrivel in fear, turning these words against me.

But courage makes me stand up and write them anyways perhaps they might

rouse me from the crippling grips of unknown nightmares hanging in the wings.


Daily post – fearless.

Four in a ship.

One for youth,

Two for growth,

Three and four for comfort.

One for love,

Two for loyalty,

Three and four for light heartedness, bringing sunshine to gloomy days.

My friends and I sail through life on a ship built from trials and triumph.

Like the time Mimi’s parents got divorced, we spent the night camping in her back garden to drive the sadness out of the house, leaving only happy thoughts for the future. I think it really worked.

Or when Molly’s puppy got lost we searched for days, made flyers on Jasmines’ computer, searched the entire neighbourhood for days. We didn’t find him, but we did put our piggy bank savings together and got her a puppy from the pet zoo for Christmas.

Today we mourn my loss: three beautiful babies who never saw the light of day. Then we dance, wave our hands in the air as we celebrate the little one who finally stayed with me, with us.

Her name is Alva … a wise friend, nurtured by friends, birthed by friends.


In response to the writing challenge flash fiction for aspiring writers hosted by Priceless Joy click on the link to visit the blog. The photograph was provided by etol bagam and the challenge is to write a 100 – 150 words (+/- 25 words) story inspired by it. Do click on the link for other stories.

Written for Nablopomo day twenty-four.

Thank you for stopping by.

Feet don’t lie.

unnamedA persons face might belie their age, but their feet will surely tell you tales. The scabs on my heels and toes: they tell the story of a school girl who couldn’t afford to buy shoes to fit her ever growing feet. My youth was marked by second-hand and hand-me-down shoes which squeezed my feet into unimaginable shapes, leaving them constantly smelling like damp sweaty socks.

The speed at which they move is a testament to hours of practice scurrying around accomplishing numerous errands after school. Oh, the miles my young feet trudged just to ensure I had a meal and roof over my head each night. Cleaning here, dusting there: escaping a beating here, delivering a message there. But my feet never ran faster than when they took me miles away from the vile spawn of my master as he tried to touch my nether regions. I might have been an orphan but I wasn’t going to be the receptacle of an atrocious swine’s seed.

It was the strength and balance in my feet that kept me through dark lonely days on the street begging for food, slaving away for a penny in dark mines and launderettes. And it is their patience and stamina that has brought me before you today: humbled by the scars that my feet have endured, but confident in their ability to survive whatever lies ahead.

So before you desire a walk in my Walter Steiger or Christian Louboutin shoes remember to take a walk in the thread bare sandals that saw me through my first year. No, my face might not tell you all, but my feet will never lie, welcome to the beginning of the first year to the rest of your life.


In response to the creative writing ink prompt, click on the picture to take part.

Safe haven.

In response to Authors B Mazing writing challenge #10

He looked in her eyes. He could see the sparkle in them, something that always had fascinated him. She had the most beautiful eyes, eyes that seemed like windows to her soul. No matter what he felt, when he looked in her eyes, he immediately relaxed. She smiled at him and he had to smile as well. What a wonderful person she was. Smart, strong, loving and so so pretty. They hugged and again he felt her love, the warmth. A feeling he got whenever they hugged. It was strange, but she made him feel safe. How could she make him feel safe? He was supposed to make her feel safe.

She knew all his secrets and had never betrayed him. In a world filled with strangers who wanted more from him than he could give, he felt most lucky to have someone who accepted him the way he was. He could rely on her to make him feel better any time, like after a meeting with the boss yesterday. The meeting had gone on for a complete a whole tiring hour. Through the entire time the boss kept asking him questions

“Did he like it here?”

“How did he find his new colleagues?”

“Was he making any new progress?”

The boss was trying so hard to evaluate his adjustment to the new changes, it felt more like torture all he wanted was to return to her. When the meeting ended the boss and other senior colleagues discussed him like he wasn’t there, how rude right?! Some day he would let them know exactly how he felt about their behaviour. Right now he was just happy to return to his safe haven wrapped in a bear hug with teddy, the brown-eyed bear mum had given him when she dropped him off in this dark hole called an asylum.

One day at a time

I pray the lord my soul to keep,

my spirit to strengthen,

 my mind to revive,

 my body to restore,

I pray the Lord, O I pray…..

And then

I praise the Lord my hope for peace,

my hope for valour,

my hope for lucidity,

 my hope for health,

I praise the Lord, O I praise…

And when the ‘morrow comes

I lift my voice anew

One day at a time.

Written by Chioma I.N