To be Strong

I’m often asked, “how are you so strong?”
I can’t say I have this answer all figured out.

I do know that being strong is a choice.
I do know that my emotions do not have to dictate my actions.
I do know that everything we do and how we behave is a choice.

And even though I know all of this, I also know I am human.
And humans have emotions.

I am a human with emotions, a human that gets tired and a human that also fears the loss of life. I am human just like you.

Yesterday, I embraced my human-ness. All of it. I didn’t feel strong. In fact, I wanted to crawl into something, somewhere and not be strong. By early afternoon I realized that my efforts to be effective and productive were going nowhere so instead I chose to walk the 1/4 mile walkway to the beach, enjoy the sunshine and let the cold Pacific Ocean Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 9.35.18 PMtouch my feet. I embraced my emotions and let my tears spill as I listened to the music thru my earbuds. Without thinking I chose the playlist that included Fight Song (Platten), Rise (Perry), How Far I’ll Go (Cara), Stand By You (Platten), Stand in the Light (Smith), and of course Rise Up (Day). The playlist wrapped up with You Raise Me Up (Groban).


There’s a reason I created that playlist many moons ago: because I knew of the emotional roller coaster my life can be at times. The music finished and I laid on my towel pondering where do I go from here? Do I continue to let myself sulk in the reality of Ryan’s situation or give what all of me can give another day?

The challenge is that I know better. I have been thru too many trainings, read too many books and I know the truth.

I know that we ALL have challenges in life and some of these challenges are not going to go away today, tomorrow and probably not any time soon. In my case, Ryan’s health as he overcomes cancer is one that is going to take time. And time requires my patience. We are on a path to give Ryan the best chances of a long healthy life, but only time will truly tell. Yesterday, I had become impatient. Impatience led to an emotional breakdown. It is not that breaking down is a bad thing, after all I am human. But do I have the ability to rise above the breakdown?

How will I respond to my breakdown? How do you respond to your breakdowns?

In life we have a choice every single day. We choose our actions and reactions. We choose how we respond when times are tough and while we don’t need to be strong 100% of the time, we do choose if and when we are strong. We make a choice to be negative and positive. We choose to be loving and hateful. Yes, sometimes it is at a subconscious level, but only for a short time as we are all aware of our behaviors. We do choose. So why not choose what serves us well? The circumstances are as they are, but our response can cause a positive impact versus the opposite. It is our choice.

My choice yesterday was to keep moving forward. I chose to leave the beach, come back to our RV and go to a yoga class for meditation and focus. I already know of a handful of things that aid in my ability to come to center so I go towards them. I believe all of us can find the things that will bring us back to center, bring us out of our breakdowns.

Today, I choose to be centered. I choose to get up, to live, to write and to be.
To be me.
To be Strong.

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 9.53.08 PM

~Caroline Luelf
Live Loved,
Live Free. . . Because YOLO!

One thought on “To be Strong

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