This past week, I received several reader questions in my email. One arrived early in the week, but I had to ponder my answer all week long….she wrote, “You often refer to your desire to communicate strength with your clothing. What exactly does not mean to you?”
First, my definition of STRENGTH. The majority of the women I consider to be strong are of all ages. Most of been through trials and very tough challenges. I actually believe everyone goes through their own tough times…I think it is a guarantee of life in this world. How we handle it and how we persevere afterwards determines our strength.
One of my former students went to have her gall bladder checked when she was a sophomore in college. She left with a diagnosis of leukemia. But, at 22, she is one of the strongest women I know. Hopefully, Friday was her last chemotherapy treatment. She now works for LIVE STRONG and writes a blog for the Huffington Post. She is resilient, brave, and so beautiful.
One of the definitions I found, defined strength with these words and phrases, “ Respect, perseverance, resolve, stand firm, strengthen the gifts, mitigate the weaknesses, true to yourself, helpful to others, doing what is right, doing what is hard, steadfast, accepts responsibility for who and what you have become.”
Fashion designer, Diane Von Furstenberg, begins her new book, The Woman I Wanted to Be, (affiliate link) with a tribute to her mother’s strength after she survived the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Ravensbruck as a young girl. She writes, “I repeat a few of the lessons my mother drummed into me that have served me well….
FEAR IS NOT AN OPTION.
DON’T DWELL ON THE DARK SIDE OF THINGS, BUT LOOK FOR THE LIGHT AND BUILD AROUND IT.
IF ONE DOOR CLOSES LOOK FOR ANOTHER ONE TO OPEN.
NEVER EVER BLAME OTHERS FOR WHAT BEFALLS YOU, NO MATTER HOW HORRIBLE IT MIGHT BE.
TRUST YOU, AND ONLY YOU, TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN LIFE.
She lived those lessons, in spite of what she endured. She never wanted others to feel that she was a victim.” I am beginning to understand why DVF fashion communicates strength with many of her designs.
For me, strength says, “I am hopeful. I am educated. I will not buckle under pressure. I will not receive unreasonable attacks on me, but I will be teachable and open to hear reasonable criticisms. I have the courage to set boundaries and live within them. I know who I am.”
So, how do you define strength? Let’s get our definitions on the table and then, next week, we will discuss how to communicate strength with our fashion!
Have a joyful November week, everyone. Thank you for reading and stopping by THE JOY BOUTIQUE! I am so honored that some of you have spent a year at our table!