What does strength (Shakti) mean to a bereaved mother?
I believe that strength is a foundational pillar of life on earth. It starts with the birth. Out of a mother's strength and courage a child is born. The child fights against all the odds to take that first breath. We are all born as strong, resilient, sentient beings. Over time, we tend to forget just how strong we really are.
If you get the opportunity to observe small children, you will see clearly that we are innately strong. Children explore the world with curiosity, not fear. They see nothing but possibilities ahead instead of focusing on everything that could go wrong. They don't wait for all the pieces to fall into place to start something new. They just go for it, taking it one step at a time. They are masters at living their lives authentically, in tune with their true nature.
This innate strength and confidence can fade based on our relationship with mistakes and failures. When these mistakes or failures are treated as catastrophic, we become afraid and start doubting ourselves. In some cases we're so afraid of a negative outcome, we stop ourselves from trying. On the flip side, we can also become trapped in the culture of overachieving or keeping up with the Joneses which prevent us from listening to our inner voice and true desires leading to burnout and depression.
Real strength lies in forging our own paths and remaining true to ourselves. Real strength lies in listening to your internal voice and saying no when everyone else is saying yes. Real strength lies in facing our fears, facing the mirror, opening up that heart and being vulnerable. Brené Brown describes it best, being vulnerable means having the courage to show up when you can't control the outcome (I highly recommend watching her talks on netflix or youtube!).
Bob Marley was quoted saying, "You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice". It’s true, I certainly didn't know how strong I was until I found myself giving birth to a sick child and ultimately grieving her loss. I didn't know how strong people could be until I watched my little heart warrior fight to live. When I didn't think I was strong enough to go on, I reached out for support and used affirmations to build that strength back up.
I launched Shakti Art Studios to celebrate the strength of survivors of loss and empower people through art. #Shakti means power, strength & divine energy - all of which I channel in my work. I offer custom illustrations under my Life After Loss series, where I work with grieving clients to process their grief through artwork. For CHD Awareness month, I just launched custom Colouring Activities for kids (see image above). My Affirmations series features my daughter in empowering illustrations for children. Proceeds from all sales go to Sick Kids Foundation in Eesha’s memory. Follow my journey @shaktiartstudios where I strive to share #Eesha’s gifts with the rest of the world.
About the Author: Farhana Hossain, creator of Shakti Art Studios, is a mother to three, raising two children while carrying one in her heart. For more blog posts visit - Words From The Heart
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