We all have a warrior within. And we’ve all been there when she is out of balance.
You’re triggered by something that feels like an attack, either on you or on something you love, and the walls come down, the sword comes out, the fierce fighter mode kicks in, and you’re ready to fight.
Many of us have this problem where the warrior within comes out and won’t go back in.
So we harden our hearts, we push people away, and we’re afraid to love too deeply, even those closest to us.
Then there’s the opposite issue.
You feel weak, vulnerable, you soft and gushy side is always exposed, and you feel like all you do is get hurt. You’re so loving and so helpful that you get taken advantage of all the time.
Either way, you need to work on what it means to heal, and what it means to be strong. First, understand what is happening inside you.
Next, put some practices into place. Finally, keep your healing stones for strength with you to draw on for power and reminders.
What Is Strength?
My problem was the first one.
My warrior woman inside was the part of myself that I identified with the most.
After years of a traumatic childhood and then growing up embracing the side of me the protects, I almost could not differentiate between my whole self, my most divine loving person, and this warrior.
The warrior inside is not bad, per se, it is just that her job is to protect, by any means necessary. She keeps you safe. By any means necessary.
And when given too much reign, she becomes overpowering, aggressive, and hard. She can be hurtful and even spiteful all out of a sense of protecting you.
And we mistake all of this for strength.
People will say all the time, “oh, you’re so strong. I wish I was like you.”
No, this is not strength. This is pain manifesting as hardness. There is a difference.
To be strong means to be confident and secure in yourself, to be able to love openly and to trust openly, to help others and allow yourself to be helped.
It also means to have firm boundaries and walk away when you need to, with love and grace in your heart. You are compassionate but not a pushover.
A strong person stands tall with her head up and her shoulders back but also with her heart open, curious, engaged, and invested in her purpose.
It’s that favorite expression of mine: “do no harm but take no shit.”
Most of us in the world fall to one side or the other of this balanced strength, either far too vulnerable or far too closed off.
There is great healing to do in this world.
Find Your Balance
One of the best things you can do if you are seeking strength, either to grow more soft or to grow more firm, is to remember that it is about finding balance.
If you give in too often, feel yourself taken advantage of, find yourself abused, used, and mistreated, practice saying “no.”
That’s it. Hard stop. No explanations. No justifications.
Why? They ask.
“Because I don’t want to.” You answer.
You do not have to explain yourself to anyone.
You do not owe anyone anything, and no one owes anything to you. You can, and should, say no more often.
It is the beginning of self-empowerment and learning to draw firm boundaries.
Just the act of saying no and discovering that the world will not cave in as a result will give you an instant hit of strength.
You will feel a bit more healed with each no you express and stand by.
Conversely, if you, like me, have fully become the warrior within, ease back little by little by saying “yes” more often.
“Yes. Sure. Why not?”
Give in a bit. Soften up a bit.
It’s hard. Literally hard.
Saying yes does not come easy to those of us conditioned to protect and shut down. “No” becomes an automatic reflex. But try it.
It gets easier when you practice, and you will find yourself healing a little at a time, softening a little at a time, finding joy in the little yesses and imagining more and more what is truly possible when you find real strength and not hard edged, out of balance strength.
Practice, Play, Experiment
The goal here, remember, is to find balance. You will likely find yourself, at first, veering from one extreme to the other, first going too hard, then going too soft.
If you’re working on softening, you might cry. A lot. Like a really lot. It will scare you, this softening.
It’s okay. It’s all part of the process.
If you’re growing firmer, you may find people leaving your life because you hold boundaries, because you dare to say no when you always said yes.
You’ve heard the expression, “those who get angry when you have boundaries are those who benefitted from you not having any.”
If people leave because you have boundaries, let them go.
The new, stronger, healed you will find your people. The people who love the you with firm boundaries and an open heart.
Internal Family Systems: Healing Strength
For many, many years, I have had the theory that all of us have multiple personalities within us. Different aspects of ourselves come out depending on the situation.
Kind of like that Pixar movie Inside Out, only multiplied by a factor of ten.
There’s the joyful you, the angry you, the sad you, the protector, the lover, the mother, the child, and so on and so on.
Recently, I discovered there is an actual movement, a therapy, that has embraced this theory. It is called IFS, which stands for Internal Family Systems.
An amazing speaker and author, Gabrielle Bernstein, brought it to my attention in a podcast with the brilliant and hilarious Russel Brand.
The idea with IFS is just like I said above – we have many parts to us, and all are valuable, all have their place. We get in trouble when we let one part do all the decision making.
IFS therapy teaches you to integrate and value all the parts of yourself and put your CEO, that’s your most divine loving self, in charge of them all.
When we are fully integrated, we have become our healed, strong self. I would argue that virtually every person on the planet could use some IFS therapy.
5 Healing Stones for Strength
To support your therapy and your practice, it is helpful to have your healing stones for strength with you. To remind yourself of what it means to be strong, have a necklace, a crystal bracelet, a stone in your pocket, that you keep with you.
Being strong is hard, and we can use all the help we can get. Stones are great reminders of just how powerful we are, and that yes, we can, even when we think we can’t.
The bloodstone will remind you to be brave. It is not easy to change, whichever way you are swinging on the pendulum of hard and soft, and this stone helps keep you resilient as you try and fail and get back up to try again.
The queen of strength, this stone empowers you to go after what you want. Keep pushing, moving forward, and trusting that if you can want it, you can have it.
One of my personal favorites, citrine is a positive strength. It keeps you aware of all the good that can come from a life lived in your own personal power.
Only you know what “strength” means to you, and Lapis Lazuli help you find that part of yourself. It is a constant reminder to focus on your inner spiritual power and to really get to know the you that perhaps you have not seen in a very long time. For healing strength, keep a lapis lazuli with you at all times.
It can be earth shattering and nerve racking to destabilize yourself while finding healing strength. It can throw your entire nervous system out of balance, send you into panic attacks, and freak you out. Selenite is a reminder that this is all part of the process. It reminds you to get clear, stay positive, and be gentle with yourself. You are readjusting to a new version of yourself.
Will crystals help you be okay?
And of course, if you have read my advice on crystals at all, you know I recommend always having a clear quartz with you, no matter what your focus, because this stone will help you stay clear on what your focus actually is. It will also amplify the power of the other stones you are working with.
So get clear, put your practice into place, and keep your stones with you.
And remember to be gentle with yourself. Healing is not for the faint of heart, and learning to be authentically strong is… well, not for the weak.
You’ve got this!