Anna Luz de Leon and #Mygreateststrength. No more words needed, right? Because Anna is one of the most wonderful, strongest and inspiring people I know. Her powerful writing, always ruthlessly honest, always straight to the point and yet so tenderly, loving and emotional that I’ve been in tears more than one time while reading her posts. And her answer to my question about her greatest strength is, of course, honest, awakening and wonderful. Just Anna.
“This may sound a bit emotive, but I believe my greatest strenght is love. I dont say “capacity for love” intentionally, because that doesn´t go far enough and would only apply to me.
I was lucky enough to be a beloved child since my birth, loved by parents and siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, wrapped up in this love no matter what happened. This doesnt mean that my childhood and growing up were always easy. There were, as in every life, many ups and downs in my life, many fears, obstacles and painful experiences. But I´m truly satisfied that the love that has surrounded me always got me through the crises and conflicts inside and outside the family. “I don’t like everything what you do and I don’t make the same decisions, but I love you. You are wonderful.” That was the mantra of my family and now it is mine in dealing with my own children.
This kind of generous love which also includes mistakes, weaknesses and fears, a love that means the whole ME and not just the part that is „lovable“ for my counterpart, is my ideal way. This is how I was loved, this is how I love and that doesn´t include only my family and friends. And it applies not only to the romantic or familial relationships between two people. It is a way of life.
To me this concept of love is my greatest strength, because I´ve made the experience that it´s the only thing that carries us through when everything else fails. All good feelings we humans are capable of are based on love, be it compassion, joy, benevolence, tenderness or generosity. And when I´m facing something difficult and I know that I´m in danger of plunging into darkness, for example at the death of a loved one, in a separation or in the experience of personal betrayal, I rely on this love. Of course it hurts to think of the love I´m going to miss when I need to let go of someone, but it also gives me strength to know that I had this love. In a way, nobody can ever take this away from me: The experience to be loved and to love. That love is inside me forever, it has shaped my character and left indelible marks.
I´m sure that someone who lives this concept of love has the ability to forgive, to hope and to achieve great peace within herself. It´s not always the easiest way, because often anger or fear is the immediate reaction to the things that happen to us in life. And that is perfectly okay. My personal strength, however, is to get back to love. Knowing that this is what I have to give and it’s bigger than hate, fear, anger or any other negative feeling. To know that I can go back to this inner peace, to rest and in some way also to a sense of superiority. Not against another human being of course, but against the negative feelings that make my heart and life weary if I dont oppose them. Sounds religious to you? Maybe it is. But for me, love is always the answer. Or as said by Martin Luther King Jr: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Cover photo of Anna Luz de Leon: Malina Ebert Fotografie
This post is also available in: German