Gravitas

grav·i·tas
n.
1. Substance; weightiness.
2. A serious or dignified demeanour.

[Latin gravitas, heaviness, seriousness; see gravity.]

Gravitas was one of the Roman virtues, along with pietas, dignitas and virtus. It may be translated variously as weight, seriousness, and dignity, also importance, and connotes a certain substance or depth of personality.

Because sometimes, all we need to do is to find ground.

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Just when I thought I had finally weathered the storm from the week before last, the tempest picked up strength and blew straight into the previous week, even more relentless and unwavering than the last —— hence my short absence from writing. At this point, I was already spent, exhausted. It was starting to take its toll on me and I wanted to give in to it, simply because I no longer wanted to feel this way. I (thought I) couldn’t cope, and I wanted out —— I wanted the easy way out, so to speak. But there’s a very fine line between not taking the easy way out and fighting for something you deem worth fighting for, and still holding on to and fighting for something that’s not actually worth your time and effort any longer. It’s a very, very fine line. And we tend to overstep the boundaries ever so often without being aware of it.

It had come to the point where I was facing such a dilemma —— to decipher and figure out which side I wanted to stand on, and wonder where the fine line actually was. That being said, it’s all quite subjective (to an extent), when you think about it. At times like these, when facing such powerful adversity of sorts, I searched for something to ground myself. And then it dawned upon me, that I had almost lost sight of a lot of things —— things that actually matter. And at once, I knew what to do. I knew what I wanted to do.

I’ve opened my heart up, to strength, and to vulnerability. I was initially all about being strong and hiding the more vulnerable side to me whenever it came up or revealed itself because I saw it as a sign of weakness. I wanted the world to see that bold, unshakeable confidence and power I had in myself and my capabilities. I am however, still human, and a woman (no further explanation needed) and I do indeed, experience these low bouts at times, consciously or subconsciously. And what I was doing then, was just running away from it all.

But I’ve learnt (as per my previous post) that it’s alright to feel as such, and the beautiful thing about it is that we learn and pick ourselves up after, growing even stronger in the process. This is how I see it now —— by acknowledging my flaws and accepting the humanity in myself, said unshakeable confidence and self-assurance become even more achievable, although there will undeniably be times when we just need to pause, sit back, and recollect. It’s about reassessing and reevaluating my values, which have been questioned, and to a certain extent, compromised, figuring out which works for me and which doesn’t, and thus selecting those which support me, the person I want to be and the places I want to go to. To honour them, live by them, and show integrity above all else. But in this ever-changing world where adaptability is key, do we still hold on to old, established values even if they don’t serve us any longer? As Michelangelo said, every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. I’m still discovering my statue at that —— fingers crossed it looks like a contemporary, modern-day Venus/Aphrodite.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from all this, is to find strength at a challenging time, no matter how dire the circumstances. To allow yourself to rise and conquer, even if it scares the living daylights out of you. In no way is it easy, of course, but you know it’ll be worth every single ounce of effort.

At this very second, disregarding just how rough this fortnight has been and the experiences I had to go through and endure, I am confident. I am self-assured. I feel beautiful, and I feel worth it. This beauty has nothing to do with physicality or aesthetics, but everything to do with the awareness of the opportunities to learn and grow, and taking the initiatives to seize such opportunities. This, is a quiet sense of confidence and self-assurance, as compared to that of a louder, more aggressive (for lack of a better word) stance. It is subtle, much, much more at that, but it is just as powerful, if not more. Because I see and feel the potential and beauty in myself —— in who I am and in who I can be. And it is limitless.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
—— Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Wrapping it up with a picture,

At the heart of the orchid. Because it’s my favourite flower, and because it reminds me of myself.

x

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