When I think of a Soul Strong, it is so easy to think of Gloria Gaynor’s song “I will Survive”. Yet for me I define the Soul Strong as tenacity, strength, determination, perseverance, self-love and loyalty to the self. I look back at a kid who said “I will Survive and stay Strong” over and over even when the words could still not be vocalized. Innately my Soul knew to fight premature birth, abandonment of a father at a very early age, starvation and living below poverty level; living in the inner city and being bullied; and an alcoholic step father that was terribly abusive – physically and emotionally. Growing up in the streets always looking over Soul withstood.
Where did that will to stay Strong, Survive and thrive come from? I suppose it is a gift from a power greater than myself. It was God’s gift to me. It was God’s way of saying I mattered. I had an ability to dig deep to find this reserve of Strength to Survive whatever came my way. Fighting to make it to the top in the business world; growing up only to end up in divorce raising two daughters in the midst of such turmoil and illness; the trials of divorce and raising a granddaughter. Somehow I have stayed Soul Strong. It knows to laugh at trials and tell them they will not win, I will, because my Soul will not settle for anything less than the best. No, no, my soul is willing to fight for the loving, for grace to accept what is and to take every experience and choose to see it as a learning experience-an opportunity to grow, heal and learn.
To know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she who is Soul Strong represents herself as a beautiful representation of all that life throws her way and yet she kicks ass!
– Alice Avila