Strength Is Getting In the Water


Eleanor Roosevelt said: “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” 

I really enjoy a cuppa. I don’t mind to make it with my Tassimo or with a mug of steaming water and a tea bag.

I like plain ole Lipton tea, and I like gourmet flavored teas. I like some teas brewed black and others barely darker than the water itself.

It depends on the type of tea I’m drinking.

But regardless of the type of tea leaves I buy, regardless of the product I purchase to make it in, if I never submerse the tea in hot water, the tea leaves will never make tea.

Have you ever been to a conference, or even to work, and heard someone touted as amazing, strong, or unbelievable? Have you ever listened to a list of accolades and thought to yourself, “Well of course! They live a charmed life! If my childhood/background/career/etc. was the same as theirs I’d be amazing, too!”?

Yeah, I have a hard labeling people who haven’t had to fight their way up from the bottom or overcome insurmountable odds as amazing and strong.

How can someone who hasn’t ever been challenged demonstrate strength?

However, I always cheer for the underdog.

You know, the one that steps up to the task and everyone says, “No way. Never gonna happen. They couldn’t do that if their life depended on it.”

And they go to work. 

Strength isn’t always completing the goal. It isn’t always finishing first, winning the prize, getting the promotion, or being invited onto the stage while someone sings your praises.

Strength is getting in the water and making it darker.

Sometimes it barely takes on a pinkish hue, and other times it turns downright black. 

But if you don’t get in the water, don’t tell me how strong you are. 

photo credit: S.C. Asher via photopin cc

17 comments

  • Love the metaphor about the tea! It is so hard to go through challenges but how are we supposed to grow or test who we truly are without going through trials?

    • Thanks for dropping in, Chelsea! I’ve never appreciated the hot water when I was in it, but the best traits I have are direct results of those very situations.

      Please stop in again!!!

  • I agree with Chelsea.

  • Love, love, love this post! “Strength is getting in the water and making it darker”…such great insight and so very true. None of us know what we’re made of or what we can or cannot take until we are tried, tested and put through the fire.

  • This was the whole premise of my memoir. I am phenomenally strong as a result of what I went through and consequently, have helped a multitude of others who are struggling in the same areas. When you are going “through” something — the key point is that you are going THROUGH. You are not going to stay there and you will come out stronger.

    • Carol, I have read the first chapter! Waiting on payday to buy the rest! I can’t wait to read the whole thing!!!

      I like to tell people, if you aren’t in the fire now, you’re probably headed towards one. It’s all part of life.

  • Great metaphor. I’ve always wondered why we as a society admire people who have done well when they’ve been born into privilege and are critical of those who are just getting by when they have had no tools to work with. Those people getting by are sometimes doing an amazing job of survival and are far stronger than the successful who have been handed everything.

    • Anna Maria, Amen! I suppose I’m being judgmental, but it really irks me to see people who haven’t really had to work for something get handed award after award while others rise up from ashes and never get recognized.

      Please stop in to chat again!!!

  • Great post! I’m not always a fan of hot water, but it does show our true colors. Sometimes we are unsure ourselves of our strong we are.

    • Candra,

      Thanks for stopping in to chat! You are absolutely the right! If we get in the water, it will show our true colors. Often we’re stronger than we think, but because we run from the water, we seldom get to find out just how strong we are.

  • Yes! Yes! Yes! And I LOVE that song by Mandisa

  • This is exactly what I needed to read! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 x

    Dropping by via FYBF.

    • Cassandra,

      Thank you so much for dropping by! I’m glad you found something here that spoke to you. Please feel free to stop in and chat with us again any time!!!

  • Excellent read and so very true. I struggle to tolerate those lectures by people who are merely text books of none experience. I still listen because there may be an incidental gold nugget but I’m encouraged most by those who have been in the water and care to share their soaking experience.