Jean Valjean, the main character in Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”, is someone of immense physical strength. But more than that, though he previously had not had the space to fully connect to it, he is one of immense moral strength. After being shown compassion and mercy in light of actions taken at his worst, he struggled up from the dredges of society, assisting all those around him to do the same.
But throughout the story, he does so under a number of different aliases. He had cast off his own name to start anew, essentially disconnecting any good he did now from being dragged down by the mistakes of his past.
Yet throughout, his greatest challenge is having a strong sense of identity, self-worth and value. Accepting that the man he had been, is in fact one and the same with the man he is now. Accepting that the “broken/sinful” man he was, could actually be the the good man of value he is now. Having the strength to accept that this life he has been living is all one and the same, that it has had meaning and that he is THAT man: Jean Valjean.
It is more common than it should be, that we push aside who we are to try and become “more”. In our efforts to become successful, or have meaning or relevance in any endeavour we pursue, we tend to think those essential elements of who we are, are not good enough. And yet, who we are:
- when it doesn’t matter
- when no one’s looking
- when fear of criticism is absent
- in the immediate instant of inspiration before we have time to think about it
… is the very strength within that will lead to the true unfoldment of our journey, the continued evolution to ever greater depths and heights in our life.
Sometimes we just need to dust it off. Spit polish it. Take it by the hand and lead it out to the light.
Because who we are, is the very Strength within.
Dare To Evolve,