Some people seem so strong. I think that when people tell them they are so strong, at times that can make it even harder. People have said that to me during some of the worst crises in my life, and I didn’t feel strong. I felt like I was just barely holding it together, through sheer will, because I had to, for other people. Being told I was so strong, I could handle it, made it, in a way, even more difficult, because then I felt that if I couldn’t handle it, if I let the cracks show, I’d be letting them down.
Stoicism is a facade. Trust me, I know.
Someone I think is a very strong person this morning suggested that they need to have a good cry.
There are times when even the strongest person needs to sag a little, to lean on someone else, rest their weary head on another’s shoulder, to cry, to release some stress, to let someone else help bear their burden, even if only for a moment or two.
Letting our guard down, acknowledging our feelings, perhaps sharing our thoughts, fears, anguish with another, or simply sitting alone, head bowed, letting the tears flow, are not moments of weakness.
I see that as true strength, recognizing that you need to take care of yourself a bit now and then; allowing yourself to feel your pain or confusion or frustration is not weak.
Acknowledging that maybe you can’t do it all alone, that you need another soul to bear you up now and then, or even asking for help, are acts of bravery in my book. It takes a strong person to admit those things.
Moments like those are how we learn compassion, understanding of each other, empathy, the ability to recognize another’s pain because we’ve felt it ourselves.
If we don’t learn to bend under the weight of our struggles at times, we will break.
Those moments of brief respite are what allow us to rise again, unbow our heads, square our shoulders, and face life once more.