I Must be Strong
Do you believe you must be strong? There have been several times in my life where I thought that I had to be strong. Weakness was not an option. Have you ever experienced a situation where you felt it would be humiliating to ask for help? Do you share your concerns with other people? Does anyone know the real you? Who knows what scares you? Who knows your hopes and dreams? Do you expose your vulnerabilities?
Over the years, I’ve been proud of how strong I am. I have endured the struggles of being infertile, being a foster parent, and eventually adopting my children. My husband has had several devastating health crises. How did I handle these situations? I stayed strong. I put my emotions in a box and put one foot in front of the other. There was no time for weakness or crying over spilled milk. What good would feeling sorry for myself have gotten me? While feeling sorry for myself would not have helped me achieve anything, I was cutting off my emotions. As a result, I get to ignore the overwhelming devastation of the negative emotions, but I also don’t get to experience the ultimate highs of positive emotions.
As I considered this situation, I realized that the need to be strong was a limiting belief. Why do I have to be strong? Why can’t I reach out and ask for help? Does connecting with others and sharing my vulnerabilities mean that someone else is going to take advantage of me? Why won’t I cry in front of other people? Would my tears signal someone to think I was weak and incompetent? Why the hell would it matter? I’ve been through a lot of difficult situations in my 46 years, and in all honesty, these experiences make me a person that can handle challenging conditions. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to sit down and have a good cry occasionally.
Are you proud of being strong? Do you ever show weakness? Is being strong keeping you from experiencing a full range of emotions? Are you willing to ask for and accept help?
If you struggle with believing that you must be strong, you may be holding yourself back from being truly connected with and open to others.
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