Being strong doesn’t mean you are always happy or that you are hiding your feelings, appearing to the outside world that you are okay. Even though that is what society tells us being strong means, being strong actually means having the faith in hard times, but still allowing yourself to feel how you feel. Being strong means having the courage to admit that you aren’t okay. Being strong means being able to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Being strong means you have healthy things that you do that help pull you out of dark spaces.
That is what I have learned about strength. It doesn’t look like what we grow up to believe. It doesn’t look like sucking it up when all we want to do is cry, and it doesn’t mean tricking our brains into feeling differently than we actually feel. I have learned that strength has been using my voice, when I once thought I was voiceless. Strength means sharing my story, in the hopes that I can heal others.
Right now everyone keeps telling me that I need to be strong for my mother, and I know that to be true, because I know positivity during this tough time will help her through this journey. But my fiance reminded me that being strong doesn’t mean being the one who doesn’t cry or doesn’t seem phased by anything, being strong means being the person who lets their feelings flow, and also continues to have faith that everything will work out. I am trying to do just that. I am being strong by letting myself cry when I need to because if I don’t, I know the pain will bottle up within me and cause me to want to explode. I am being strong by letting myself feel fear. But I am also being strong by journaling, which allows me to write down my feelings every day and allow myself to be present with every experience.
It is important to remember that having strength and hope does not mean you do not have fear. I think some of our strongest times shine through when we feel immense fear, but are able to find ways to see the positive and to continue to move forward.
If you feel fear, pain, sadness, frustration or any feeling right now. It is okay. It is more than okay. Feeling those feelings does not mean you are weak. Feeling those feelings and recognizing that it is okay to feel that way, but that you are worthy of experiencing better, means you are strong.
Let’s change our mindsets together and remember that being strong is not what society wants us to think it is. Being strong is allowing ourselves to feel the fear, and continue to push on in faith and trust that everything will work out.
Feel your feelings, I mean really and truly feel them. I am feeling mine, with every fiber of my being and proud of myself for doing it, because for so long in my life I never thought it was okay to feel.
I was wrong.
You are stronger than you think. You’ve already got the strength within you.