What does it truly mean to be strong? What does strength look like? Some might say that holding your emotions in, not crying when you feel sad and want to cry or holding other things in. Instead of speaking your mind you just “take the hits” that you get and you deal with them as they are and you move on, without saying a word to another as to how you truly feel or what your true desires are. It is not speaking your mind, not showing your true self as you are at a certain moment in time. It could be minimizing something and being “honest” versus telling the whole truth. Telling somebody something that is true, but it is not the whole truth (i.e. I like you versus I love you). Why is this, if so many people are able to do this with ease and do do it easily on a daily basis, referred to as strength. For example, if you are experiencing sadness and you are in public, it doesn’t matter who or how many people you are around, you decide to keep your sadness to yourself, even though you want to cry. You try with all of your might to keep that emotion inside of you rather than letting it out into the world. What does this say on a deeper level on who you think you are and how you treat yourself? What this says is, “I will not be accepted for who I am in this very moment, I am sad and I will not be accepted if I show what I am feeling and this is comfortable and acceptable for me to do because I can do it with ease and I do it often when I am faced with similar circumstances.” Does this sound like a person who is strong? Strength is courage, courage is strength and when we think about courage what comes to mind? Courage is:
the ability to do something that frightens one.
So, if we are able to hide our emotions with ease in fear of what others might think or say about us, does this point to courage? Does that point to strength? Strength is the ability to:
withstand great force or pressure.
(This I am using in an emotional context rather than physical context)
And stress is:
subject to pressure or tension.
If we are afraid to show our emotions and hiding them is easy and stress free for us, and we decide NOT to show our emotions, how much courage is present there? If we are afraid to show our emotions, and hiding them is easy and stress free for us, and we decide TO show our emotions, how much courage is present there? How strong do you have to be in order to suppress your emotions? Odds are, you don’t have to be that strong in order to keep yourself hidden from the world. This does not solely deal with emotions, however, it will and does show up in other ways. My “I’m a badass” ego can come out around certain people and I will make sure that I suppress everything else that is inside of me that isn’t “badass”. My “I’m an innocent princess” ego can come out and I will make sure that I suppress everything that is inside of me that is not what I think as “innocent”. My “victim” ego can come out, and I will make sure that I play that part to the “T” as well. We are all pretty good actors when you think about it, but we just don’t know how good we really are at doing it.
So, if holding things in is not strength, then what is? Vulnerability is. Vulnerability:
the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Now, how easy is it for one to face the possibility of being “attacked” (again, talking more emotionally here) by what and who they truly are inside and still be able to present themselves truly? It takes courage. It takes strength. When the “world” is against showing emotion, when the “common” perceptions on life and who people are are challenged by your perceptions, what do you do? Do you decide to be vulnerable, be strong, and show your truth regardless of the exposition of harm? Or do you cowardly conform to the standard of what you think others expect out of you because you feel that you will not be accepted by who you truly are at any given moment?
Vulnerability is strength. It takes strength and courage to stand in your truth and be who you truly are and expose yourself to the possibility of “harm”. It doesn’t take strength to keep yourself hidden, to hide your emotions, to conceal your true beauty to the world. Emotionally, socially, being vulnerable in this sense is no different than opening the door to a room knowing that a tiger is in there, free to attack at any given moment.
Do what you are afraid of doing. Show your true self to the world, tell your truth and show your truth. Everybody has the same inside of them, but not everybody has the courage to let that shine through the confines of their mind. What kind of world do you think we would live in if everybody was vulnerable – – I, for one, do not believe that we would have the same fears that we do today about being who we truly are around others. We would see the commonalities between us, we would see the truth in everybody and there would be no fear of that truth, because it would be everybody’s truth. The truth would become commonplace, and when something is common, we don’t fear acceptance, for we know that we will be accepted.
When in doubt, choose what’s difficult to do – not what’s easy to do.