Being Strong

Sometimes being strong is not what it’s cracked up to be. I am a strong woman. I happen to think I’m brave. I’ve been through a lot in my 45 years and I’m proud of my strength, determination, and perseverance. I’ve lived on my own for far longer than I’d prefer. I’ve moved cross country by myself. I was raising a child by myself and faced circumstances with him, that I prayed I’d never have to. I did it by myself. I could go on and on. But the thing is, I don’t want to be strong right now. I don’t want to be the steady one. I want to be the one that’s reassured. I want to lean on someone else for a change. And slightly off topic but connected, I want to be the one to be pursued. I don’t think I have the ability to step out first right now – when it comes to opening the door to a relationship.

I’ve come to believe that being strong can be detrimental to one’s well-being (sometimes). Sure, there’s something to be said for being resilient and able to cope with what life throws at you. But there’s another side to that. The more capable you are, and the more accustomed you are to managing on your own, or being the strong one that’s holding others up – the harder it can be to reach out for help when you need it. There’s a quote you’ve probably seen that goes something along the lines of “Check on your strong friends.” There’s a reason for that. I think there are people all around us, sometimes the most capable in fact, that are hurting. Quite often, they (we) simply don’t know how to ask for help.

Check on your strong friend, friends. If you’re tempted to think that your strongest friends don’t need you, maybe ask. Maybe say “How are you doing…really? No, really.” If you already know they’re going through something at work, with their family – or maybe they’re battling an illness or new diagnosis – even if it’s just a “random” text letting them know you’re thinking about them – it can make a tremendous difference. Don’t assume the strong ones don’t need you. They do.

And if you’re the strong one, it truly is okay to tell the people that care about you, that you need help. I promise.

Check on your strong friends.

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