I’ve written before about the incredible push I have to be “strong.” To never need help. To not falter. To be able to get through anything and do anything no matter what.
I keep learning that that is a false sense of strong.
I’m moving through a (hopefully) mild relapse of a challenge I had years ago, and it can knock me to my knees. I find myself, once again, needing – or at least wanting – help, support, and reassurance. I am hyper aware of my old thought patterns that happily call me weak as turn to those around me for comfort and encouragement, and I’m happily aware of my new thought patterns that remind me that turning to the people who care about me to allow them to care for me is actually a sign of strength.
I was not only taught to be self-sufficient when I was young, I was also taught to be take care of everyone and everything else as well. Those are old, old tapes, and while they still sneak up on me and are weighty and powerful, I have learned to call them out as lies. To laugh when they creep into my consciousness. To, in fact, reach out to those around me for help and support in not succumbing to these lies.
Being “weak” – my old definition of weak…wanting, needing, asking for help and not being able to handle everything myself – is actually being really strong. It is brave when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and human, and allow others to take care of us. It shows fortitude when we’re wise enough to not try to fight every battle and handle every situation alone. We are courageous and resilient when we ask others to stand with us, to cheer us on, to remind us that everything will be okay, and to give us that much needed hug.
I have a friend who is facing a tough medical issue. I know she very rarely asks for help. She is wired about as tightly as I am in that way. I’ve watched her reach out, ask for what she needs, and push others when they’re slow to show up to help her. I am so proud. I reminded her – as I reminded myself – that it is a strength to be vulnerable, to allow others to take care of you, to admit that you can’t make it alone (or even if you can, that you don’t want to).
Being weak is actually being strong.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!