The Perception of Strength

It may sound strange but I sometimes get annoyed with people always using strong as one of the words to describe me.  People tell me that I’ve been through so much and that with all of the struggles that I’ve had and still have they are amazed at my strength and how I manage to persevere through it and towards something better.

I want to say “it’s not as if I actually have a choice, I can’t just curl up and die”.  More importantly I want to let them know that I am most certainly not strong, at least not any stronger than they are or anyone else out in this world going through horrific tragedies.  What exactly is it to be strong anyway?

I think that people have this idea, particularly about women, that they are always sure of themselves, sure of where they are going, unafraid, and iron willed.  There is this notion that if we are emotional, if we show our vulnerability, if we express our fears and our doubts, that somehow that makes us weak.  I must admit I have played into that a lot.

I’m an extremely emotional person and I don’t try to hide it but I find myself sometimes apologizing for it and in many ways feeling embarrassed because of it.  My mother once told me that tears and crying is for the weak and I have to admit that this made me even more apprehensive about showing my emotions to the general public.

For the people that really know me, on a deep and personal level, and they know my weaknesses and love me because of them as well as in spite of them, I will show that side.  However, for the rest of the world, the outside people who have yet to get to know me, I have discovered that I have become that person who tries to put on the front of strength because I don’t want them to see what they might perceive as weak.

The thing that I have learned through discovering more about myself is that it is okay to not be iron willed all the time.  Showing emotion, shedding tears, being afraid, or having doubts doesn’t make you any less strong than the people who won’t let their guard down enough to show cracks of vulnerability.

Strength is not in just bouncing back from tragedy or powering through the hard times.  Strength isn’t about shutting people out because you are afraid of getting rejected.  Strength is not always proving that you have all of the answers when things don’t go as planned.  Strength is about being able to admit that you are afraid.  It’s about acknowledging that you don’t have all the answers and that it’s okay, because you don’t need all of the answers today.  Having strength is acknowledging that sometimes it is okay to be weak.  As I shift into the next level of my journey and move further towards my success I don’t want to waste time and energy trying to keep up a front of always being strong.  Because I am not.

I Have the Write 2 Be Strong In Spite of My Weaknesses… What is Your Write 2 Be?

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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