I find many people I encounter wherever that may be, have a difficult time being with a strong person. Let me be specific on how I am using the word strong here. Strong here isn’t physical strength. I’m talking spiritual and mental strength. How do I know this for sure? Here’s five quick examples to give you a moment to pause the next time you are with someone Strong.
- I can talk about or post something related to physical pain and I get very few comments of “support of understanding” and more comments of “you got this,” “you’re strong”, or “you beat it before.” It’s not what I need to hear, but somehow my feelings of vulnerability are overlooked. But I see the opposite being extended out to others. It’s similar to the older sibling syndrome I’ve read and heard about, where the expectations are different.
- I can post something about loss and people assume I can handle it, once again because you got this,” “you’re strong”, or “you beat it before.” But with others, there is this sympathetic support that I often don’t get. Being Strong comes with it’s problems.
- I can reach an accomplishment or a milestone but because I reach them often, let me restate that, because I have reached them all my life, I find that some people cannot bring themselves to provide congratulations. I provide a mirror to others by my ability to keep moving forward and keep finding a way to have a purpose. They tell me, I make them look bad. I make them feel sluggish, I make them… I am healthy enough to know that I don’t make them feel anything. It’s their own fear and wounding that makes them feel that way.
- I’ve lost friends who somehow expect that my strength is available to them at all times at all costs to my health. When I started to set boundaries, somehow I became the “bad friend.” They had standards I couldn’t meet. I’ve come to realize that those were not healthy friendships, the loss was mutually beneficial in the end.
- The problem with being and even looking healthy and strong, which is a full time job, very few of my family and friends, understand what’s going on underneath in my body, in my bones, in my blood, in my muscles and tendons, and in my organs. It was beaten up for ten years straight with two cancer battles and one previvor preventive surgery to ward off a third cancer. Not to mention the three years prior trying to get pregnant, suffering miscarriages, being pumped up with the maximum amount of fertility drugs that led to failed attempts to carry the three embryos. My body is tired as heck! And you can never judge the outside package without understanding what’s going on inside.
Every day I wake up with a gas tank in my body that is only 60% full. That 40% deficiency is huge with a daily impact. So I have become picky of where my energy goes because I was forced to become picky. In the end that turned out to a blessing in disguise. So when you see this smiling face, remember that I am very grateful and fortunate to still be alive. When you look at it a second time, remember that my spirit is full of fire and passion. But the third time you look, look deeper, look beyond the face, visualize you see beneath my skin. Eventually, you’ll see a child, a young adult, a middle aged woman fighting not just normal aging, but 10 years worth of internal body damage and life taken away. And know that I work every day to be healthy and it’s the most difficult job I’ve ever had and will ever have until my final breath. But it comes with problems…