Being Strong

At our first session,
she would habitually use the word
“strong”
to refer to herself.

“To be strong,”
she said,
“I should
Stop worrying and,
instead,
Focus on problem solving.
I should
Stop blaming my employees and,
instead,
Blame myself.”

On the surface,
these sounded wonderful,
virtuous, even.

But after a month
of realizing empathy
with herself,
she discovered that
by “strong”
all she meant was
“numb to pain & discomfort.”

There’s a world of difference
between following advice
and realizing for one’s self
through a journey
of maturation.

A journey through which we learn
new

or unexpected
choices
.

Without the journey,
“stop worrying,”
can merely mean
“repress stress & anxiety.”

“Focus on problem solving,”
can merely mean
“focus on eliminating fear & concern.”

“Blame myself,”
can merely mean
“lead with unconscious shame.”

To frame these phenomena
as someone’s “fault”
prevents
a deeper exploration.

More valuable
would be to recognize what happens
when we lack
a sense of choice
or proper support.

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