Being Strong

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

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

or unexpected

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”
a deeper exploration.

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