What do strong people fear? Being alone during tough times.
I have a friend who’s very strong. Everyone respects them for their strength. Looks up to them. Leans on them.
But who is there in their weak moments? No one. And that is terrifying to this person. Not because they can’t handle the difficult life experiences, but because they got strong by going through very difficult experiences alone.
Once you’ve done that, it changes you. You’ve learned certain skills: how to project confidence in the midst of not knowing; keeping calm in chaos; white knuckling through long nights.
To the outside world, this makes you solid.
People will covet the strength but they don’t understand that these skills are battle scars that you can’t build without the struggle. Beware of covetous people. There is always a measure of cowardice to them.
So when life get tough again, sure you can get through it. But what a fucking nightmare! All those people who call you strong have done it because they didn’t experience the darkest hour themselves. So they don’t understand that they’re abandoning you to do it all over again. They don’t know what it took. They just want to admire the strength.
Fuck being strong. How about things being a little easier?
When my friend was expressing this fear, I couldn’t help but identify. And I think part of my job here is to deconstruct what it means to overcome adversity, maintain dignity, and teach compassion to people who will never reach the Mariana Trench of darkness. They don’t have to visit the depths to be able to say, “How can I help?” This is what companies have been paying me to do.
And to do that, I have to get really intimidate with my own futility and fear. Also with the ugly sides of being scared. Unless you can recognize them, you will mistake the duck for the platypus and never gain clarity.
Heavy lifting for sure, but word on the street is I’m very strong.