We don’t always have to be strong to be strong. Yes, we’ve all been told to “keep a stiff upper lip”. We’ve been told to “grin and bear it”. We’ve been admonished to “be a big boy or girl and not cry”. But sometimes our strength is expressed in being vulnerable. Sometimes we need to release those pent-up emotions. Sometimes we need to fall apart to regroup and stay on track. Sometimes that giving in to what we really feel is the very thing that helps us realize where our real strength lies!

Of course we all have days when we cannot push any harder, cannot hold back self-doubt, cannot stop focusing on fear, cannot understand why the world, or a boss, or a parent, or a child, or a friend doesn’t see that we hurt, that we feel vulnerable, that we simply cannot be strong.

There are days when we cannot focus on being responsible; there are days we don’t even want to acknowledge we know the word, let alone have any idea what it means or how it relates to us and the decisions we are making, or not! Be responsible? Really?!

Occasionally, we don’t want to get out of our pajamas. Sometimes we cry in front of people and not just people we know – we’ll cry in the produce aisle of the grocery store, at the coffee shop! We cannot hold back exposing our tiredness, irritability, or anger.

Guess what? Those days are okay. They are just absolutely okay.

Part of taking care of ourselves means we give ourselves permission to “fall apart” when we need to. Part of taking care of ourselves is being selfish by focusing on what WE need at the moment to regain and maintain our balance. Sometimes taking care of ourselves means taking a hiatus from taking care of others! It is critically important to remember that we do not need to be perpetual towers of strength.

We ARE strong. We have proven that. Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable when we need to experience those feelings. Sometimes we are strongest when we grab our “blankie” and curl up in the corner, letting the fear, uneasiness, and lack of confidence and belief slowly seep out! That is absolutely okay!

Beginning today I will remember that is it okay to allow myself to be human. I will celebrate that I do not need to feel guilty or punish myself when I need to “fall apart”. I will be vulnerable so that I can be strong!

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