The definition above is what appears when you google search for the definition of 'strength'. And (it would seem) that it completely abolishes the point of this blog - when, in actual fact, I feel like it cements it as a necessary teaching.
You are allowed to be weak.
You're allowed to cry.
You're allowed to tell someone how you feel.
You're allowed to ask someone to give you more.
You shouldn't hold in your emotions to the point of feeling like you're about to burst. You shouldn't reach the end of your stress threshold, barely being able to speak because of a giant lump in your throat. You shouldn't have to hide that you cry when you're alone in the car.
The number one reason why I see people under this enormous amount of pressure? Because, they "need" to be strong.
They "need" to be strong for their partner who is also under high stress, they "need" to be strong in their job to keep everyone happy, they "need" to be strong for their children so they don't worry about Mummy, they "need" to be strong for their best friend who is going through something that is "so much worse".
They don't want to burden anyone with how they're feeling, because they shouldn't need to - because they're strong and don't need any help.
If you're reading this, and this is you - please, don't stop reading now because I've told you what you don't want to know (even though you already know it). Don't turn your back on the feelings that are fighting to be let free.
How many of you have been here? How many of you are reading this and this is you. This is your life: a ball of tension and fear, crashing down a hill and picking up speed. I'm telling you now, you're about to crash. And everything you've been tying up, trying to weigh down, will go flying free. And then you won't just be dealing with one emotion - you'll be dealing with all of them.
Strength doesn't just refer to the physical capabilities of someone. And it shouldn't be used as an excuse to maintain a facade.
A person's desire to be strong, is often their biggest weakness.
This blog is about emphasising the importance of being vulnerable. Being vulnerable to be a better person, a better partner, a better worker, a better lover, a better mother, a better friend.
It's about being a better you.
The you that you want to be, but can't be because of the tension, fear and insecurities that are built up inside of you.
And ladies - we are the WORST for it! We may be coined the more emotional sex, but fuck are we good at bottling everything up and then ignoring it until we explode.
Just an FYI - this is why we are also coined the crazy sex. Now, I know we aren't - and you know we aren't - so, let's shut this down and actually DEAL with everything that is going on, on the inside!
The key lesson is to value your vulnerability.
We shy away from this - to the point that shutting ourselves, and our hearts, off is the easiest option. Lock the door, throw away the key, and wallah! The situation is 'dealt' with.
We will hide this vulnerable side of ourselves to shelter our facade of strength. Because people only value us on our robotic ability to deal with trauma, betrayal, heart ache, stress and anxiety. Yes?
We are so terrified of being judged by the world for how we feel that we literally shut it off. For some reason, it is normal for human beings to believe that by doing this we are 'handling' the problem. But, we're not actually allowing people to see us for who we really are. Everyone, including your partner, your children, your friends and colleagues, are always held at an arms length.
You have NEVER truly embraced another human being. How does that feel? You've never truly been with your partner, you've never really hugged your children, you've never really been there for your friends and you're work colleagues don't actually know you at all.
All because we are afraid of taking off our 'strength masks' and letting people view our true face and 'flaws'. So, here is a truth for you:
vulnerability connects us and actually makes people lean 'in', not 'away.
If you continue to shut yourself off from the world, the result will be a shallow life: shallow relationships and shallow friendships, nothing that actually sets your soul on fire, because you don't allow anyone to get close.
If you want these real, true and strong relationships, you have to learn to open up and be vulnerable.
Grab a pen and paper (preferably your daily journal), write down and answer the following questions:
Vulnerability is something that I have struggled with in the past. In truth, 2019 has been a big year for me. I have taken this process in baby steps.
I've had to swallow my pride and talk about things that made me want to cringe, I've then dealt with why they made me feel this way.
I've shared more about who I am with people to form connections. So I can really resonate with them and where they are at in their lives.
I was able to admit and change the flaws in my business that were causing me nothing but ill health.
I've been more open with my thinking, my responses and my actions. I've forced myself to be the bigger person, the mature person and have taken steps to deal with other people's reactions.
It's been a small journey for me (so far), but I feel like I'm a new human being.
So, believe me when I say, I know that being vulnerable can be terrifying. But, if you're ready to actually be a strong human - if you're ready to be more than a physical definition - then you need to learn to trust that people will lean in to you, and not away. You need to pull them in, instead of maintaining them at an arms length if you want to actually connect with the people around you.
By doing this, you'll actually learn how to connect with yourself better, which will only further enrich those relationships.
Vulnerability is the key for deep love and connection.
When you allow yourself to bring people in, when you allow your true self out, it allows others to see you - every bright, colourful, intelligent and burning spark of you - and it allows them to increase their trust in you.
Because, you are being the real you; you are being true. And others can see the effort and they will respond with intrigue.
You will become a magnet for truthful connection and trusting relationships. A skill and experience that will make the whole process easier to stomach.
Within all your relationships, someone has to go first. Someone has to lean in, and pull closer.
Is that person going to be you?
When you're ready to share, when you're ready to let someone know what is happening in your soul, it won't be easy and you will have a physical response.
Remember the feeling in high school just before you had to do a speech, or a presentation? Your palms sweat, your stomach drops, your legs are shaking and you suddenly forget everything on your palm cards?
Do you also remember what it felt like once it was over? Remember that relief, that wave of pride? Because, you did it! You did something that your body was absolutely revolting against.
Being vulnerable with someone close to you is the same thing.
Your palms will still sweat, your heart will be pounding and your guts will feel like their tying into a million knots (or filled with butterflies).
But you know what will happen? You'll have the same relief, just like you did back in high school.
Expressing what's in your soul, especially if its something that concerns someone else, will only make your relationships stronger. You're allowing them to see through your eyes, feel what's in your body.
Being vulnerable takes time, positive affirmations and practice. It will take a while to break through the physical and mental barriers that are stopping you. But, I hope that you've made it through this blog and you're now aware of the power that vulnerability has.
That it is a hidden strength and something we all have to power to possess.
Will you make the first move?
I'd love to hear if any of you take that step and lean in.
Love, Hollie xx