Another Look at Strength
There is nothing smile-producing when human beings are displaying real strength, of any kind. It’s never pleasant and cheery when real strength is underway.
Nevertheless, it seems to me we have a deeply flawed understanding of what strength is. In fact, what we have been taught about strength is a mangle of often well-intended misinformation.
I can speak for the male experience, though I think some of this applies to all of us. Growing up we’re taught, you don’t admit fear; be strong, don’t cry; only wimps admit they need help; walking away from a fight is an act of cowardice, and so on, and so on, and so on.
It’s easy to disprove these strength-management guideposts.
- If walking away from a fight is an act of weakness, then why is it so hard for you to do?
- If asking for help is an act of weakness, why is it so hard for you to do?
- If crying is weak, why is it so hard for people to give themselves permission to do so?
- If it’s weak to admit you are afraid, then why is admitting it so, well, scary?
Acts of real strength are never pleasant. Watch anyone bench pressing twice their body weight, muscles bulging, sweat glistening, veins popping, face grimacing to the max. Is this person exhibiting strength? You bet. Does it look like this person is having an easy fun time of it?