In my mind, mental weakness can surface in two ways. The first is the obvious – lack of ability, whether realistic or perceived, to handle something alone. We all go through this feeling, and it is good. Why? Because it means we are being pushed. Does it suck? Yes. Can it make you want to give up? Absolutely. This type of weakness actually serves us well…if we have conquered the darker, and more subtle, form of weakness.
Being weak to oneself is, in my opinion, one of a slight few things in life I would chalk up to a failure. All we have as human beings is to be strong to ourselves, even when it means letting the weaknesses out. You see, it hurts to look at the things we need to grow in. Most people aren’t comfortable to reveal the fact that they are fallible, much less the reasons that make them that way. Most people want to hang with the crowd. We find a certain sense of validation through the acceptance, or relatability, of others – even that of a total stranger. It is that quiet, compelling urge to piss on the tree. Mark your territory and let those around you know you’re there. The question I challenge that mentality with is why?
What does it matter if people realize you aren’t perfect? In fact, they already know you aren’t, so stop fooling yourself. We need to learn to accept our downfalls. Use them as something to work on and improve as a person. The more you accept who you are, as you currently are, the more freedom you’ll find in weakness.
I am blessed to sit at a table of meat eaters; leaders of their pack. No matter how much “it” hurts, I know that I can talk to my people – my family – and they will walk through the fire with me.
Today’s age of social media, as one contributing factor, has conditioned society to feel compelled to portray themselves on a platform as if people are physically lined up to listen. Sometimes they portray nothing but the highs in life, sometimes the lows, and other times they demonstrate an extreme fluctuation of high and low – within the same day. While I am ‘required’ to be a social media presence for the sake of my career, I personally lean on the side of “less is more”…the idea that my social media solely revolves around work and my few hobbies. Demonstrating extremes to the masses, in search of electronic validation and/or sympathy, to me, is an external sign of internal weakness.
If you cannot be quietly honest with yourself and let people think or assume what they want of your life, then how much effort are you truly putting forth to better yourself? Don’t misunderstand me, help from true friends, and encouragement from the same, is an extremely valuable component of existence. What I am saying, however, is that the act of doing things in hopes of a pat on the back is just that…a superficial pat on the back. Be who you need to be for you, no one else. Be the same person in a dark, empty room as you’d be for a crowd of people. That is integrity and that is true strength.
Now that I’ve made several fans by my preceding words, that quite possibly floated over like a lead balloon, I will end with this: Be Strong In Your Weakness. Don’t be afraid to lean on people, to fall short, to struggle. Rely on the good people you surround yourself with. But through it all, hardships and highlights, do not be weak to yourself – to who you are and what you were made for. You deserve better than to fail yourself. Accept and embrace your struggles and learn from them. No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, you have the ability to carry on and learn from those dark days. Coming out the other side of seemingly insurmountable adversity will only make you stronger, and more dangerous, moving forward.
Stay the course.