If ya ask me I think society has it all wrong. Well, just a little backwards.
When we think of the word “strength,” we can imagine a picture of someone in a Superman pose, hands on their hips, muscles bulging under their shirt, and a look on their face of conquering the world. When we think of the word “courage,” we can see the image of someone “holding it together” in the midst of a tragedy - not showing any emotion, jaw clinched, and everyone saying “Wow they are just so courageous and strong.”
But what if the words “strength”, “courage”, and “brave” were about vulnerability, crying, sharing your feelings, and “losing it”. In other words; feeling all the feelings that are happening and having the strength or courage to face those overwhelming feelings and be able to come out on the other side truly feeling strong.
We have heard the phrase; “whatever you resists persists.” I think as children many of us were taught to “buck up” and “put on a brave face” when what we really needed to do was cry, wail, let the hurt or anger out, and then process and share those feelings so that we could actually move on and learn something from the experience. The more we try to “stuff” the feelings the more they persist.
When I was growing up I was quite a sensitive and emotional child who was often told to go to my room until I was “over it”. My nickname was “Sarah Bernhardt” named after the famous French stage actress of the later 19th century who was known as a total drama queen. I learned the lesson very early in my life, that showing, expressing, or feeling any emotion was bad and that I should hide and “get over it” by myself. It was only as an adult and being in therapy, that I realized it takes so much more courage to face that wave of emotion and actually lean into it. Feel the feelings, cry, rant, deflate that balloon inside my heart that is holding all of
the emotion. I have seen when I had the strength to brace myself for whatever was going to be revealed in allowing all the emotions to come, I have lived through it and actually found strength and courage in myself that I didn’t know was there before. In other words, I allowed myself to be vulnerable and wound up feeling stronger and more authentic and realizing if I could do this - I could do anything!
So I encourage you, to take a baby step next time you are feeling big emotions come up, breathe through it and find the real true authentic strength and courage that I know you have!
Here are some songs of mine about this subject - feel free to listen and sing along to find your own inner strength!
Cry If You Want To: The Call CD Brave: I Stand For Love CD
Lean In To It: Wit Love Anything Is Possible CD I Can Do It: The Call CD
Feel It: Shine CD
Here I Stand: Joy In Our Hearts CD